Rebetika Rhythms

The two most common rhythms in rebetika are the compound 9/8 zeïbekiko and the 2/4 hasapiko. The 4/4 tsifteteli is also reasonably common. These are all dance rhythms, tied to specific dances. The zeïbekiko is an improvisational, solo male dance; the hasapiko is danced by two, three or more people with a variety of synchronous steps and movements; and the tsifteteli is the belly dance and it’s also used for amanedes.

The zeïbekiko rhythm, in particular, seems to have been unique to the western coast of Turkey and the Greek islands nearby (e.g., Lesvos). It’s not found in Greek or Turkish folk music outside this region. This rhythm is really the backbone of rebetika–the one which gives the music much of its character. It became a mainstay in Greek music only after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922-23.

Here are the rhythms (in order):

The compound zeïbekiko rhythm can be divided in numerous ways (illustrated below). The various zeïbekika: old zeïbekiko, new zeïbekiko, kamilieriko zeïbekiko, aptaliko zeïbekiko:

zeibekiko

zeibekiko2

The hasapiko:

hasapiko

Tsifteteli:

tsifteteli

Some song examples:

Kostas Bezos, Paximadokleftra (Old Zeïbekiko)

Markos Vamvakaris, Ta Duo sou Heria Pirane (Aptaliko Zeibekiko)

Markos Vamvakaris, Ta Matoklada sou Lamboun (Kamilieriko Zeibekiko)

Markos Vamvakaris, Kapote Imouna ki Ego (Hasapiko)

Dimitris Semsis, Diplohordo Tsifteteli (Tsifteteli)

Roza Eskenazi, Amanes Ousak (Tsifteli – Amanes)

This entry was posted in Music, Rebetika, Rebetika Rhythms. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rebetika Rhythms

  1. Thanks, a great concise post. I’ve been collecting Zeibekiko music.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s