Markos Vamvakaris Plays the Roads, 1969

Here’s a short YouTube recording of Markos Vamvakaris playing several of the roads that are commonly used in Greek music (esp. the rebetika). If you can’t read Greek, he’s playing the following: sabax, niavent, hitzaz, houzam, kourdi, peiraiotiko, rast, hitzazkiar, and ousak. You should be able to pick up the changes road to road (he makes of note of it in Greek in the video). For an overview of the dromoi (roads), take a look at this website.  Many of the roads may be found, in various forms, in Turkish, Arabic and Persian music. Obviously, in those traditions and idioms, they are somewhat different. In fact, even among Greeks one can encounter differences of opinion when it comes to the roads, which is not surprising within the context of a folk music tradition.

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