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Lesvos - Information
The music of Lesvos was greatly influenced by musical practices that developed in the major urban centres of Asia Minor. From the 18th century onwards, Lesvos developed close ties with these centres, and especially Smyrna and (to a lesser degree) Constantinople, both with regards to economic activities and social practices. These ties were strengthened when Lesvos joined a Mediterranean and wider European product-trading network, which promoted the mono-cultivation of olives on the island, and the production and trade of olive oil and related products, such as soap. Under these circumstances, the influence and effect of the major urban centres and culture of Asia Minor upon Lesvos was significant. The precise details of the extent of mutual exchanges and influences upon musical culture before the late 19th century are not known, but common features are manifest in a series of amateur musical practices pertaining to vocal “seasonal” songs (carols, asemna and skoptika – traditional satirical or “teasing” songs, often with irreverent lyrics – and narrative Carnival songs, Laments for the Mother of God, chelidonismata – “swallow songs” to welcome spring, etc), as well as in “circle of life” songs (lullabies, children’s songs, traditional wedding songs praising the bride and groom, laments, etc). What is certain is that, from the late 19th century onwards, the musical culture of Lesvos was transformed according to the contemporary standards of Asia Minor: records show that bands were formed, made up of professional or semi-professional musicians who were (usually) specialised in terms of the instruments they played, and had practical or theoretical musical knowledge, which they had gained after a period of official or unofficial studies.

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30 records found — Island: Lesvos

Records 11 - 20