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Stakias Frangoulis | Chios | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Vasileonoiko, Chios
• Short biography

Stakias Frangoulis [born in 1933] grew up the village of Vasileonoiko, in Chios. Nowadays (2006), he lives in Chora, the capital of Chios. He was a builder, and played the oud and sang. “I didn’t make a living out of music […]. When I had work [construction], I didn’t go to the music clubs. I wasn’t on a salary, so no one bothered me. […]”

He learned to play the oud around the mid-40s, when he also took his first lessons in music theory, from Argyrios Filippou, a music teacher from Asia Minor, who had settled in Chios as a refugee: “…he lived here. He’s the one who introduced us to the oud. They didn’t know it over here. Because it was from Asia Minor.” He began playing in 1947: “Straight away, bang, bang, bang – my teacher couldn’t believe it. I had him, I outgrew the teacher within three months, and he put his hands up, he couldn’t keep up with me. My hands were one with the instrument.”

He has performed with local musicians and female singers, but he often played the oud on his own, at parties and other events: “I can tell you, I’ve done dancing parties all by myself. On my own, without any other musicians, with my oud. The oud alone can keep a dance going. […] I played on my own many times, so many times! The oud can keep a whole group of people entertained, on its own, without other instruments. I played (with other people, too), but it has to be said, it’s a difficult instrument. But if you know how to play it on your own, you can make a good show out of it […]. [He also sang:] Sure, I sang, too. Of course. I was a good singer.”

Events he performed at regularly included parties and balls organised by local cultural associations: “They hired me to play at parties. They still ask me, they still ask me. The municipality has got this association over here, and they ask me if I want to play, but I don’t play anymore. I’ve played in a lot of dancing parties. In parties. Girls and lads would get together and dance at parties. I’ve also played in festivals. Yes, you get a lot of the European dances there. Ah, you know how many of them I know? How many tangos I know? […] Whichever Saint each village has, they hold a festival for them. At weddings, at names (name day celebrations)… Yes, yes, they hired me.” He also played at engagement and wedding parties: “Those who organised the party (called me), or those who organised the engagement, or the wedding.”

Stakias Frangoulis has played the oud on a public radio show in Athens, and on a local television show in Chios. In fact, his last oud was a gift from the Municipality of Kambochoros: “I’ve been on television. On “Alitheia” (“TV Alitheia”, a local television channel). I had it on tape, but they lost them. Back then. When I still played. The oud was given to me by the Municipality of Kambochoros, because I’d given up, I put the oud away and I didn’t want to do it anymore. But they didn’t want the oud to be lost, so they went and sent me an oud from (?) and they brought me an oud, and I started playing again. A gift, a gift, from the Municipality of Kambochoros.”