The traditional music of the islands has its roots back in ancient Greece

The Aegean islands have an important folk dance tradition, originating from the dances of ancient Greece, like syrtos, sousta and balos. The lyre is the dominant folk instrument, accompanied by others like the lute, the violin, the sandouri, the gaida (bagpipe) and various types of drums. Particularly in the Aegean, the violin and the Cretan lyre are the protagonists in every ‘glenti’ (feast).

Every island has its own nisiotiko style and its own way of dancing it. Famous performers of the nisiotika songs (the songs of the islands) include Domna Samiou, Mariza Koch, who is credited with reviving this branch of folk music in the ‘70’s, the Konitopouloi family, Yannis Parios and many others.