Mykonos is a party island where world-renowned DJs come to play popular summer hits, and tourists dance every night to house or pop beats. But, if you want to get a taste of the local culture, it’s best to listen to some authentic Greek music. You already know a bit – the first notes of the song from the “Zorba the Greek” movie associate everyone with Greece’s islands and crystal-clear waters. So, let us take you on a little tour of Greece’s popular tunes.

A Brief History Lesson About Ancient Greek Music

Those traveling to Mykonos usually expect to find gorgeous private yachts, busy restaurants, flashy nightclubs, and pristine beaches. However, there’s much more to discover, and tourists usually miss experiencing the arts and history of the civilization that gave the world philosophy, great works of literature, ethics, and morality. If you learn the rich history of ancient Greece, you will discover just how important music was.

The lyre was the main instrument, and the musical modes used consisted of simple octaves and scales. Competitions were organized where talented musicians played instruments in order to gain power and fame. Classical music originated in Greece since the scales inspired the classical notational style everyone knows today.

Apollo statue in Athens

Start enjoying tunes from antiquity even before you arrive at your Mykonos villa

Can You Hear Ancient Greek Music and Instruments Anywhere?

You might be surprised but hearing some ancient instruments is easier than you think. All you need to do is search on the internet, and you will find different types of sounds featuring musical instruments such as kithara, the lyre, and aulos. The lyre and kithara were the two main string instruments at that time, while the aulos is a double-reed musical instrument. They signify the essence of the sound of antiquity.

If you are on a long flight to Mykonos and you can’t wait to get to one of the luxury villas in Mykonos, we recommend listening to relaxing ancient turns. Here is a video you can listen to that many people like to play when they want to relax:

With Byzantine Times Came the Traditional Folk Music

The traditional folk Greek sound originates from the Byzantine times, and what we today hear and recognize as Greece’s signature sound emerged from this musical style. It was the most popular genre until the arrival of Laiko and Rebetiko in the 20th century. Songs were performed using the violin, tamboura, laouto, lira, bagpipe, and tambourine.

You will still hear this genre played on the streets, tavernas, and bars of Mykonos and other islands such as Santorini island, Milos, Naxos, Tinos, and the island of Crete. The genre is accompanied by performances, costumes, and lyrics about war, nature, and love. The music composed for the movie “Zorba the Greek” by Mikis Theodorakis emerged from Crete folk music.

Here is a video of this popular song that became synonymous with the Greeks:

How Did Rebetiko and Laiko Replace the Reign of Folk Songs?

Rebetiko is a genre that gained popularity in the early 20th century in the cities. It was played by singers who performed mostly for the working class and poor people. Through their songs, they gave a voice to the hardships and struggles people face. The core instrument of rebetiko is the bouzouki (it comes from the family of lutes).

Laiko is thought of as a more refined form of rebetiko. It’s adapted from listeners from the upper classes. The strong and thundering tones were excluded so it would become more mainstream. Nevertheless, laiko and rebetiko remain genres that are considered to promote leftist political ideas and messages.

Enjoy some soothing rebetiko songs performed by the Greeks in this video:

Contemporary Music and Musicians – Let’s Discuss Contents and References

Modern music is a mix of everything that we have mentioned so far. It combines international influences, western musical sounds with laiko, and popular styles. Bouzouki is often used to give authenticity to the song. It’s often referred to as “laiko pop.” The lyrics are similar to those that can be heard in the most popular American songs, but there is always something that puts a stamp of tradition on it.

Greek dance music that is played on the radio and that can be heard blasting from different beach bars in Mykonos is performed by musicians such as Tamta, Anastasia, Katerina Lioliou, and Nikos Oikonomopoulos. Other musicians focusing more on beautiful ballads are Nikos Karvelas, Nikos Vertis, and Anna Vissi.

People dancing at a festival

Greeks blast their most popular Greek songs in their clubs and tavernas

Here’s a Playlist With Popular Modern Songs From Greece – Use This as Entertainment While Packing for Mykonos

Have you started packing for your Mykonos vacation? Prepare for a luxurious stay in one of the Mykonos villas for rental like a pro. We have compiled a list of songs that will make packing enjoyable. Apart from the newest hits, we’ve added legendary Eurovision songs from Greece that are just what you need to prepare for your trip. You can use the playlist for your parties on the yacht rental in Mykonos or if you decide to host an event in one of Mykonos villas for rent. Here is the list:

  • Anastasia – Amarties,
  • Nikos Vertis – Se Afisa Sto Stes,
  • Giorgos Livanis – Enas Alitis Eimai,
  • Petros Iakovidis – Na Na Na – Tragoudo Gia Sena,
  • Katerina Lioliou – Mi Rotas Tous Allous,
  • JiMBo ft. Demy – Apothimena,
  • Melisses – Είμαι Αλλού,
  • Helena Paparizou – My Number One,
  • Giorgos Alkaios & Friends – OPA,
  • Sakis Rouvas – Shake It,
  • Kalomira – Secret Combination.

Where Can You Enjoy Authentic Greece Songs in Mykonos?

There are places where you can hear Greece’s popular songs blasting all night long. In Mykonos, most clubs, tavernas, and bars that feature live entertainment with this kind of tunes can usually be found in the main town. The best places include Rhapsody, La Lotte Club, and Paradise Beach Club.

Don’t forget that you can have your own party on a Mykonos yacht rental or one of the private villas in Mykonos featuring these kinds of hits. Simply call up your Mykonos concierge and arrange a fun and lively event.

People having fun on a yacht

Go to the places where traditional songs can be heard or make your own party

Contact The Ace VIP Team if You Want to Have the Best Time in Mykonos

Now that you know all about the genres and musical styles that are listened to by the Greeks, you can incorporate something new into your vacation plan. A great piece of advice would be to host a themed party or go to places where you can dance to these songs instead of just heading to clubs to listen to international DJs. The Ace VIP can help you with the entire organization of the trip. From private events, concierge on Mykonos, yacht rentals to jet rentals, and the most stunning Mykonos villa rental. The entire vacation can be a mix of tradition, culture, style, and elegance.