Cyprus Guide

Music in Cyprus


The traditional folk music of Cyprus has several common elements with Greek, Turkish, and Arabic music including Greco-Turkish dances such as the sousta, syrtos, zeibekikos, tatsia, and kartsilamas as well as the Middle Eastern-inspired tsifteteli and arapie. There is also a form of musical poetry known as chattista which is often performed at traditional feasts and celebrations. The instruments commonly associated with Cyprus folk music are the bouzouki (pictured), oud ("outi"), violin ("fkiolin"), lute ("laouto"), accordion, Cyprus flute ("pithkiavlin") and percussion (including the "toumperleki"). Composers associated with traditional Cypriot music include Evagoras Karageorgis, Marios Tokas, Solon Michaelides and Savvas Salides.

Popular music in Cyprus is generally influenced by the Greek Laïka scene with several artists including Anna Vissi, Evridiki, and Sarbel earning widespread popularity in Cyprus, Greece and parts of the Middle East. Hip Hop, R&B and reggae are also very popular genres on the island and have been supported by the emergence of Cypriot rap and the urban music scene at Ayia Napa. Cypriot rock music and Éntekhno rock is often associated with artists such as Michalis Hatzigiannis and Alkinoos Ioannidis. Metal also has a small following in Cyprus represented by bands such as Winter's Verge and Quadraphonic.