Road to Rembetika
Rembetika, the music which began in the jails and hashish-dens of Greek towns and became the popular bouzouki music of the 30's, 40's and 50's, has many parellels with American blues. Like the blues, the rembetika songs were the soul music of a group of people who felt themselves to be outside the mainstream of society , who developed their own slang and their own forms of expression. "Road to rembetika" is the first book in English to attempt a general survey of the world of the "rembets", who smoked hashish while they played the bouzouki and danced the passionate "zembekiko" to release their emotions. It is an enthusiastic introduction to the subject, written by an Australian musician who first came to Greece in 1965 and has been interested in Greek music ever since. Gail Holst describes her own initiation into rembetika, outlines its historical and sociological background, its musical characteristics and instrumentation. The second part of the book is a collection of rembetika songs translated into English. The text is illustrated with photographs of the period, musical examples and original manuscripts of the songs.
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