Laïkó (Greek: λαϊκό τραγούδι, pronounced [laiˈko traˈɣuði], "song of the people"; "popular song", pl: laïká [tragoudia]), is a Greek music genre composed in Greek language in accordance with the tradition of the Greek people. Also called folk song or urban folk music (Gr: αστική λαϊκή μουσική or λαϊκά τραγούδια laïká tragoudia), in its plural form is a Greek music genre which has taken many forms over the years. Laïkó followed after the commercialization of Rebetiko music. It is strongly dominated by Greek folk music and it is used to describe Greek popular music as a whole. When used in context, it refers mostly to the form it took in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Music of Greece
General topics
Specific forms
Media and performance
Music awards
Music charts
Music festivals
Music media
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem"Hymn to Liberty"
Regional music
Related areasCyprus, Pontus, Constantinople, South Italy
Regional styles
Stylistic origins
Cultural origins1960s, Greece
Typical instruments
Derivative forms

Rebetiko and Elafró tragoudi

Until the 1930s the Greek discography was dominated by two musical genres: the Greek folk music (Demotiká) and the Elafró tragoudi (literally: "light[weight] song"). The latter was represented by ensembles of singers/musicians or solo artists like Attik and Nikos Gounaris. It was the Greek version of the international popular music of the era. In the 1930s the first rebetiko recordings had a massive impact on Greek music. As Markos Vamvakaris stated "we were the first to record laïká (popular) songs". In the years to follow this type of music, the first form of what is now called laïkó tragoudi, became the mainstream Greek music.

Elafró tragoudi artists


Rebetiko artists


Classic laïkó

Classic laïkó as it is known today, was the mainstream popular music of Greece during the 1960s and 1970s. Laiko music evolved from the traditional Greek music of the ancient and the medieval Greek era and was established until the present day.[1][2] Laïkó was dominated by singers such as Nikos Xanthopoulos and composers such as Mimis Plessas. Among the most significant songwriters and lyricists of this period are George Zambetas and the big names of the Rebetiko era that were still in business, like Vassilis Tsitsanis and Manolis Chiotis. Many artists combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Stavros Xarchakos and Mimis Plessas.





Contemporary laïkó

Contemporary laïkó (σύγχρονο λαϊκό) (also called Modern laïkó or laïko-pop) can be called in Greece the mainstream music genre, with variations in plural form as Contemporary laïká. Along with Modern laïká in Greek is currently Greece's mainstream music genre. The main cultural Greek dances and rhythms of today's Greek music culture laïká are Nisiotika, Syrta, Antikristos, Rebetika, Hasapiko, Zeibekiko, Kalamatianos, Kangeli and Syrtaki.

The more cheerful version of laïkó, called elafró laïkó (ελαφρολαϊκό – elafrolaïkó, "light laïkó") and it was often used in musicals during the Golden Age of Greek cinema. Τhe Greek Peiraiotes superstar Tolis Voskopoulos gave the after-modern version of Greek Laïko (Ελληνικό Λαϊκό) listenings. Many artists have combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Mimis Plessas and Stavros Xarchakos.

Contemporary laïká emerged as a style in the early 1980s. An indispensable part of the contemporary laïká culture is the písta (Greek: πίστα; pl.: πίστες), "dance floor/venue". Night clubs at which the DJs play only contemporary laïká where colloquially known on the 90s as ellinádhika. Modern laiko is mainstream Greek laïkó music mixed in with modern Western influences, from such international mainstream genres as pop music and dance. Renowned songwriters or lyricists of contemporary laïká include Alekos Chrysovergis, Nikos Karvelas, Phoebus, Nikos Terzis, Giorgos Theofanous and Evi Droutsa.


In effect, there is no single name for contemporary laïká in the Greek language, but it is often formally referred to as σύγχρονο λαϊκό [ˈsiŋxrono laiˈko], a term which is however also used for denoting newly composed songs in the tradition of "proper" Laïkó; when ambiguity arises, σύγχρονο ("contemporary") λαϊκό or disparagingly λαϊκο-πόπ (laïko-pop, "folk-pop", also in the sense of "westernized") is used for the former, while γνήσιο ("proper, genuine, true") or even καθαρόαιμο ("pureblood") λαϊκό is used for the latter. The choice of contrasting the notions of "westernized" and "genuine" may often be based on ideological and aesthetic grounds. Laiko interacted more westernized sounds in the late of 2000s.[3] The term modern laïká comes from the phrase μοντέρνα λαϊκά (τραγούδια), modern songs of the people.


Despite its immense popularity, the genre of contemporary laïká (especially laïkο-pop) has come under scrutiny for "featuring musical clichés, average singing voices and slogan-like lyrics" and for "being a hybrid, neither laïkó, nor pop".[4]



See also


  1. ^ "Greek Traditional Music": Ινστιτούτο έρευνας μουσικής και ακουστικής - Institute for research on music and acoustics.
  2. ^ Samuel Baud-Bovy, Δοκίμιο για το Ελληνικό Δημοτικό Τραγούδι, 3rd edition, Πελοποννησιακό Λαογραφικό Ίδρυμα, Ναύπλιο: 1966, pp. 1–13. (Υπάρχει μια συνεχής εξέλιξη από την αρχαία Ελληνική μουσική έως και το δημοτικό τραγούδι, η οποία μαρτυρείται, εκτός από τη γλώσσα, στο ρυθμό, τη δομή και τη μελωδία).
  3. ^ The history of laiko and rebetiko song – Η ιστορία του λαϊκού τραγουδιού.
  4. ^ Article by Tasos P. Karantis on
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Antonis Remos

Antonis Remos (Greek: Αντώνης Ρέμος, pronounced [anˈdonis ˈremos]) (born Antonios Paschalidis; Greek: Αντώνης Πασχαλίδης; 19 June 1970), is a Greek singer.


Chrispa (Greek: Χρύσπα, born Chrisanthi-Pagona Pitiropoulou on 7 December 1982) is a Greek singer. She has released five studio albums.

Constantinos Christoforou

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Eleftheria Arvanitaki

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Eleni Foureira (Greek: Ελένη Φουρέιρα; born 7 March 1987) is Greek singer and dancer. She began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, before pursuing a solo career after the group disbanded in 2009.

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She represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Fuego". On 8 May 2018, she qualified from the first semi-final to the grand final, where she finished second with 436 points. This is the best result Cyprus ever achieved in the contest.

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Elli Kokkinou (Greek pronunciation: [ˈeli koˈcinu]; Greek: Έλλη Κοκκίνου) (born July 24, 1970) is a Greek singer who was born in Athens, Greece. Kokkinou is among the most popular singers in Greece today. She has performed together with Greek music stars such as Anna Vissi, Glykeria, Paschalis Terzis, Sakis Rouvas, Tolis Voskopoulos, Thanos Petrelis, Natassa Theodoridou, Despina Vandi, Giorgos Tsalikis and Kalomoira. Kokkinou has been certified for the sales of 135 thousand albums by IFPI Greece. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Kokkinou the 27th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era (since 1960).

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List of radio stations in Greece

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In March 2001, the Greek government closed approximately 60 of 90+ FM stations operating in the Athens area, citing potential interference to frequencies to be used by the new Athens International Airport. There are some who believe that the government shut down these stations as a political favour to powerful publishing and media groups, whose stations, for the most part, remained on the air; others argued that the licensing process was legally inconsistent.

The Greek broadcast licensing process came under legal scrutiny as a result, and in 2002, eight of the closed stations reopened. In 2004 and 2005, several more stations reopened as the result of a judicial order. Stations have continued to open since then. Most of them are unlicensed and lack legal permission to broadcast; many of these stations were among those shut down by the Greek government in 2001. Throughout the country, no radio station is operating with a formal license as of March 2019; instead, stations are operating with temporary permits of legality with no expiration date, or simply operate without any legal status whatsoever.

The following is a list of major FM stations in Greece; this list is being upgraded.

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