Karagouna/Svarniara(S*) Music YouTubes- Greece

*S is for Song. So? A song and/or melody has a life independent of whatever dance it may be attached to. Why that’s important is explained here.

SVARNIARA – There are several tunes and songs used in Greece to accompany the dance known as Karagouna. Almost all are vehicles for clarinet (klarino in Greek) players to show off their lower register. Often they are strung into medleys. One of the most popular melodies today (it has no lyrics that I know of) is Svarniara. Sometimes the dance karagouna is called svarniara, simply because it starts with the Svarniara melody. The Svarniara melody is also used to accompany other dances in Thessaly.

Nikos Karakostas, 1934.
NIKOS TZOUKOPOULOS – “Karagouna or Svarniara” {Organic}. Starts with Svarniara.
Ioannis Isoufis, Klarino. Recording from a vinyl LP LP of 1979 of the Association for the dissemination of National Music -Violia: Socrates Krommydas -Lauto: Christos Salis
The tempo can sometimes be very slow.
Long introductions are common. This one lasts 1 minute 27 seconds. Yiannis Karayiorgos
Vangelis Soukas. Though labeled ‘Karagouna’, this sweems more like ‘Svarniara’ to me.
SVARNAS KOSTAS Another ‘Karagouna’ that seems more like a ‘Svarniara’

KARAGOÚNA. At least two other songs are popular for accompanying the dance Karagoúna. Though the melodies and subjects are different, each has Karagoúna in the title because they are about or addressed to a Karagoúna woman. One of the most popular is Καραγκούνα πάει να πλύνει “Karagouna Goes to Wash”.

Another rendition of “Karagouna goes to wash”. The singer is Georgia Mittaki.
A more modern version, with “Ayde Karagouna” inserted.
A good choice for displaying a fluid voice. Artist – Gioula Kotrotsou.
Album – I megali foni tou dimotikou tragoudiou No1

The best-known song outside of Greece for acccompanying the dance Karagouna is commonly known as ‘Ayde Karagouna, because whatever else the lyrics say, the song always features the phrase “Ayde Karagouna”, often at the very beginning.

Karagouna – 1950 – Dhimitris Valahangelis, klarino. Folk Songs and Dances of Thessaly / Greek Phonograph / Recordings 1928 – 1953 ℗ 2003 Hellenicrecord Released on: 2003-07-12 Music Publisher: Hellenicrecord Auto-generated by YouTube.
Artist: Vaios Maliaras. Album: Ta Oraiotera Dimotika Tragoudia
At some point musicians started introducing a syrto melody (played in the upper register) towards the end of the dance sequence. This rendition dates from 1952; the syrto starts at 1:15. Dance performing groups began adding a syrto dance because of the popularity of this arrangement. At one point it was the definitive music for performing Karagouna, (and is the version most recreational folk dancers know), but around the turn of the 21st century the arrangement and its choreography fell out of favour in Greece. VAIOS MALIARAS, klarino.
Here the syrto starts at 1:18 and again at 2:25.
Vinyl album titled ” Songs of Thessaly ” which was originally released in 1974 – 75 and was reissued on CD in 2002 by the Association for the Dissemination of National Music.
Musicians play: Costas Philippos – Clarinet; Miltiadis Paraskevas – violin; Thanasis Gianniotis – Lute
Tasos Halkias. Stats with Karagouna Goes to Wash, then Ayde Karagouna, then Syrto.
Typical modern performance, including tempo. Giannis Gouziotis, singer; Nikos Tzoukopoulos, Klarino
A pop chestnut. Here’s Christos Dantis.
A nice raw street version. Violin: Anastasios Theodoridis. Bouzouki: Stratos Mitilineos. Guitar: Arhilea Theodoridis. Singer: Vick Tsaccounis

For English lyrics to some of these songs, see https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/karagouna-english-lyrics/

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