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Rebetiko Seminar

Every year since 2009, during the second fortnight of July, the Seminar-Meeting for the Greek urban folk song, takes place at the Faltaits Museum.

Every year since 2009, during the second fortnight of July, the Seminar-Meeting for the Greek urban folk song, takes place at the Faltaits Museum.

This musical meeting, with its parallel events, has become much more than a mere seminar. It has become an institution that has taken root in this Aegean island. It has been warmly embraced by the local administration and community and has created and axis to deepen human relations, as it unites people from different countries and cultures under the common goal of our urban folk music, and entertains their psychological needs, offering not only knowledge, but also unforgettable moments of entertainment.

As is well known, the cultural life of Skyros has for decades been directly connected to the existence and action of the Faltaits Museum. The Museum, since its establishment in 1964 by Manos and Anastasia, as an ark of culture, has contributed with its cultural activities to preserve Skyros' history and culture, but also the cultural live of Greece in general, through finding and preserving 3000 tools and objects from Greece's traditional economy, as well as its collection of rare publications and historical documents from the 16th century.

The rebetiko and folk song could not be excluded from the Faltaits family's multi-faceted interests.

Konstantinos Faltaits had researched, since 1915, the early stages of the rebetiko song and a few years later, in 1929, after thorough research, collected and published in the "Bouketo" magazine "the songs of the baglama", information that enrich our knowledge of the rebetiko songs, in an article titled "How prisoners, pickpockets and hashish consumers sing". Recent evidence from the archives of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI), shows that K. Faltaits wrote, among others, lyrics and music for amane, rebetika and traditional songs.

"Like father like son" they say. The founder of the Museum, Manos Faltaits, son of Konstantinos Faltaits, grafted with all this family tradition, a man with positive energy and advanced ideas and analyses for his time, took the rebetiko issue a step forward, through his texts and analyses about the rebetiko, the composer Dimitris Gogos (Bayanderas), the "mortes, koutsavakia and mages", etc.

Recently, Manos decided to begin the long journey to the space of ideas, leaving behind him a sense of loss, but also his positive energy, to keep us company at the watch-tower area. His companion Anastasia continues his work. Anastasia, a practical person but also a visionary, mapped out a new course for the Rebetiko Seminar-Meeting on the island of Skyros. Our ultimate aim is to establish and create an institution, which will contribute to the prospect of European integration, through the intercultural communication between Europe and countries of the Mediterranean, having as a vehicle the common language of folk music.

George Makris