The musical instruments of the Cretans are an integral part of life and musical tradition. In all social and family events they sing, with the accompaniment of instruments.
Four are the main instruments of Crete and Chania:
• Lyre (Lyre Achladosximi, Lyraki, Viololyra)
It is the dominant and most representative instrument of Crete. It was played since ancient times on the island, with a slightly altered form.
• The Lute
It is an evolution from the Renaissance lute, while today, apart from an accompanying instrument, it is also played solo and performs perfectly the Cretan melodies.
• The Violin
It is a beloved musical instrument of Chania and had a great impact on the Cretans until the interwar period, while ever since the lyre has taken its place.
• The Mandolin
Its appearance dates back to the Venetian occupation of the island. Today it mainly plays as a solo instrument.
Other traditional musical instruments less known are:
• The Boulgari (stringed)
• The Askomantoura (brass instrument made of goat skin)
• The Thiampioli or Sfyrochamplio (brass, type of flute)
• The Daouli (type of drum)