Mantinades (plural of mantinada) are the most common form of folk song and are widespread across Crete. The Cretan mantinada is a 15-syllable rhyming couplet in Cretan dialect. Each mantinada is complete in itself in spite of its short length, like a limerick. There are however some mantinades used to answer others, in which case their meaning is complementary.
The mantinada is the unique way in which young and old in Crete can express their many and varied emotions: sorrow, joy, hope, desire, love, anger, revenge, nostalgia. Thousands of mantinades have been composed and are still being improvised on every facet of human life. Most are to do with love and romance, but there are also satiric, didactic, teasing couplets or verses on exile, engagement, marriage, everyday life and of course death and losing loved ones.
Mantinades are told at festivals accompanied by the lyre, or on their own in company, at the cafe, in everyday conversation. Most are not written down even in a notebook, and even fewer are published. Many are told and forgotten, but the best are learnt off by heart and passed on by word of mouth.
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Application name: Mantinades free
Last update date: March 2014
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