|Epirus Polyphonic Song|
The polyphonic song of Epirus constitutes one of the most interesting musical forms, not only for the east Mediterranean and the Balkans, but also for the worldwide repertoire of the Folk Polyphony.
The origin of this polyphonic form, in spite of the fact that the research hasn’t reached certain conclusions yet, is considered to be very old (possibly, even pre-Hellenic). The melodies of polyphonic songs, including some more songs of Epirus and Thessaly, are the only ones in Greece that have preserved the five-tone scale without semitones (a scale consisted of five tones without semitones). According to some musicologists, this scale is identified with the Doric way of ancient Greeks, the par excellence “ Hellenic harmony”. Except from its scale, what pleads for the very old origin of the kind is its vocal, collective, rhetorical and modal character.
These days, polyphonic song is found in northwestern Ioannina County (villages of Pogoni, Parakalamos and some villages north of Konitsa), in very few villages in northeastern Thesprotia
(Tsamantas, Lias, Vavouri, Povla) and, mainly, in Northern Epirus, in the villages of the Greek minority in south Albania (Deropolis, Upper Pogoni, Vuthroto, Chimarra).
Polyphonic groups of Epirus consist of four members at least. There are four distinct roles that compound the group.