Changes wrought on early 20th century society left their imprint on musical culture in Heraklion. In the towns and cities of Crete, the Turco-Cretan amanes tradition rubbed shoulders with the rural mantinada and the musical tradition freshly arrived from port towns on the shores of Asia Minor. This intermingling gave rise to a type of urban song known as the Tambachaniotiko.

A further phase in Heraklion urban music began with the arrival of refugees from Armenia and, more importantly, of Asia Minor Greeks after 1922. In the area known as Lakkos and the refugee neighbourhoods, groups of musicians playing at get-togethers maintained the tradition.

The instruments most commonly played were the stringed bulgari and outi, the dulcimer (sandouri), the zither (kanonaki), the fiddle, the bouzouki, the guitar, the tambourine and the drum.

Santouri (dulcimer) and kanonaki (zither), folk instruments played by Asia Minor Greeks, Lavirinthos Music Workshop, 2004 (photograph: Multimedia Lab, Houdetsi, Heraklion)
Asia Minor refugees playing the santouri (type of dulcimer) and fiddle in a taverna in Ak Tambia, Heraklion, 1926
Asia Minor refugees at a get-together in Atsalenio, Heraklion
Tambourine and clay drum
A group of Armenian musicians at the Small Hamam in the neighbourhood of Agios Matthaios, Heraklion
Outi, traditional string instrument, 2004 (photograph: Multimedia Lab)