A particularly popular and much-loved melody found from Constantinople to Cyprus, it can be heard across the whole of Greece today. It is played as a wedding patinada, accompanying the bride and groom to the church, but also as a syrtos or ballaristos dance at celebrations of every kind. The Silyvrian syrtos has been recorded on numerous occasions, either as an instrumental tune or as a song with erotic couplets, in which form it has been sung by great singers including Roza Eskenazi and Giota Lydia to great acclaim.
It was presumably composed by folk musicians from Silyvria,* a town which, like its neighbour Raidestos, contributed a good deal to our ecclesiastical and folk music during the final centuries of Turkish rule.
Theodor Kondaras (2022)
* Silyvria (Selybria, modern Silivri): a coastal city on the Sea of Marmara, near Constantinople.
The church of Agios Spyridon in Silyvria
Postal card of the early 20th century. Offered by Zafiropoulou family© Domna Samiou Archive
Live recording from the concert Songs of Asia Minor with Domna Samiou at the Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall, on 8/3/2005.