Rebetiko had been evaluated as the music of sub-cultures and outsiders until it popularized. The performers of rebetiko lived in different cities, such as İstanbul, İzmir, Athens and Piraeus. After Population Exchange in 1923, most of the performers left their homelands and then rebetiko became “refugees' music”. The themes of lyrics were on love, death, exile, nostalgia/homesickness, and also war, pain, etc. Some Rebetiko songs and instruments such as bouzouki were sometimes banned by the government because of lyrics and considering as a “eastern culture”. Despite restriction and exclusion, rebetiko achieved to stay alive. During that period rembetiko widened its impact area and reached larger masses by some popular artists such as Theodorakis and Hadzjidakis. Rebetiko has become the voice of Greece with the development of tourism. This was followed by the addition of rembetiko to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2017. Hence, a sub-culture music has become a part of “national culture” The article focuses on the shifting situation of rembetiko in Greece and thus it indicates the dynamics of cultural production.
Keywords: rebetiko, inteagible cultural heritage, tourism, migration