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BANDS

In Greece there is a plethora of local music ensembles with mainly wind instruments and percussions. They are called "Philarmoniki" and are similar to brass bands or fanfara elsewhere. Usually they are created and supported by authorities like municipalities or military and security units.

Instruments: They usually include:
- Brass (trumpet, trombone, open horn , tuba)
- Woodwinds (clarinet, saxophone, flute)
- Percussions (snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, vibraphone)
Percussions are hung with belts from the performers neck to enable the ensemble to walk while playing the instruments. On rare occasions a double bass is also included in the ensemble.

Historical Information: This type of music ensembles originates from the military "fanfara" of the Middle Ages that originally included horns, snare drums and fifes. The Baroque injected brass and woodwinds into bands, while in the 19th century the bass drum and cymbals that existed in Turkish military bands were also added. the saxophone was the last instrument to be included.
Military bands appeared in Greece in mid 19th century and had a great impact on Greek music. Their contribution mainly focuses on Greek folk music that was enriched with new instruments like the clarinet and brass instruments.

Repertoire: The bands' repertoire mostly comprises of marching songs performed in national and religious events. Some bands (like in Corfu), however, also perform opera preludes and orchestral versions of popular songs. Some bands attempt to enlarge their repertoire as well as their role in local societies.

Education: Bands have a great role in local music education. Bands provided children from rural areas with the opportunity to develop basic music reading and playing skills. Many of these children continue to participate in the band even when they are older, while some continue their music education elsewhere.

Bands that host an Internet address (usually in Greek)

  • Agia Varvara Philharmonic It was founded by the Municipal Conservatory of Agia Varvara. All citizens are able to participate.
  • Agia Paraskevi Philharmonic It was founded in 1968 in order to contribute to the city's music education.
  • Aigeira Philharmonic "Arion o Kitharodos" It was founded in 1980. It participates in many cultural-religious events, as well as in the "Elikeion-Anthestirion" festival in Aigio.
  • Gastourio Philharmonic "Omonia" It was founded in 1898 in Corfu. It has participated in several events in Greece and abroad. In 1960 it won first place in the 7th carnival of the French village Club Mediterranee and at the 1st Corfu Flower Festival. In May 1995, it participated in the 4th Philharmonic Festival in S. Filadelfia with the participation of Kleio Denardou.
  • Agrinio Municipality Philharmonic It was founded in 1896. The band participates in various activities both in the city and elsewhere. It consists of 50 musicians and 80 students.The Various Music Orchestra is part of the Philharmonic. Vasilis Konidas is the director of the Philharmonic as well as the Orchestra.
  • Vathy Municipality Philharmonic It was founded in Samos and after changing many names it was established by Stefanos Katsikakis as the New Philharmonic in 1945. The band consists of 30 people and has 15 students. It participates in many religious and political events, as well as in national celebrations.
  • Thessaloniki Municipality Philharmonic It was founded in 1936. It was a predecessor to the Thessaloniki State Orchestra and still exists as a separate music ensemble. The band has participated in many concerts and has cooperated with many significant artists. Kleanthis Zaribas is its leading musician since January 1998.
  • Kalamaria Municipality Philharmonic (Thessaloniki) It was founded in 1983. it has performed in many countries (Slovakia, Hungary, England, Bulgaria, U.S.A., Canada).
  • Kynopiastes Philharmonic (Corfu). Founded in 1966 by a group of progressive inhabitants of the Kynopiastes village at Corfu.
  • Ithaca Philharmonic It was founded in 1904 and provides free music education to young people in the island.
  • Ioannina Philharmonic It was founded in 1917. It consists of 55 musicians and has 40 students.
  • Kallithea Rhodes Philharmonic It was founded in 1996. It consists of amateur musicians. The band performs in ecclesiastic and cultural events, as well as national celebrations.
  • Corfu Philharmonic Association It was founded in 1840 and it is known as the "Old Philharmonic". Nikolaos Mantzaros was its "lifelong President and Director". It was the first band to perform the Greek National Anthem. It also performed the Olympic Anthem by the composer Spyros Samaras in the first contemporary Olympic Games.
  • Korakiana Philharmonic "Spyros Samaras" (Corfu) It was founded in 1958. It consists of approximately 100 musicians and constitutes one of the largest music associations in Corfu that offers lessons in music, vocalization, theater, dance, etc. It includes "Bandina", "Light music orchestra" and "Various ensembles". It was awarded by the Academy of Athens.
  • Karlovasi Philharmonic "Kleanthis o Samios" It was founded in 1895. It is present in every music event of the city's life.
  • Leros Philharmonic
  • Lefkada Philharmonic Association It was founded in 1850. It is the second philharmonic founded in Greece. It has performed in various concerts in Greece and abroad. A music school, a band, bandina and music ensembles are housed in the facilities of the philharmonic. It has more than 1000 members and was awarded by the Academy of Athens in 1983.
  • "Mantzaros"Philharmonic Association (Corfu) It was founded 1890. Its goal is to provide free music education. It includes a band, light music orchestra and chamber music ensembles. It has participated in many events in Greece and abroad. Its most significant performance was in the 17th European Philharmonics Festival in Vienna, were it represented Greece and won an honorary award. In 1987 it was awarded by the Academy of Athens.
    Xanthi Philharmonic
  • Orestiada Philharmonic It has a large repertoire and performs in cultural events as well as parades.
  • Peristeri Philharmonic It was founded in 1994. It performs in various events in the municipality as well as in other areas. It consists of 25 musicians, mostly amateurs.
  • Salamina Philharmonic It was founded in 1978. It provides free lessons to people over ten years of age that also participate in various events of the philharmonic.
  • Tripoli Philharmonic It is the city's oldest music institution. It includes the main band and the bandina with children participation.
  • Chalandri Philharmonic
  • Orchomenos Philharmonic Orchestra Accessible through the website orchomenos.gr It hosts detailed information on the orchestra.
  • Corfu Philharmonics 1 Accessible through the website Terrakerkyra.gr It hosts detailed information on Corfu's philharmonics.
  • Corfu Philharmonics 2 Accessible through the website corfuhellas.com. It includes photographs and links to the webpages of Corfu's philharmonics.