The first online educational platform exclusively dedicated to the rebetiko music genre was recently launched and offers free access to anyone wishing to learn about the Greek urban folk music or gain more insight into how to play.
The platform was named REDU, from the initials of the English words Rebetiko and EDUcational, and aspires to help disseminate the knowledge about rebetiko, both technical and theoretical.
The idea for REDU’s creation was born by Greek musician Dimitris Mistakidis when he came to realize that many people around the world who are interested in studying this music, for various reasons do not have access to in-person teaching.
An idea that started during lockdown
Its first phase materialized two years later, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the Digital Actions program of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.
At the current stage, the platform provides educational material from the work of rebetiko composer and guitarist Kostas Skarvelis.
Despite its stating that no online platform can substitute the in-person teaching process, REDU consists a useful tool for those who wish to advance their knowledge in the rebetiko music genre, which forms part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
For now, the material available on the platform is designed mainly for the folk guitar, but can be used by all musicians, regardless of the instrument that they play.
Rich educational material for rebetiko enthusiasts
The platform’s content is free to access and is available in English and Greek.
Users of REDU will find the lyrics and historical information on each song, as well as a morphological and modal analysis.
Then there is the full score of each song in interactive format, where the user can intervene by changing the playback speed, choosing which of all the channels of the composition they wants to listen to by seeing the corresponding part of the score illuminated, as well as any combination of instruments recorded in multichannel format.
There is also the option to play in loop mode for any area of the song that the user chooses for ease of study, and quick transport buttons to the key parts of the song.
Detailed tutorial videos showing how the songs were played in half speed are also included.
Anyone who is not interested in the educational aspect of the platform, can simply enjoy the renditions of songs recorded by top contemporary musicians and singers.