Heritage and tradition – Music
The Sephardim Jews brought their traditions, literature, philosophy, professional and scientific know-how and their music. The “Romances” tradition was particularly vibrant amongst the Jews of Rhodes.
The Rhodian Jews served as significant carriers of the long lasting Sepharadic heritage since they did not only preserve but also contributed in the perpetuation of the Sephardic tradition.
The themes were numerous: religious lessons, moral values, stories of the Kings and Queens, and the life major events as birth, marriage and death. Many songs expressed love, happiness and sadness: some were humorous, other mournful.
They are largely distinguished by the employment of exceptional romances, extended narrative ballads that have survived from the epical Spanish poetry of the 13th century combined with the influence of ottoman sounds.
Other favorable songs include the erotic koplas as well others that contain a religious, moral and satiric element.
The tradition of signing helped the people remain optimistic and strong, in spite of the relatively poor conditions in which they lived.
Women commonly sang them while completing their everyday chores without accompanying instruments as well as during special occasions.