The music of Cyprus includes a variety of classical, folk and popular genres. Recent trends have seen the rise of Agia Napa, a resort, as a home for UK garage music, similar in its evolution to that of the island Ibiza .
Cyprus changed hands numerous times prior to the medieval era, and was an important outpost of Christianity and European civilization during the Crusades . The tumultuous history introduced a variety of styles, including music from Armenia , France , Greece and Arabs . The island’s peak as a cultural capital of Europe occurred from 1359 to 1432 .
During that peak, Pierre 1 de Lusignan made a three year tour of Europe, bringing with him an entourage of musicians that so impressed Charles V in Rheims that he donated 80 francs in gold to them. On his return to Cyprus , Pierre I brought with him the French Ars Nova and, later, the Ars Subtilior. French musicians became well established in Cyprus , and the city of Nicosia became a capital of the Ars Subtilior style.
Pierre 1’s successor, Janus 1 de Lusignan saw Cypriot music evolve into its own variety of music. His daughter, Anna, brought a manuscript after her marriage to Louis, Count of Geneva, which contained 159 folios with over two hundred polyphonic compositions, both sacred and secular. The manuscript is now contained within the National Library of Turin.
The folk music of the Greek-speaking population of Cyprus shares some characteristics with other regional Greek music. Ornamental patterns are transmitted by oral tradition and are added at the discretion of the player. One pattern, a slide either to a note or between two notes, is found on the Greek mainland, the Greek islands, and Cyprus . This example of a Cypriot wedding dance features violin and guitar.
North Cyprus is becoming a generous host to cultural events. The island began to host many cultural events over the past few years.
Bellapais Abbey in Kyrenia , North Cyprus which has witnessed singing the old songs for ages now hosts modern and classical concerts these days. During the spring months of April and May Bellapais Abbey plays host and array of celebrated musicians all over the world. Organized by the TRNC friends of Music Society, The fourth of these international concerts was held this year and featured world famous pianist Viv Mclean Matthew Barley on Viola and solo pianist Ozgur Aydin.
Numerous concerts have been performed in this 13th Century Lusignan Monastery. Salamis , in Famagusta is another such historic site used for concerts. Both of these places will now host cultural activities and music festivals during spring and summer periods.
It is possible to listen to many artiest courtesy of Famagusta municipality’s annual music festival. Apart from the packed festival program there are individual events to entertain music lovers. A jazz concert, for example, was staged on 27th May in Famagusta. Titled jazz from Paris this unforgettable concert featured the world famous Gilbert Stigrist.
Today, Turkish music is a fusion of classical art music, folk songs, Ottoman military music, Islamic hymns and the norms of western art music.
Classical Turkish music is the courtly music of the Ottoman sultans that is an offspring of the Arabic and Persian traditions. This music is not written down in scores; with only the maquam, which is a similar pattern of major-minor scale system, being marked down. Improvisation (taksim) is a traditional variation technique, featuring the form. One of the characteristics of Turkish classical and folk music, as well as the military music and the hymns, is being monophonic. There are about 24 unequal intervals and almost numberless modes.