The so-called “rembetiko” , that is the urban folk song, appeared together with the development of the first urban Centres in the 19th century. Most original are the songs of mainland Greece and those from Asia Μinor. There exist, however, tunes imported by the Bavarians which combined with Greek verses were soon incorporated in the Greek song repertoire. The Athenian cantatas as well as those of the Ionian islands originate from the belcanto, which was also imported from Italy around this time.

New melodies were introduced in Greece by touring theatrical groups from Europe. Ιn 1894 the Greek revue was born, while in the early 20th century the Greek operetta appeared. The year 1926 is quite significant for the history of modern Greek song with the emergence of the composer Attic. Returning from Paris, Attic introduced songs with a”subject”. Since then, a number of music-and-verse composers appear on the scene, whose work marks and represents their time. On the other hand, the “rembetiko” song continues to exist, aIthough restricted to a certain social strata. The situation changed radically in 1950, when Manos Chatzidakis made popular with the bourgeoisie the magic of bouzouki. Since 1976, a new trend is obserνed. Verse in translation put to original Greek music produce a repertoire of quality songs.