The most important music instrument on Crete is the lyre. The three dimensional bow and string instrument with its pear shaped torso is held in front of the body, placed on the knee and it is played with bow. The torso of the lyre is built out of one piece of selected white or black cedar wood.
The second classical instrument in the Cretan folklore music is the lute with 8 strings. The smaller version is called the mandolin. Other instruments are the guitar and the flute. At traditional Cretan parties these instruments are used to support the ‘mandinades’. Mandinades are improvised poems with an often satirical, social or erotic content.