The people of Zakynthos (Zante) adore dancing, singing and music. During the Venetian Rule, the locals used wind instruments, which was a cause of their later influence by the Italian musical traditions.
Thus they imported their strings from nearby Italy. The island\'s characteristic music is "Kandatha", sung in the streets of the town with the accompaniment of the mandoline, the guitar and improvised lyrics and "arekia", which was an influence from Creatan musical traditions.
Today, on the island is a multitude of orchestras of mandolines, following in the steps of the first Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1816.
The guitar is a well-known string instrument which is played at the serenades and festivals of the Ionian people. Ancient Egyptian depictions bear witness to its age. It was introduced to Spain by the Arabs and during the 12th century it was spread to the rest of Europe. Although it was used mainly for accompaniment, there were many great guitarists, in the 19th century especially. Among them were Caroulli, Giuliani, Aguando Garcia and later Segovia. The guitar played an essential part in many operas like Rossini\'s "Barber of Seville", Donitsetti\'s "Don Pascuale", and Verdi\'s "Oberon".
The mandolin is a string instrument one can find especially on the Ionian islands. Most of the Ionian people play the mandolin. In their gatherings, one plays and another accompanies with the guitar while the rest sing along. It originated from mandola, the biggest instrument of a lute variation. It has four pairs of metallic chords which one strikes with a small pick. In all probability, it came from its neighbour Italy, where it is very popular. Great musicians have composed pieces for the mandolin. Vivaldi wrote "Concert for two Mandolins" and Bethoven "Five Pieces for Mandolin and Piano".