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GREEK NEWS

The Laterna, the Iconic Instrument of Greek Street Musicians

Laterna greek musicSpyros Tarapossos and his laterna, a sweet musical instrument much like a music box. Credit: Greek Reporter

Any visitor to Ermou, the main shopping street in Athens, has likely seen Spyros Tarapossos and his laterna, or barrel piano.

The laterna is an automatic piano that is operated by turning a crank on the side of the instrument. It is portable and usually moved by four wheels on the bottom of its case.

Like much smaller music boxes, it works by a crank turning a cylinder fitted with metal pegs which pluck respective strings, producing music. A traditional Greek laterna usually has a repertoire of nine songs.

The history of the Greek laterna

Grecian Delight supports Greece

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