Music in North Cyprus is diverse, from folk and traditional to jazz and classical.
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Music in North Cyprus

Bellapais Music Festival
Bellapais Music Festival
photo by: Anonymous
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Whatever your taste in music, North Cyprus will be playing it, and sometimes in the most unusual places.

Music at Bellapais Abbey, North Cyprus

If you sit in a café near Bellapais Abbey and a grand piano goes by on the back of a tractor, don’t worry, you haven’t imbibed too much! Bellapais Abbey in Northern Cyprus hosts an international Music Festival every April and May, when concerts and recitals are held in the vaulted Refectory Hall. The acoustics are brilliant, the atmosphere unbeatable and the ruins utterly magnificent.

Music at the International Famagusta Culture and Art Festival

Concerts at the International Famagusta Culture and Art Festival in Northern Cyprus are much more down to earth than at Bellapais, and you’re just as likely to hear a jazz group, or a reggae band, or even a Turkish international pop star! The festival happens every July, and has a programme that shows a healthy sense of fun, often missing in other European "culture" festivals. They are usually hold in Salamis Theatre in Famagusta.

Folk and Traditional Music in North Cyprus

Folk music and folk dancing are very popular in North Cyprus, and chances are, your North Cyprus hotel will organise a folk evening so you can enjoy the very best, authentic performances, right to your table edge! This might also include fasil, traditional Turkish music.

Fasil, Turkish classical music, on North Cyprus

Fasil is a form of Ottoman court music, where various modes or scales known as ‘makams’ are formed into a work. A fasil consists of a prelude, postlude and a first section that begins and ends with improvised music. If you go to a fasil concert in North Cyprus, the programme will include four instrumental pieces and three vocal pieces, some dating back to the 14th century. It really is music that evokes visions of souring minarets and Persian markets!

Music in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

While concerts are occasionally held at the castle, music in Kyrenia North Cyprus is much more based around the bars and restaurants near the harbour. Often, it’s a case of ‘following your ears”, as many bars offer ‘live music’ in the evenings. Be advised that ‘live music’ in Northern Cyprus also includes DJ sets, so you never quite know what you might encounter! Dedicated dance music fans should head to the new clubs west of Kyrenia, rather than Northern Cyprus hotel discos, which tend to play mainstream pop. Your own North Cyprus hotel probably puts on live music at least once a week; ask reception for details. The Neo Bar (in the former NightJar premises) also boast a line-up of DJs, bands and soloists, as well as comedians.

Jazz in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

The Rocks Hotel in Kyrenia features live jazz from Thursday to Sunday. The hotel also hosts the December Kyrenia Jazz Festival, which is increasingly attracting international names to come and play.

Music in Nicosia and other Cities in North Cyprus

As with Kyrenia, live music in other cities in North Cyprus tends to be provided either as part of a hotel’s entertainment programme, or by individual bars and restaurants in the town. Ask at your Northern Cyprus hotel reception for details of local venues, or just see what’s being advertised around town.

Live Music Listings for North Cyprus

You can find listings for many music events in Cyprus Today newspaper, Essential Cyprus Magazine or North Cyprus Magazine.