Music in Crete is an integral part of the culture and plays a very important social role. Cretan music is actually one of the oldest in Europe (it dates backs to 500 BC). If you are invited into a Cretan home, you will most likely be given a small concert and maybe even a lesson in traditional dance. Children often start to learn playing at a very young age, as the music is passed down from generation to generation. A very popular instrument in Greek music is the bouzouki, which is a cousin of the guitar and the mandolin. It is a type of lute with a long neck and a rounded back, and is played with a pectrum. It gives off a sharp metallic sound produced by the metal lining in the body. Also from the lute family, the saz and the tambura. The main instrument played in Cretan music is the lyre, which appeared in the 17th century BC and was introduced by musicians from Rethymnon. As for dance, it has been around since the Minoan era. Called the Sousta, it is danced with a partner or in circles.