In a recent issue of Popular Music devoted to the music of the Middle East, Martin Stokes and Ruth Davis note that ‘the movement of Middle Eastern sounds into Western cultural spaces … has largely been ignored’ (1996, p. 255) and that ‘Middle Eastern popular musics will probably continue to mark an unassimilable and unwelcome “otherness” for most Europeans and Americans’ (ibid, p. 257). In this paper, written partly in response to these remarks, I examine the movement of contemporary Middle Eastern sounds into Greek cultural space and Greek musical culture, a musical culture that has an affinity with ‘Eastern’ musics but also a strong sense of its own identity. Middle Eastern music can indeed take on the form of an ‘unwelcome “otherness”’ in Greece and I shall provide examples of this from my own fieldwork on the Greek island of Crete. Greece and the Greek islands are outposts, on the European periphery, on the frontier between ‘the East’ and ‘the West’, where a history of confrontations, invasions and forced exchanges in political, economic and demographic terms with the Middle East has ensued for millenia. Greece and Turkey still remain in dispute over territory from the Thracian borderlands to the smaller islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea.