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Issue 7

(Fall 2005)






Giorgos Sakallieros: Sequential art-music aspects on the folksong “Ainte koimisou kori mou” (“Go, sleep my daughter”); from Bourgault-Ducoudray to Skalkottas


The collection, notation and edition of Greek folksongs, later followed by harmonization and piano-accompaniment, are acknowledged, today, as a new urban conception of appreciating folk culture, its musical repertory and performance practice, dated from late 19th to the middle of the 20th century in Greece. Western-European perception of Greek folk music as an “exotic” product, as well as a basis to form art-music, set Greek composers thinking on such creativity issues over a long period of time. 

The well-known folksong “Ainte koimisou kori mou…” (“Go, sleep my daughter…”) is examined under four different interpretations of harmonization, which appear in Bourgault-Ducoudray’s folksong collection Trente mélodies populaires de Grèce et d’Orient (Paris 1876), Remantas / Zacharias’ Arion (Athens 1917), Kalomiris’ Twenty Folk Songs for voice and piano (Athens 1922) and Skalkottas’ Three Greek Folksongs for violin and piano (Athens 1946/47). Analytical procedures define aspects of modular classification and options of harmonization either as an academic discipline or as a pure compositional application. Comparative music examples and diagrams display the harmonic context under the common melodic line, while traces of Western-European art-music influence as well as ethnomusicological aspects of understanding, collecting and handling folksong material are also being under consideration, in order to reach a final conclusion.



John Plemmenos: Musical Instruments in Byzantine Hymnography


This article focuses on a rather neglected aspect of Byzantine musical culture, namely the use of musical instruments, as is attested in the context of Byzantine hymnography. Drawing for the first time on a vast material including the twelve Minaia (monthly service-books), the Octoechos (yearly service-book according to the eight modes), the Triodion (Lent service-book) and the Pentecostarion (Easter to Pentecost service-book), the author has located and discusses some 300 entries of musical instruments that were used in middle- and late-Byzantine period. The list includes wind instruments, such as salpinx (trumpet) and aulos (flute), stringed instruments, such as lyre, kithara (lute), and psalterion (zither), as well as percussion instruments, such as cymbals and tympanon (kettle-drum), and the organ, originally constructed in Constantinople in the 9th century and eventually brought to the West. Prominence is given to the wind instruments, particularly the trumpet (associated with the Apostles, and the Last Judgement), which are followed by their stringed and percussion counterparts (associated with male and female saints, respectively). The material is then projected on contemporary literary sources (historical accounts, chronicles, etc.) and pictorial evidence (miniatures, icons, etc.) to check its reliability. The analysis shows that the majority of the entries is reliable as to the description of the technical characteristics of each instrument, its acoustic effect on the listeners, and the symbolic meaning it conveyed. In the symbolic sphere, all great Byzantine hymnographers, as well as other important saints, are metaphorically described as representing a particular instrument. The article is supported by visual material of the time.



Panagiotis Poulos: Listening to innovation: The case of Tanburi Cemil Bey (1873-1916) in modern Turkish music historiography


This paper is a preliminary examination of the process of production of musicological discourse within the context of the narration of modern history of Turkish classical music, which is characterised by elements of modernist reformism. The purpose of this paper is to underline the relationship between that described by Stock (1996) as ideological basis and rhetorical devices. In this context, the Ottoman music elite participates by adopting the terms of this discourse, constructing and promoting the image of Tanburi Cemil Bey as an “innovator”. This construction serves the need for emblematic figures within the process of production of a modernist music identity. On a secondary level, this paper highlights some aspects of Tanburi Cemil Bey’s case, which, although are strongly related to the modern condition, they are not included by the official narrative of the history of modern Turkish music.



Ioannis Stavrou: Songs that were taught in the Greek schools in the 19th century


Very little research has been done regarding the teaching of Greek music in the national educational system. The study of Greek music offers useful conclusions regarding the course of music teaching, the starting line, the stages, the influences and finally the present and the future of this course. Moreover, the knowledge of how different instructive objects were taught in the education constitutes an important factor. 

The historical research suggests that there is a constant dependence of school music in the Greek educational system on the European music. This had as a result the songs that were taught in the Greek schools constitute substantially copy of foreigner songs, mainly from school musical anthologies of European countries. At the two last decades of 19th century, songs of Greek composers that were presented indicated their obvious influence from the European music. Initially, songs content refers to religion, political power, ethics and growth of corresponding feelings. Later, patriotic songs were added, with an advisory, naturalist interest, as well as wider ones. The article attempts to present the starting points of school music and to make codes of basic elements of the 19th century. Also, the poetic text and the musical notation of representative songs are presented in the present study.



Ioannis Fulias: Antis gia Oneiro”: Attempting a restoration and a comprehension of pebbles of the New-Hellenic Art Music


In 2004, the Hellenic Culture Organisation – Cultural Olympiad released the 12-CD collection “Antis gia Oneiro” [“Instead of a Dream”]. Works by Greek Composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, which contains recordings of 23 orchestral works, 16 chamber works (including some pieces for solo piano), one complete opera, as well as of 21 choral compositions and 29 art songs for voice and piano by 39 different and mostly representative Greek composers. In the first two parts of this paper are briefly examined the main criteria for the choice of the total repertory, and matters of quality regarding the edition itself and the musical interpretations. However, the larger part of this article is devoted to a critical presentation of all the recorded works by genre, occasionally style and – as far as possible – in chronological order. Many compositions are put under a bit more analytical investigation, in order to be demonstrated some special and remarkable features in these. Furthermore, several creative influences or interesting similarities among different composers and “schools” are pointed out, which allow a modern and more holistic approach of the evolution of the New-Hellenic Art Music, beyond any insipid prejudices of the (not very distant) past.



Andriana Soulele: Music in ancient drama. An interview with the composer George Kouroupos


In Greece, the plays of the ancient Greek theatre, especially the ancient tragedies, have been represented since the beginnings of the 20th century by various directors, most of the times with great success. Music in these representations has a very significant role and is necessary in order to respect the relation of speech, music and movement in the ancient tragedy. Many Greek composers, like Marios Varvoglis, Konstantinos Kydoniatis, Iannis Xenakis, Giannis Christou, have written music very successfully for the ancient tragedy, each one with his personal style. But writing music for this kind of theatre depends on many factors, like the effect of the aesthetic approach of the director and the difficulties that emerge off the form of the ancient tragedy. Our conversation with George Kouroupos, one of the most successful composers for ancient drama in our days, for his own music in ancient drama reveals these factors that shape the music result of a representation.



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