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Issue 11

(Fall 2007)






Yannis Belonis: The chamber music until the middle of the 20th century in Greece


The present essay attempts an extensive review of the history of chamber music in Greece until the middle of the 20th century. It is clear that the circumstances in Greece during this period did not encourage the creation of chamber music. Nevertheless, there were many Greek composers who became much more involved with this kind of music, when they studied or followed their careers in a big city of central Europe. With the central axis on the cultural-social situations of the period, the chamber works of the Greek composers, the ensembles of chamber music that were active within Greece, the music education and the role of the Greek audience, the writer examines the various developments in the field of chamber music, simultaneously locating the suspending factors of its further growth in Greece.



Achilleus G. Chaldaeakes: From the ritual of the Matins service: The imposition of poetic texts in Polyeleos Chant


In the ritual of the Matins (and especially in the psalms that constitute the fixed repertoire of this service), the tactic of the imposition of (non-psalmic) poetic texts in the compositions of the Polyeleoi is quite interesting. Obviously, it is about the process of the addition or the interpolation of one poem (whose content is always related with a particular theme from the church calendar) into the usual psalmic verses of a given composition. This technique is indeed related (primarily and par excellence) with the Polyeleoi compositions (specifically with the first stasis of the so-called Latrinos Polyeleos, with which it undoubtedly has to be connected), but it also appears occasionally in the Antiphons (in the so-called Antiphons for the Theotokos, but mainly in the Antiphons for the Synaxis of Asomatoi), while it appears until today, in the known Ekloge Logon Agathon, thanks to the brilliant inspiration of the famous composer Petros Bereketes. The role of these imposed texts is clearly double and my attempt (in the present paper) is to appoint and comment on this exactly double dimension.

From the viewpoint of the liturgy and ritual, it is obvious that, by adding any poem to a psalmic verse, a “conceptually neutral” poetic text is “transformed” into an appropriate composition for the celebration of a specific feast. For instance, in a relevant order (from a ritual of the second half of the 16th century), which refers to the feast of the Synaxis of Asomatoi, it is being noted: The Polyeleos and after the Polyeleos Antiphon of the Ekloge […] we chant, at the Ekloge, triadic encomia, which are hymns [appropriate for] Antiphons of Asomatoi.

From the viewpoint of musicology, it is also explicit that with the addition of any poem to a psalmic verse, what follows is a melic and morphological differentiation between the verses where this specific poem is being added to and the rest (usual) verses of the same composition. That is the reason why in the relevant manuscript tradition the verses that carry non-psalmic texts are characterized as (asmatic or festal) Allagmata.



Ioannis Fulias: Sonata forms and their theoretical evolution: 19th-century theorists (I)


The fourth part of this extensive survey of the theoretical evolution of sonata forms from 18th to 20th centuries opens with a presentation of Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny’s viewpoint on this matter, which gives special emphasis on thematic aspects of form, pushing tonal-functional and macrostructural questions out of the limelight. Much more significant, however, is Antonín Reicha’s contribution, the first in which the basic ternary sonata type is presented as a normative schema, appropriate for didactic purposes. This systematisation has negative and positive aspects, of course, particularly in relation to possibilities of a versatile reconstruction of the recapitulation. Another novelty in Reicha’s theory is the allusion of sonata form without development, while the binary sonata type has been completely assimilated by the ternary. Heinrich Birnbach’s approach to sonata form preserves many features of the late 18th-century (especially Koch’s) theory, although enriched by several tonal and thematic observations related to early 19th-century compositional developments. Very interesting is the clear distinction of three structural parts in the ternary sonata form, as well as the treatment of the other sonata types that can be applied in slow movements.



Konstantinos Tsahourides: The production of voice in Pontic singing: an introductory approach


The present paper comprises a first approach to the exploration of the currently used vocal techniques in Pontic singing. Based on fieldwork, vocal observation of influential singers (like Hrysanthos, who is used as subject of analysis in the present paper) and personal experience, the author aims to provide an insider’s perspective in the vocal production of such vocal genre in Greece today. After a brief consideration of fundamental and physiological issues, the analysis starts with a concise review upon the project of Cantometrics, and considers its relevance to the Greek folk song. Matters concerning the use of larynx and the articulation-projection of the voiced sounds provide the central focus of the article, since the Pontic singing employs exceptional techniques in these parts of the vocal tract. Given that theoretical approaches of voice studies do not suffice to give an inclusive grasp of the actual methods of instructions, the present article aims to formulate suggestions or rules, which may bridge gaps left between theory and practice. Finally, this paper is an extract of a doctoral thesis, which comprises one of the few researches – worldwide – which deal with the exploration and formation of specific vocal techniques in folk musical genres.


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