Music, Language and Identity in Greece : Defining a National Art Music in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries book cover
1st Edition

Music, Language and Identity in Greece
Defining a National Art Music in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

ISBN 9781032088730
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
332 Pages

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Book Description

The national element in music has been the subject of important studies, yet the scholarly framework has remained restricted almost exclusively to the field of music studies. This volume brings together experts from different fields (musicology, literary theory and modern Greek studies), who investi- gate the links that connect music, language and national identity, focusing on the Greek paradigm. Through the study of the Greek case, the book paves the way for innovative interdisciplinary approaches to the formation of the ‘national’ in different cultures, shedding new light on ideologies and mechanisms of cultural policies.

Table of Contents

Editors’ preface

List of Contributors


Roderick Beaton

Part I Contested histories: Greek art music in retrospect

1. Karl Otfried Müller and Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos: Dorism, music and Greek identity

Christophe Corbier

2. Canonising Byzantine chant as Greek art music

Alexander Lingas

3. National music history on the eve of ‘the end of music history’: Greek music historiography and its Western models

Katy Romanou

4. Odes, anthems and battle songs: creating citizens through music in Greece during the long nineteenth century

Kostas Kardamis

5. Delving into the Athens Conservatoire Archive: musical education as a national need

Stella Kourmpana

Part II ‘National music’: Kalomiris, Skalkottas and beyond

6. The harmonisation of Greek folk songs and Greek ‘national music’

Panos Vlagopoulos

7. Alternative Greek national music: the case of Petros Petridis

Nikos Maliaras

8. The last defender: Kalomiris’s Constantine Palaiologos and the ‘Idea of Greek Music’

Ioannis Tsagkarakis

9. A Greek icon: heteroglossia, ambiguity and identity in the music of Nikos Skalkottas

Eva Mantzourani

10. A museum of Greekness: Skalkottas’ 36 Greek dances as a record of his homeland and his time

Katerina Levidou

11. Traversing melancholy: Skalkottas reads Esperas

Petros Vouvaris

Part III Music and language: modern poetry, ancient drama

12. ‘You used to sing all my songs’: poetry, language and song from Solomos to Seferis

Peter Mackridge

13. Reading Polylas’s ‘Prolegomena’ (1859): poetry and music, history and cultural politics

Polina Tambakaki

14. Can surrealism sing? Nikos Gatsos and song-writing

Effie Rentzou

15. Greek productions of ancient Greek drama in the first half of the twentieth century: music and words

Anastasia Siopsi

16. Performing (ancient) Greek modernism: modernist music and the staging of ancient drama

Kostas Chardas


Jim Samson

Appendix: Greek composers setting poetry to music: a personal perspective

George Couroupos


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Polina Tambakaki is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Hellenic Studies (CHS), King’s College London.

Panos Vlagopoulos is Associate Professor in the Department of Music Studies and Director of the Hellenic Music Lab at the Ionian University, Corfu.

Katerina Levidou is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London.

Roderick Beaton is Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London.