1st Edition

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

    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    332 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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.

    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



    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 Skłodowska-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.