Music in Cyprus: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Music in Cyprus

1st Edition

By Jim Samson, Nicoletta Demetriou


220 pages

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Hardback: 9781409465737
pub: 2015-09-28
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Music in Cyprus draws its authors from both sides of the divided island to give a rounded picture of musical culture from the beginning of the British colonial period (1878-1960) until today. The book crosses conventional scholarly divides between musicology and ethnomusicology in order to achieve a panorama of music, culture and politics. Shared practices of traditional music and dance are outlined, and the appropriation of those practices by both communities in the aftermath of the de facto division of the island is examined. Art music (European and Ottoman) is also discussed, both in terms of the structures of musical life and the creative praxes of composers, and there is an account of the early stages of a popular music industry. The authors consider such questions as: What is the role of different musics in defining national, regional, social and cultural identities in Cyprus? How do Cypriot alterities illuminate European projects of modernity? And what has been the impact of westernization and modernization (and, conversely, of orientalization) on music in Cyprus? The book will be of interest to students and academics working not only in both historical musicology and ethnomusicology, but also in the history and anthropology of Cyprus and of the entire Greek-Anatolian region.


Music in Cyprus is a pioneering book, bringing together the work of scholars covering all aspects of the island’s musical history in a series of chapters that interconnect in many ways. The further one reads, the more one understands the way the complex threads of Cyprus’s history have affected and enabled a unique musical legacy of remarkable richness. - Ivan Moody, Universidade Nova, Lisbon

About the Authors

Jim Samson is Emeritus Professor of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He has published widely on the music of Chopin and Liszt, on analytical and aesthetic topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, and on the cultural history of East Central and South Eastern Europe. Nicoletta Demetriou is Research Fellow in Ethnomusicology and Life Writing at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK. She has written on the impact of ideology on Greek-Cypriot traditional music discourse and practice, as well as on the history and historiography of traditional music in Cyprus.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Folk & Traditional