1st Edition

Perspectives on Greek Musical Modernism

Edited By Eva Mantzourani, Costas Tsougras, Petros Vouvaris Copyright 2025
    336 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to investigate systematically the diverse aspects and compositional approaches of Greek musical modernism.


    The volume contributes to ongoing discussions about aesthetic modernism in general and the epistemological issues that pertain to its historiography, especially with respect to challenging the centre-periphery dichotomy that has previously informed its conceptual framework. The book strikes a balance between offering thematically focused contributions and serving as a reference source for scholars interested in looking more thoroughly into unexamined or overlooked aspects of musical modernism. To do so, it encompasses a variety of case studies, presented in a series of thirteen chapters that cover a wide array of methodological approaches, from historical and critical to analytical and philosophical. These chapters are organised along the lines of a historical narrative that traces the reception of musical modernism in Greece, ranging from downright rejection during the mid-war period to affirmative institutionalisation in the post-war years.


    In this context, the book will interest not only musicians, musicologists, and music theorists, but also cultural historians and other scholars involved in studying the emergence, development, and dissemination of modernism worldwide.

    About the Contributors



    Petros Vouvaris


    1. Greek musical modernism in context

    Ioannis Tsagkarakis


    2. Musical modernism in Greece: An overview

    Kostas Chardas and Giorgos Sakallieros


    3. Dimitri Mitropoulos in the 1920s: The pioneering steps of musical modernism in Greece

    Giorgos Sakallieros


    4. Sonata form, sonata cycle, and multi-movement coherence in Nikos Skalkottas’s free dodecaphonic works

    Eva Mantzourani


    5. Nikos Skalkottas’s May Day Spell – A Fairy Drama: Symbolic fusion of diatonicism and chromaticism

    Costas Tsougras


    6. Nikos Skalkottas’s musical borrowings and the art of collecting ideas

    Petros Vouvaris


    7. Struggling for the ‘new’ in the 1950s: Twelve-note/tonal interactions in Symphony No. 3 and Concerto for orchestra by Yannis A. Papaioannou

    Kostas Chardas


    8. A selective appropriation: Yorgos Sicilianos between modernism and postmodernism

    Valia Christopoulou


    9. Michael Adamis’s poly-melodic structures and the creative renegotiation of Byzantine musical heritage

    Theodore Karathodoros


    10. On Christou

    Panos Vlagopoulos


    11. Three components of Xenakis’s universe

    Makis Solomos


    12. On the evolution of Xenakis’s compositional thinking

    Dimitris Exarchos


    13. Beyond the stave: Performance indeterminacy and the limits of Greek musical experimentalism

    Danae Stefanou





    Eva Mantzourani is musicologist and music analyst. Her academic qualifications include a PhD from King's College, London; a MMus in Music Theory and Analysis and a MMus in Historical Musicology from Goldsmiths, University of London; a BMus from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her teaching includes lecturing positions at Kingston University, City University London, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Canterbury Christ Church University and The Open University. She has published work on musicological topics and the music of Skalkottas. She has authored The Life and Twelve-Note Music of Nikos Skalkottas| (2011), and edited Polish Music Since 1945 (2013). She is the editor of the Nikos Skalkottas Critical Edition, published by Universal Edition (Vienna).

    Costas Tsougras (musicologist – composer) is Assistant Professor of Systematic Musicology and Music Analysis at the School of Music of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His academic qualifications include a PhD and a BMus from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His PhD research involves the adaptation of the Generative Theory of Tonal Music for the analysis of Y. Constantinidis ‘44 Greek Miniatures’ (2003). He is the editor of Musical Pedagogics, the Greek Society for Music Education scientific journal. He has published theoretical and analytical work at international and Greek journals (JIMS, Musicae Scientiae, Polyphonia, et.al.), and conference proceedings on GTTM, cognitive and computational models, and Greek contemporary music. His compositions have been performed and recorded by acclaimed musicians and ensembles. In 2012 his music represented the Greek Composers’ Union at the ISCM World Music Days in Belgium.

    Petros Vouvaris is Associate Professor in Music Form and Analysis at the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia, Greece. His academic qualifications include a DMA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA; a MMus from the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, USA; and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He has presented papers on music analysis and piano pedagogy at conferences and seminars in Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Netherlands, and the USA, while his articles have been published in both Greek and American journals. He is a member of the board of directors of the Hellenic Musicological Society and an active piano performer.