Official language: Greek
Official name: Elliniki dimokratia (Hellenic Republic)
Area: 131,957 sq km
Current Population: 10,718,565
Climate: Hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters near the Mediterranean. Cooler in northern mountains.
Greek traditional music (dimotiki mousiki)
Greek traditional music (dimotiki mousiki) consists of several autonomous regional styles with similarities that are apparent only at a second glance (the skopos principle, verse forms etc.). It includes the music both of minorities on the mainland (Vlachs, Albanians, Bulgarians, southern Slavs, and Roma) and of Greek communities outside the state of Greece itself, particularly in Italy, the USA, and Australia.
The music of Greece divides into three major stylistic areas: the mainland, the islands, and Asia Minor. It can be further divided into urban and rural musics. The emergence in the 20th century of a small pan-Greek repertory (the kritikos, pentozalis, kalamatianos, tsamikos, and sirtos) was the result of media influence (radio, records) and the promotion of folklore for tourists. Another pan-Greek form is rebetika, arising from an urban sub-culture and developing between 1810 and 1955 into a taverna song and dance form. Folk terminology distinguishes between the secular singer, tragoudistis, and the Orthodox church singer, psaltis.
Traditionally, song and dance titles are formed in terms of a personal possession (e.g. skopos tou Georgiou, ‘tune of George’), denote function (e.g. tou gamou, ‘wedding song’), or involve place names and regional names (e.g. kalamatianos, a dance from Kalamata; pogonisios, a dance-song from Pogoni). Titles relating to content (e.g. zoumpouli, ‘hyacinth’) or quoting the opening line of the text are rare, and often derive from collectors. Songs with standard texts (ballads) are called stereotipika. Various ballad texts are frequently sung to the same melody (idiomelos).
The musicians themselves hardly think at all in terms of scales and chords, or if they do they describe them as maiore (‘major’) or minore (‘minor’). Folksongs employ syllabic lines of 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and, very rarely, 13 syllables.
(2): Country Profile (Greece), in Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 31 August 2021 from http://www.europaworld.com/entry/gr.is.1
(4): Romanou, K., Mathiesen, T., Lingas, A., Maliaras, N., Chaldaiakis, A., Plemmenos, J., Bamichas, P., Kardamis, K., Kontossi, S., Economides, M., Tragaki, D., Tsagkarakis, I., Chardas, K., Seiragakis, M., Chianis, S., & Brandl, R. Greece. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 13 Sep. 2021, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-3000000167.