The course "Greek Traditional Music" in greek music schools: a first overview of the field and the use of the Melos as an alternative theoretical system

Ιωάννης Αθανασίου, Παναγιούλα Καρέτσου, Πασσιάς Ελευθέριος

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

Session Διδακτικές προσεγγίσεις για την Ελληνική Παραδοσιακή Μουσική ( Saturday, 16-Apr-22 09:00:00 EEST )

The course "Greek Traditional Music" is taught compulsorily in all classes of high school and lyceum of music schools in Greece.  According to the current Curriculum (203617 / Δ2 / 2015 - Government Gazette 2858 / Β / 28-12-2015), the main goal of the course is the contact of students with both Byzantine - monophonic church music (or chanting  according to the descriptions in the musical gesture codes) as well as in the folk, non-urban music tradition, more commonly known as the demotic music.

The purpose of this research is to investigate and critically approach the teaching context of this course.  A separate goal of the research is the study of the theoretical system proposed in the Curriculum and its connection with the field of Greek demotic music.  In particular, the goal setting, the structure of the Program as well as the proposed indicative theoretical material are studied.  The critical study (Kokkidou, 2006, 2015) of the current Curriculum is used as a methodological tool.  According to the results of the research on the Program, the importance given to the field of Byzantine music in comparison with that of the folk song is obvious.  The theoretical system of Byzantine music is presented and taught in detail, which is also used for the analysis -modal and rhythmic- of the folk song.  However, the Byzantine system is not considered sufficiently adequate and suitable for the full description of the range of musical elements found in folk music.

Since 2003 in the Department of Music, Science and Art, of University of Macedonia there is the class of Professor Ilias Papadopoulos who has put in use the Theory of Music Syntagmata, a theory that intends to systematize the Hellenic Harmonic Science and in this way to build an easy and usefull music model of the traditional music theory. 

Up until today, this research and analysis continues as a part of Lefteris Passias’ PhD study. Through understandable diagrams, which present in an easy way the systasis of modes, the relation of intervals between tones of the mode and the vocal movement, every musician could study them, could use many modes without having to know them “by heart”, to create his/her own modes and, last but not least, to use  them in his/her own music.  For every case of mode there is the relevant diagram which shows its full analysis (Passias, 2017). Furthermore, there is a descriptive analysis of every case and tips for using each of the examples. In this way, it is created a full frame of the harmonic material and the musician is free to use it.

In this way, concepts like trichord, tetrachord, pentachord are  understood in theoretical and practical level, the musician is encouraged to use them, combine them in order to create his/her own harmonic material, which will use in his/her own improvisation/analysis/composition of this/her own music. 

As it was mentioned above, this research is part of the curriculum of Music, Science and Art of University of Macedonia. As a consequence the future music teachers that will graduate from the department will be fully equipped with the necessary knowledge of the theory of tradiotional music for teaching greek traditional song in schools. In this way this paper proposes as very essential a research that aims to find teaching techniques for traditional theory that would be beneficial for students of secondary schools.

Based on the above, it is proposed to further split the school course into two separate courses -Byzantine music and Greek folk and traditional music- so that students can delve into the wider field of Greek musical traditions, as seems to be happening to a sufficient degree with the Byzantine ecclesiastical music.

  • Παιδαγωγική της δημοφιλούς μουσικής
  • Διδακτική μουσικών οργάνων και μουσικών συνόλων: φιλοσοφία, μεθοδολογίες και καλές πρακτικές
Keywords Greek Folk and Traditional Music, music schools, Melos, Greek demotic music
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Athanassiou Ioannis: He is a PhD candidate of the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia, with a research object in Music Performance (Greek Folk Guitar/Laïkí Kithára).  He graduated from the same Department, having completed the postgraduate program "Musical Arts", with the specialization "Greek Music Traditions: Interpretation and Performance (Greek Folk Guitar/Laïkí Kithára)", as well as the undergraduate program, with the specialty "Poetry (Art of composition - Composition - Poetry)  He also studied at the Department of Music Studies of the University of Ioannina and at the "Emmeleia" Music School of Nafpaktos. He composes music, with record and concert projects of the same to be performed periodically.  He is active in the wider music scene as a performing musician and orchestrator with local artists, making recordings and concerts in Greece and abroad.  At the same time, he is engaged in the research field of Greek urban folk music and focuses on the systematic musicological analysis of the material, actively participating in musicological conferences and workshops.

Karetsou Panagioula: She is a postgraduate student of the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia in the postgraduate program "Music and Society", specializing in "Music Education and Community Music".  She is a graduate of the same Department, having completed the undergraduate program in the field of "Applied Music Studies-Music Education" with the artistic subject “Choir and chamber music”.  She also studies composition at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki and holds degrees in Fugue, Counterpoint and Harmony.  Since 2019 she has been teaching at conservatories and public schools in Greece.  She is interested in the field of Community Music research and focuses on choral and group singing with seniors.

Lefteris Passias: Lefteris Passias was born on 1985 at Serres. He graduated Music School of Serres and he has the Music theory degrees. He is graduate of the Music Science and Art department of the Macedonia University in Composition and his master is on Poetics (art of composition – Melopoiia – Poetry in Traditional Music). Since Octomber 2017 Lefteris Passias is a phd student at the same department on Poetics. He also works as a professor of music in special education and he teaches Melos of Trigeneia at the Music Science and Art department of the Macedonia University. He has been rewarded many times for his music and paedagogical work and his phd research got shollarship by IKY.