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

Pinelopi Tampakaki (Editor), Panos Vlagopoulos (Editor), Aikaterini Levidou (Editor), Roderick Macleod Beaton (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


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 investigate 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.

The volume scrutinises approaches to the creation of ‘national’ poetry and art music in Greece since the nineteenth century by concentrating on the complexities, contradictions and absences that arise from efforts to synthesise the indigenous musico-poetic tradition with artistic developments in Western Europe. As Greece emerged as a modern nation-state, its poets had a crucial role to play in the construction of the nation’s image as the ‘Model Kingdom in the East’. A privileged connection with Homer was claimed through the ‘uninterrupted continuity of the Greek language’, and thus a legitimate share in the foundations of the Western musico-poetic tradition.

The volume includes a chapter on the Archive of the Athens Conservatoire, the oldest and most influential musical institution in Greece, founded in 1871. This will be the first time that valuable material from the Odeion’s Archive will be published, as part of the ongoing project of organising and digitising the Archive, undertaken in 2013 by the Laboratory of Hellenic Music of the Ionian University, Corfu.
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-1138280021
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2016

Publication series

NamePublications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London


  • Greek art music
  • Greek literature
  • Greek culture
  • Musicology
  • Modern Greek Studies

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