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Modern Greek folk music sources

Jon Corelis 26 Feb 12 - 04:13 PM
Jon Corelis 26 Feb 12 - 10:50 PM
Jon Corelis 26 Feb 12 - 11:00 PM
Jon Corelis 08 Mar 12 - 07:19 PM
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Subject: Modern Greek folk music sources
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 04:13 PM

I thought I would share some sources for early modern Greek folk music that I've come across. I don't know if this should go in some permanent thread or archive; please let me know if it should (and how to put it there.) I've done a search on mudcat for the titles and authors, and apparently these sources haven't been mentioned here. Except where noted, these books are all available in full free on Google Books , but I haven't put specific links to the records there, since such links may be subject to change, and at any rate there are often several editions of any given book housed there, so it's better to do a search. Additions, corrections, and comments welcome.

Roughly in order of increasing specialist interest:

George Frederick Abbott: Songs of modern Greece. Cambridge University Press, 1900. An excellent and fascinating book, and a good place to start whether or not you know any modern Greek. Unfortunately no music, but a good selection of song lyrics in Greek with serviceable English translations, and useful notes on the Greek text.

Trypanis, Constantine: The Penguin Book of Greek Verse: Dual Language Edition. Puffin 1988. Not in Google Books but still in print. A standard anthology of the whole range of Greek poetry from ancient times to the 20th century in Greek with literal English translations. The section "Anonymous folk songs" includes some interesting 18th and 19th century texts, but no music. Look at poem 259 for an astonishingly beautiful folk reworking of the Odysseus/Calypso myth.

Fauriel, Claude Charles: The songs of Greece: from the Romaic text. Longman, London, 1825. No music and lyrics only in unexceptionable English verse translation, except for a few isolated songs quoted in Greek. Interesting introduction and notes.

de Lauzières, Achille: Trente mélodies populaires de Grèce & d'Orient. LeMoine, Paris, 1897. Introduction and notes in French, with muscial scores giving vocal and accompaniment and lyrics in Greek and, for some reason, Italian translation (maybe he explains why Italian in the Introduction but I haven't read the whole thing yet.) I'm dubious about the authenticity of these versions -- the book seems designed for middle-class Victorian parlour piano performance -- but it's nevertheless interesting.

Garnett, Lucy: Greek folk-songs from the Turkish provinces of Greece ... Elliot Stock, London, 1885. Extensive introduction putting modern Greek folk music and folklore in the context of the country's entire long history. No music; song lyrics in English translation with occasional lines quoted in Greek. Brief but interesting notes; useful bibliography of older books on the subject. Good introduction giving an overview of the subject.

Moffat, Alfred: Characteristic songs and dances of all nations. Bayley and Ferguson, London, 1901. Obviously a popularizing book, includes a few Greek songs with music and lyrics in English (though I suspect that the lyrics to the one called "The Comforter" are just a poem by Moffat rather than a translation of any Greek lyrics.)

Passow, Arnoldus: Popularia carmina Graeciae recentioris. Teubner, Leipzig, 1860. Preface and notes in Latin, text in Greek. Lyrics but no music. This is a specialist book which is likely only to interest those with a serious interest in Greek balladry from the middle ages on, but for such readers it will be of the highest interest.

Sanders, Daniel: Das Volksleben der Neugriechen dargestellt und erklärt aus Liedern, Sprichwörtern, Kunstgedichten:
nebst einem Anhange von Musikbeilagen und zwei kritischen Abhandlungen. F. Basserman, 1844. In Fraktur German (what a headache!) with Greek lyrics translated into German. No music. The photocopy I found in Google Books sucks, but maybe if you hunt around you can find a clearer one. Really a books for scholars and specialists, but an important one.

Kiesewetter, Raphael Georg: Ueber Die Musik Der Neueren Griechen Nebst Freien Gedanken Uber Altaegyptische Und Altgriechische Musik. Leipzig 1883. As of this writing apparently not in Google books, but there are photocopy reprints available through Amazon. I plan to get a copy but haven't actually read it yet so I don't know what is in it. The title suggests interest, though.

Jon Corelis
Jon Corelis: Poems, Plays, Songs, and Essays

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Subject: RE: Modern Greek folk music sources
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 10:50 PM

Addendum: though it may be too specialist for most, I should also have mentioned the book Demotika Tragoudia by N, Politis, published some time in the 19th century (I haven't been able to track down any reliable bibliographical information on the original edition) and occasionally reprinted since then in Greece. Entirely in Greek, with no music, but one of the most important collections of Greek folk song texts.

Jon Corelis
Sappho: Ode to Aphrodite: a musical setting

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Subject: RE: Modern Greek folk music sources
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 11:00 PM

Oops, I wish we could edit these posts. I should have added to my addendum above that the Politis book as of this writing is listed in Google Books but without any preview, and is hard to find anywhere.

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Subject: RE: Modern Greek folk music sources
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 08 Mar 12 - 07:19 PM

Add: Folk Songs of Greece by Susan and Ted Alevizos (Oak Publications 1968.) Not in Google Books. An excellent book giving most of the best known traditional Greek folk songs in vocal score with chords and lyrics in Greek and transliterated Greek, with accompanying literal English translations. This is the one book that any fan or performers of Greek folk songs should have. Not in print but readily available used, though a bit expensive. Libraries often have it.

Jon Corelis
Poems, Plays, Songs, and Essays

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