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Department of Music Studies


ERASMUS – CIVIS (in English)



Issues in Greek Music and Culture [69Μ330] 

This course offers students the opportunities to get acquainted with various aspects of Greek music and culture through a combination of lectures ranging from Byzantine music to traditional and popular music, as well as art music. At the same time, in addressing those topics, students will be introduced to a variety of methodologies relating to music studies including historiography, ethnomusicology and anthropology. The course will be evaluated through written assignments, on topics agreed with the lecturers. The course content is organized with a chronological perspective – see detailed course description



1st Sector

1. Introduction to modern Greek art music – 69Μ273, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Katerina Levidou

This course offers an overview of the history of Greek art music in the modern times, starting from the early nineteenth century (the time around the founding of the modern Greek state) up till the end of the twentieth century. It aims to familiarise students with musical developments in Greece, while at the same time placing such developments in the wider historical and cultural contexts that marked them, both national and global. To this end, the ways in which art music has related to church and traditional music is also considered.At the end of this course, students will have been acquainted with the main musical trends in Greece over the period under examination, as well as the main protagonists and musical institutions that played a significant role in the shaping ofGreek musical life. Moreover, they will have familiarised themselves with representative musical compositions.At the same time, they will have enhanced their understanding of the ways in which music relates to historical, political, and broader cultural developments, with an emphasis on the Greek case.


2. Greek composers of the Renaissance – 69Μ274, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Pyrros Bamichas

The main purpose of this course is the study of Francesco Londariti's works. Londariti was the most important Greek representative of the Cinquecento with a nearly extensive number of composed works. Apart from Londariti however, the names of other Greek composers appear scattered in various music sources. Their works will be examined as well. Side by side, a special reference about the prevalent conditions at the ducal chapels of the Serenissima and Munich (the last one under the direction of ‘divine Orlande’), and the social status of the Greek minority in Venice will take place. Furthermore, special emphasis will be given to greghesce which proves the central role that Greeks played in the city of Venice. Written in an artificial Greco-Italian dialect, these samples of literature were set to music by famous composers of the period such as Gabrieli, Merulo, Rore, and others. It should be noted that the content of the course will be continuously enriched by the results of current research.


3. Ancient Hellenic music – 69Μ275, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Stylianos Psaroudakis

The course is intended for students of musicology, who would like to investigate the gnostic area of the practice and theory of the music of the ancient Hellenes, from the late Archaic period (6th c. BC) to late Antiquity (5th c. AD). A number of scores survives on papyrus, stone, or Medieval manuscripts; relics of musical instruments have been brought to light by archaeologists, which serve as basic evidence for reconstructions; theoretical treatises on melody and rhythm have come down to us via the manuscript tradition; a wealth of pictorial material exists of scenes depicting musical events; an abundance of written references to music, or music-related events is to be found scattered in surviving texts, Hellenic and Latin. Aspects of tonal and rhythmic theory, including the prosody of Classical Athenian speech, musical notation and transcription of a selection of surviving scores, and organology will be the main themes addressed in this course.    


2nd Sector

4. Music and the sacred – 69Μ276, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Pavlos Kavouras

Like music, the expression of sacred experience is a fundamental manifestation of humanity encountered across time, space and modality. The notion of the sacred is defined in three distinct yet related registers of interpretation. The first discourse on the sacred pertains to common knowledge; the second, to ethnomusicological and anthropological projects; and the third, on auto-narration, i.e. the telling of a personal experience by students themselves. The framework of analysis includes interpretations of the sacred in the domains of experience, expression and communication, with a special focus on music. The ethnographic examples of the course refer to a wide range of sacred traditions such as Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Sufism, and Shamanism.


5. Ethnographic approaches to performing art – 69Μ277, ECTS 5

Course instructor:  Vassiliki Lalioti

This course investigates the notion of 'performance' in relation to the performing arts (especially music and theatre), and to relevant theories. Performance theories derive from various disciplines: cultural studies, social/cultural anthropology, theatre studies. During lectures we will analyse particular performances, and we will investigate the ways in which ethnographic research, that is, participant observation and active engagement of the researcher in his/her field of research, contributes to an understanding of various theatrical and musical traditions, as well as the ways in which performance theories affect ethnographic theory and practice. Special emphasis will be given on the role of the performing arts in the construction of various identities and communities, and the means though which they achieve it.


6. Music and Improvisation – 69Μ278, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Panagiotis Poulos

Through a survey of different improvisatory genres and traditions (oral epic traditions from Africa and the Middle East, art musics of Asia, contemporary improvisation etc.) the course examines the limits between musical (re)composition and performance, the role of orality and literacy in the creation of music, the process of initiation and of learning of improvisatory techniques, the perceptions regarding freedom and creativity, as well as the social and cultural connotation of improvisation in musical communities that constitute their identities on the basis of improvisatory practices. The overall aim of the course in to introduce undergraduate students to the musical and conceptual diversity of improvisation and to the methodologies in studying improvisatory practices on cross-cultural level.


7. Ethnographic cinema and documentary – 69Μ279, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Nick Poulakis

This course is a brief overview of ethnographic documentary film. It outlines major themes, issues and challenges such as the notion of cinema between reality and fiction, film studies, ethnography and visual anthropology, ethnomusicological films and music documentaries, as well as the analyses of the films "Nanook of the North" (Robert Flaherty, 1922), "Man with a Movie Camera" (Dziga Vertov, 1929), "La Chasse de Lion avec l’Arc" (Jean Rouch, 1966), "Άre Άre Music" (Hugo Zemp, 1979) και "Amir: An Afghan Refugee Musician's Life in Peshawar, Pakistan" (John Baily, 1985).


3rd Sector

8. Palaeography of Byzantine Notation I – 69Μ280, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Flora Kritikou

The course aims to the study of Byzantine notations from the mid-10th century onwards and of the various stages of their evolutional process. The following units are presented: Byzantine notations symbolic and descriptive character; philosophy and principals; terminology; origin of the Byzantine notations; Byzantine and Western neumatic notations; Early Byzantine Notations (ca. 950-1177): Lectionary or ‘ekphonetic’ notation, Chartres/Coislin notation, Theta notation, Slavonic notations; characteristics-evolution-transcriptions. Middle Byzantine notation (1177- ca. 1670): From ‘adiastematic’ to ‘diastematic’ notation; Byzantines’ teaching booklet (‘Protheoria’); Middle Notation descriptive character; interval signs/great signs - formulae; Byzantine treatises.


9. Palaeography of Byzantine Notation II – 69Μ281, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Flora Kritikou

The course focusses mainly on the Middle Byzantine Notation studying the following units: Byzantines’ “oral” parts of the musical teaching (interpretation of the formulae, modes); the formulaic character of the Byzantine chant; the relation between the shape, the name and the function of the formulae and the liturgical text. The phenomenon of ‘kallopismos’ (embellishment/re-treatment) of chants as a renewal of the Byzantine chants (15th-17th c.); evolution of the Middle notation through the phenomenon of embellishment; study and comparison of the evolutional phases of embellished chants based on musical manuscripts of the period. Transitional notation of ‘exēgēsis’ (ca. 1670-1814); evolutional phases; relation between different ‘exēgēseis’; “exēgēsis” and transcription.


10. Byzantine and Latin Chant relations – 69Μ282, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Flora Kritikou

The course focusses on the interrelation between Byzantine and Latin Church music. The following units are discussed: Byzantine and Latin modal systems: convergence and divergence points. The liturgical-musical manuscripts and the related Offices in Byzantium and the West. Byzantine influences on the Latin liturgical Chant (South Italy). Influences of the Latin Chant on the Byzantine one in Venetian ruled areas (Crete and Cyprus): the historical frame; local tradition and ritual; religious identities; compositional and liturgical practices; liturgical texts; compositional features; specific ritual practices.


11. Cognitive musicology - music, language and the mind – 69Μ283, ECTS 5

Course instructor: Christina Anagnostopoulou

Cognitive sciences can generally be defined as the sciences who study the mind, the brain, and in general the nature of thinking. This module has thus a multi-disciplinary character and draws material from psychology, philosophy, neurosciences, AI and linguistics. It includes various topics from music cognition, but strong emphasis is given on the parallelism between music and language in many different levels of description. We also discuss the term cognitive musicology as one of the main sectors of systematic musicology. The module is assessed with weekly reports (50%) during term-time, and with a final exam or essay at the end (50%). It is open to all students in the School of Philosophy.