Department of Music Studies


Papathanasiou, Ioannis

Palaeography of music

The development of music notation from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Byzantine and Western neumatic notation up to the 14th century. The primitive notation of the first polyphonic compositions. The black square notation: Ars antiqua and Ars Nova. The white mensural notation of the Renaissance. The notation system of instrumental music in the Renaissance. Music and typography. Transcriptions from Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Music examples.

Gregorian chant

The history of music tradition from the first Christian centuries to our day. The first forms of Christian chant, psalms and hymns. Local repertories: Old Roman chant, Ambrosian chant, Gallican chant, Beneventan chant, Mozarabic chant, Byzantine chant etc. The formation of the Gregorian chant and its relationship with the local music traditions. The music theory of cantus planus. The liturgical year, the liturgical books and the chant these contain. The theoreticians of the Middle Ages, and the information we draw from the theoretical treatises of the period, concerning the performance of Gregorian chant. Birth and development of the neumatic notation, families of neumes, examination of the main music manuscripts. Transcriptions from medieval manuscripts. Music examples.

Introduction to Greek and Latin palaeography

The Hellenic book script: The capital script from the fourth to the ninth centuries. The transition from the capital to the minuscule script. The minuscule script from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. Analytical study of the hand-written book (manuscript). General historical survey of the Latin script. Reading hellenic and latin manuscripts (exercises).

Music palaeography: old Byzantine notations

Birth and development of the notation in Byzantium. Ekphonetic notation, local notations, palaeobyzantine notations, middlebyzantine (round) notation. Transcriptions from byzantine manuscripts with middlebyzantine notation. Music examples.


Foulias, Ioannis

Theory and practice of tonal music (harmonic and structural analysis) Ι & ΙΙ

The aim of this two-semester course is to lead freshmen to develop a scientifically and historically founded perspective that will allow them to understand and experience the most important harmonic and structural procedures of tonal music through the examination of representative works from the baroque, the classic and the romantic eras. Among the main theoretical and analytical issues that are being studied in this course are the concepts of musical phrase, cadence and harmonic functions, tonicization and modulation, harmonic and structural rhythm, the reductive analytical method, the procedures of repetition, variation, development and contrast, as well as the structural types of sentence, period and some hybrids between them, along with the “small” ternary and binary models of organisation for a section of a broader music piece.

Form in European music Ι & ΙΙ

The subject matters of this course are divided into two semesters. In the first one, a variety of canons, fugues, choral preludes, variations (both strophic and double / alternating ones), minuet and scherzo forms, as well as the main “rondo” forms (large ternary, rotational form, rondo and rondeau) are being studied, before the binary forms of the baroque suite dances, the sonata forms of the classic and romantic eras, the mixed rondo-sonata, rondeau-sonata and sonata-rondo forms, as well as the aria da capo, ritornello and the later sonata-concerto forms are being investigated in the second semester. The selected repertory of music ranges from the early 17th century until the middle 20th century and focuses on some of the most representative (mainly instrumental, but also a few vocal) compositions of the baroque, classic and romantic eras. Aim of the course is to assist students to acquire a solid knowledge of the basic music forms that have been applied by the composers in several major music genres during the aforementioned eras, from both systematic and historical perspectives.


Bamichas, Pyrros

ClaudioMonteverdiand his Era

In this course, we shall focus on works of the central figure of the Early Baroque period. By watching his course from Cremona to Venice, we shall have the opportunity to get familiar with the complexity of the historical and political environment of Italy through a reference to Italian cities, especially to Venice which was the most important center of music evolution during that time. The analytical approach to his works, in combination with the understanding of the seconda and terzaprattica, will lead us, up to a point, to the acquaintance with works of other famous composers at Venice and the wider Italian ‘North’. Monteverdi’s entire output falls into an epoch of appearance of new music forms, but also of change or decline of the already existing ones, which will be examined as well. Special mention will take place about matters concerning the Italian poetry and the output of composers working for the Habsburg’s Court, who were influenced by Monteverdi but influenced him too.

Greek composers during the 16th century

Here, the central point of our study will be the works of Francesco Londariti, the most important Greek representative of the cinquecento with a nearly extensive number of composed works. Apart of him however, scattered to various music sources, other names of Greek composers appear as well. Their works will be examined too. 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. Among other things, special emphasis will be given to greghesce, which form an evidence for the various influences that Greeks brought upon the city. Written in an artificial Greco-Italian dialect, these samples of literature were set to music by famous composers of the period as Gabrieli, Merulo, Rore, and others. It should be noted, that the content of the course will be continuously enriched by the results of running research.

Special Subjects on Music: Baroque (1600-1750)

Due to its large time span (1600-1750), the baroque era is generally divided into three periods. To make baroque phenomenon understandable, our study begins with the examination of the High Renaissance period that preceded it, leading from polyphony to monody, the development of which was necessary to create the music drama. In addition to the main types of vocal music (Madrigal, concerted Motet, Oratorio, Opera, etc.), major types of organic music (Concerto, Sonata, Fuga, etc.) are also considered, always in relation to secular and ecclesiastical centers of power of the period.


Psaroudakis, Stelios

Introduction to ancient Hellenic music

A number of bone musical pipes (flutes) have been found in Neolithic (5000-3000 BC) sites of the Hellenic area. In the Bronze Age (3000-1000 BC), there is rich evidence of a vivid music life amongst the peoples of the ‘Cycladic’ civilization in the Cyclades, the ‘Minoan’ civilization in Crete, the ‘Mycenean’ civilization in the mainland, and the ‘Cypriot’ civilization in Cyprus. The available evidence on music activity becomes even richer from early Iron Age to the end of the Geometric period (1000-700 BC). The aim of the course is to introduce students to the methodology of Archaeomusicology, while at the same time informing them on the musical activity of the peoples of the Aegean in the aforementioned civilizations. Special attention is given to organology, the development and structure of musical instruments, the use of music in the various social activities, but also to external influences from abroad (Middle East, Egypt).   

Harmonic theory of ancient Hellenic music

‘Harmonics’ is the science of the tonal (as opposed to temporal) component of musical melody, according to ancient theoreticians (Aristoxenos, Ptolemaios, Kleoneidēs etc). It investigates the parts which compose melody (pitches, intervals, systems, genera, keys) and their interrelations. The purpose of harmonics was the discovery of the ‘nature’ (physis) of melody, and its description in appropriate terms. The right ‘use’ (chrēsis) of these melodic parts during composition (melopoiia), leads to the desired ‘ethical character’ (ēthos) of the melody. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the philosophical thinking of the ancient Hellenes as regards the conception of the tonal component of melody, and to enhance the realization in them that ancient Hellenic harmonics constitute the foundation ground of the later Byzantine and European music theories.     

Rhythmic theory of ancient Hellenic music

‘Rhythmics’ is the science of the temporal (as opposed to tonal) component of musical melody. It was developed systematically by Aristoxenos in the 4th c. BC. The course aims at introducing the students to the philosophical thinking of Aristoxenos as regards the conception of the temporal (rhythmic) component of melody, and to enhance the realization in them that ancient Hellenic rhythmics constitute the foundation ground of the later Byzantine and European rhythmic theories.

Notation of ancient Hellenic music

Ever since the 4th c. BC (perhaps, even the 5th c. BC), the ancient Hellenes had invented and used a notation system (parasēmantikē) for writing down their music. There were ‘signs’ (sēmeia) representing pitches, alphabetic in form, and signs indicating durations. Two notation systems existed side by side, one for vocal music (sēmeialexeōs) and one for instrumental soli (sēmeiakrouseōs). The vocal signs were placed above the syllables, and above them, the rhythmic signs. Our main sources of information on the subject are the theoretical threatises of Aristeidēs Kointilianos (On music), Alypios (Introduction to music), and the Anonymi Bellermann (Art of music). All extant music, in papyrus, stone, or medieval manuscripts, is recorded in this notation system. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the ancient Hellenic music notation system, as this is presented and discussed in our sources, and applied to the surviving scores.   


Sergiou, Pavlos

Choir Conducting I

The choir in the European tradition of art music until the end of the 18th century: the several types of choirs, elementary reference to their repertoire, brief reference to the role of the choir director, systematic methodology of composition-teaching-direction of the choir, systematic exercise in choir conducting.

Choir Conducting II

The choir in the European tradition of art music from the end of 18th century to our time: similar content to the previous lesson.

Symphony Orchestra I

For students-members of the Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra (ΑΣΟΝ) during the winter semester.

Symphony Orchestra II

For students-members of the Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra (ΑΣΟΝ) during the spring semester.

Elementary Conductor’s Technique

The several types of orchestras and the evolution of their repertoire in the European tradition of art music, brief history of the role of the conductor, systematic practice in the conductor’s technique.

Orchestration II

The evolution of orchestration from the late romantic period (ca. 1880) to World War II, a special view of woodwinds and their use, orchestration exercises for woodwinds (and French horn).

The Symphony Orchestra after 1950

Listening to characteristic symphonic works of this period, formulation of criteria “critical and conscious listening”, detailed presentation of the various idioms and schools, systematic view to their application to orchestration.


Lerch-Kalavritinou, Irmgart

Musical historiography and techniques of writing an academic paper

In this course, we will deal with technical issues of writing academic papers, as, for instance, undergraduate papers, graduate and masters theses – notwithstanding doctoral dissertations and research papers for publishing, which follow all the same basic principles. Essential steps in writing a paper, after the decision on its subject, are the retrieving of information (in this course with special weight on historical musicology), the critical use of this information and the writing itself. We will practice these steps and we will discuss matters of style and structure in an academic paper. We will learn in practice, too, how to cite the sources of information we use in conformity to general use, because verifiability is essential to any type of scientific paper.   

Besides the above aspects of writing, we will take a look on the historical development of research in music history and on the work of important musicologists in this field.

The course is recommended from the 5th semester onwards, but younger students will not be excluded. It is advisable to attend to the course before taking part in a seminar. Examination will take place in the form of work during the course.

Special topics of music history: Ars antiqua and Ars nova

We will deal with the music – mainly, but not exclusively, French - of the 13th and 14th centuries. In these two centuries, the musical style underwent significant changes. We will consider the development of the musical genres (e.g. motet, mass, secular song) in combination with the presentation of the respective musical manuscripts and theoretical treatises.

Special bibliography will be given during the course. A basic frame can be found in the classical book by R. Hoppin: Medieval Music. New York, London, Norton 1978, chapter X and XIV-XX.

Seminar: Musical life in Greece during the 19th century

During the seminar, we will deal with the presence of Western music in Greece in the 19th century, on one hand in the Greek kingdom, on the other, on the Ionian Islands, which, until their integration into the Greek kingdom in 1864, had a different history form the Greek mainland and, in consequence, a different cultural background. In the 19th century, the Greek rulers were King Otto I and George I.  In their times, the opera, for instance, had a longstanding presence in Corfu (al least since 1733), but in Athens made its first appearance in 1837.

We have numerous studies on special subjects, e.g. the opera, or musical education in Greece in the 19th century, but many aspects of the musical life of the time have not yet been covered. Some basic information is to be found in three general histories of Greek music by Synadinos (1919), Motsenigos (1958), and Romanou (2006), respectively. We will try to form a more comprehensive image of the Greek musical life in the course of the seminar’s presentations.

History of European musical instruments

In this course, after a basic presentation of the acoustics of sound generation in musical instruments and of different principles of the classification of musical instruments, the main groups of musical instruments according to Hornbostel-Sachs are dealt with under historical aspects. We will consider the characteristic features of instruments belonging to these groups with respect to construction, playing technique and their use in music from the Middle Ages to present times.


Zervos, Giorgos

20th Century Music

This course provides a thorough knowledge of the major musical styles in the first half of twentieth century (Post-romanticism, expressionism, impressionism, neoclassicism, futurism, etc.). Thus, composers such as Mahler, Bartók, Debussy, Ravel, Schönberg, Berg, Webern, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Erik Satie and the School of Six are on the scope of the repertoire studied. It also aims to focus on the relation and interaction of music with other arts (painting, poetry, etc.). The process of the course is based on listening experience and discussion on the defining characteristics of each composition or musical style.

20th century music analysis – composition

This course is somehow a continuation of the course “20th Century Music” and aims to familiarize yourself with the musical forms of the first half of the 20th century’s composition. Besides harmony, rhythm, texture and orchestration, the factor that radically changed in the music of the 20th century was the form. Classical forms (sonata, rondo, Lied, etc.) have been [redefined or] replaced by new compositional processes, and new terms are introduced, such as developing and strophing variations, arch form etc. This renewal of forms is being identified and analyzed during the course in the works of Schönberg, Debussy, Bartók, Skalkottas, etc.


Steinhauer, Iakovos

Musical analysis III. Composing practices in the 20th century music

The aim of this course is to introduce and discuss the various composition techniques in 20th century music and the different analytical tools which are used in their approach. Based on selected representative works of this historical period, fundamental analytical issues and concepts are examined, which arise primarily from the score but also from the interpretation of the musical work.

Aesthetics and philosophy of music

Music has been the subject of philosophical thought since antiquity. In modern times its study has been linked to the meaning and practices of the musical work of art. Starting from these newer conceptions, the course examines a series of central themes of music aesthetics, in both a historical and systematic order: the relationship of music with imagination, intellect and speech, music as an art of the inwardness and its contrast with the other arts, music as an embodiment of the metaphysical foundation of the world, music as an expression of emotion and as “sound-moving form”, music as an object of phenomenology and the problem of the ontology of the musical work, music as living dialectic and as a critical integration of the social.


Kolydas, Tassos

The Guitar in Europe, during the 20th century

The aim of the course is to examine the conditions in which the guitar was used as an instrument of art music in Europe during the 20th century. With regard to Greek music, the examined topics include the rapid increase in interest around the guitar during the second half of the twentieth century, as well as the conditions for the establishment and development of the Greek Guitar School. During that period, guitarists in Greece pursued to transform the instrument from an accompaniment to a solo one and to recognize it as an art music instrument. The course examines subjects such as repertoire, technique, interpretation, compositions, teaching methods, construction, etc.

Digital score and electronic publications

The aim of the course is to examine the challenges and opportunities that are derived from the use of digital score in the hands of the modern musicologist. The ability to digitally edit the score brought such potential, that gradually impose digital scores as the best means for writing music. From the field of historical musicology, examined issues include dating the score, identifying the composer, investigating the authenticity of the work, copyright issues, etc. From the field of computational musicology, examined topics include the contribution of symbolic representation ​​of music (such as MusicXML semantic language) in the field of interoperability, and the rapid spread of digital score thanks to Open Source Software. Regarding the utilization of new technologies in education, digital score is considered as a means of cultivating creativity. After completing the course students will be able, among other, to write music on the computer using score editing applications.

History of modern Greek art music

This course examines the characteristics of modern Greek music culture in relation to its ideals (the musical culture of Western European countries). The work of Greek composers is examined, starting from the Renaissance (Francesco Londariti), continuing with the Ionian School (19th and early 20th century), and the National School (from the early 20th century until about 1960). The examination concludes with the exploration of the latest trends in the European avant-garde music after the end of the Second World War, which include, in one way or another, the most important Greek composers, as well as the artistic and creative trends of the last 2-3 decades. Special emphasis is given to the investigation of the sources that provide us with information about modern Greek art music, as well as the relation of the musical developments with the general political and intellectual history of the country, the social conditions and the artistic conditions that influenced them.


Fitsioris, Georgios

Theory and practice of renaissance music I & II

In this two-semester course students are introduced to the contrapuntal ‒and, at times, homophonic‒ style of the great masters of the so-called “golden age of polyphony”, namely Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, de Victoria, etc. The usual educational method of the Fuxian “species counterpoint” is not followed; instead, the students learn the fundamental principles of contrapunctus simplex (beginning with theoretical viewpoints of the 14th century), and the gradual transformation of such a basic structure to several versions of contrapunctus diminutus, through melodic embellishments. The students are asked to compose “free” 2-voice canonic passages in the way of Cantiones Duarum Vocum by Lasso, but also 3-voice or 4-voice passages against a given Cantus Firmus. In addition, the students are taught the fundamental principles of the contemporary theory (Tinctoris, Aaron, Glareanus, and mainly Zarlino) and, after becoming familiar with the several and divergent viewpoints about the modes, the concept of “tonal types”, the concepts of simultaneous and successive composition, as well as the differences between intervallic and chordal compositional practices, they analyze representative works of that period.


Palios, Apostolos

Acoustic skills training

Aim of this practical course is the cultivation of the acoustic skills of the students, so that they are able firstly to recognize individual intervals and chords, but primarily broader harmonic progressions and cadential formulas, and secondly to write down easily and correctly one or two parallel melodic lines in staff notation. Particular emphasis is also given to the capability of the perception of melodic and harmonic modules in relation to their functional role in broader tonal contexts.


Maliaras, Nikolaos

Musical Analysis – Approaching the musical work

During the lectures, it is taken for granted that musical analysis is not just a course, but rather a whole branch of historic and systematic musicology and certainly one of the most demanding and important ones. The course aims not only in getting acquainted with methods and techniques that were suggested and followed from time to time by the scholars but also – and mainly – to students' ability to approach a musical work in its own terms of analysis.

Therefore, the course is split basically into two sections:

One historical part, where the basic methods – from the beginning (around 1600) until the last decades of the 20th century – are briefly presented, explained, and commented upon. In that part, though, it was considered as essential for the students to make themselves familiar with the musical aesthetics dominating in different societies from time to time, which is essential for the perception of music for each time.

In the second part, the student will find practical advice for the applied analysis and ways to solve the difficult problem of the approach to the musical work.

The application of the analytical methods and techniques, but also the practical ways and approaches, is done using appropriate musical examples during the course.

Seminar: Workshop on Greek Music

The objective of the seminar is the engraving and editing-publication of works by Greek composers that are either handwritten or in old editions, into a digital format, using specialized computer programs, as well as the historical research around the works and the composers and the analytical presentation of the compositions. The seminar’s purpose is to prepare and publish the works through the Laboratory of Research and Publication of Greek Music that already operates in the Department.

Concise History of Music I and II

This is a core course aimed at first-year students in the first two semesters of their studies and attempts to give them a concise picture of the Western European music history, from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. The objective is to lay a historical foundation so that students can later specialize in the individual History courses and work out issues that require adequate knowledge of Music History. Despite the density of the material, the course serves as a good reference point for students in later years as well. It underlines the social and cultural conditions in which the course of music history takes place, the evolution of musical genres and forms, composition techniques, and important personalities that have left their permanent mark. Emphasis is also placed on the evolution of the musical style, but also on the position of composers in the their respective social environment. Each era is approached with representative musical examples, listened to during the course and analyzed briefly, in order to gain an understanding of the musical forms and structures within their historical development.

Choir I and II (Mixed students’ choir)

This is an optional course that is addressed to all students of the Department. During the course, the students are trained in vocal techniques, vocal placement, and proper breathing, as well as selected short examples of the repertoire from all periods of music history. The students participate in the Department Choir and are required to perform in music events organized by the Department or the University of Athens.