About the ancient greek music we have only studies around the period 400 B.C.-300 A.D. -like Aristoteles, Aristoxenus, Pythagoras etc.-  so it’s impossible to know how the music performed. In my personal opinion the best way to clarify someone this music is through the greek traditional music and mainly through the original staff which exist in isolated places like in mountains or small islands; and before 1970, when the people in province still lived in an “old” way of life. This similarity there is also on the whole of these two cultures (theater, dance, relationship with supernatural etc.)

Following the opposite direction we can analyze much better the greek traditional music using ancient studies and also to add some elements which disappeared  or changed over time. In any case we should not forget that the mother of nine Muses in ancient Greece was “Mnemosyne”, which means “Memory”.

There is a relation ship between greek folk music and modern music creativity, which can be observed in the following fields: i) the use of micro-tones ii) the effort of deconstruction of rhythmical and melodic phrases iii) the use of improvisational elements iv) the flexibility which provided to player as to the way of performance which he chooses and v) the immensely variety of rhythms, scales, polyphonies and combinations of instruments. All these elements exist both in greek folk music and contemporary.

I believe that is the right time to inspired the contemporary music  much more from anyone traditional culture. The composer-creator is responsible to choose the right elements that he needs for his work, including these in the present. This inspiration could be several things which including in a traditional culture, like a landscape, the colors, the nature, the way of of people, a rhythm, an instrument, a dance, a costume, a fairy tale, the food etc. In this case the piece could be belong in a new “geological sound” and finally might be a palette with a lot of contemporary “geological sounds”, and of course this is absolutely different of “ethnic” music, because the different is that the first one is based on individual creation and the other on mimicry.




1.   Literature


  • Aristoteles, “Poetics” [c. 367-347 Β.C.]

(Αριστοτέλης, Ποιητική, μτφ. Δ. Λυπουρλής, εκδ. ΖΗΤΡΟΣ, Θεσσαλονίκη, 2008)

  • Aristoxenus, “Elements of Harmonics” – “Elements of Rhythm” [c. 300 B.C.]

(Αριστόξενος, Αρμονικά στοιχεία, Ρυθμικά στοιχεία, Αποσπάσματα, μτφ. Φιλολογική Ομάδα Κάκτου, εκδ. ΚΑΚΤΟΣ, Αθήνα, 2005)

  • Plutarch, “On Music [c. 90 A.D.]

(Πλούταρχος, ΗΘΙΚΑ, τόμος 29, “Περί μουσικής”, μτφ. Φιλολογική Ομάδα Κάκτου, εκδ. ΚΑΚΤΟΣ,  Αθήνα, 2005)

  • Claudius Ptolemy, “Harmonics” [c. 2nd century A.D.]

(Ingmar Düring, Die Harmonielehre des Klaudius Ptolemaios. Göteborgs Högskolas Årsskrift, vol. 36,  nº 1. Göteborg 1930)

  • Aristides Quintilianus, “On Music” [c. 3rd century A.D.]

(Aristides Quintilianus, “De Musica I”, Winnington-Ingram, Leipzig, 1963)

  • Kritos Georgios “Elements of greek ancient metric”

(Κρήτος Γεώργιος, “Στοιχεία αρχαιοελληνικής μετρικής”, εκδ. Μαστορίδη, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1970)

  • Iannis Xenakis “Texts about music and architectur”

(Ξενάκης Ιάννης, “Κείμενα περί μουσικής και αρχιτεκτονικής”, εκδ. ΨΥΧΟΓΙΟΣ, Αθήνα, 2001)

  • Solomos Makis “IANNIS XENAKIS: The universe of strange creator”

(Σολωμός Μάκης, “IANNHΣ ΞΕΝΑΚΗΣ: Το σύμπαν ενός ιδιότυπου δημιουργού”,εκδ. ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΕΙΑ, Αθήνα, 2008)

  • Varga Balint Andras, “Conversations with Iannis Xenakis”

(Βάργκα Μπάλιντ Άντρας, “Συνομιλίες με τον Ιάννη Ξενάκη”, μτφ. Αλέκα Συμεωνίδου, εκδ. Ποταμός, Αθήνα, 2004)

  • A tribute of National Metsovian Technical University to a graduate student: Iannis Xenakis

(Ένα αφιέρωμα του Εθνικού Μετσοβίου Πολυτεχνείου προς έναν απόφοιτό του: Ιάννης Ξενάκης, εκδ. Σύγχρονη Εποχή, Αθήνα, 1994)


  • Hourmouziades Nikos, “The chorus in ancient greek drama”

(Χουρμουζιάδης Νίκος, “Ο χορός στο αρχαίο ελληνικό δράμα”, εκδ. Στιγμή, Αθήνα, 2010)

  • Hourmouziades Nikos, “On chorus”

(Χουρμουζιάδης Νίκος, “Περί χορού”, εκδ. Καστανιώτης, Αθήνα, 1998)

  • Fotopoulos Dionysis, “Masks Theater

(Φωτόπουλος Διονύσης, “Μάσκες Θέατρο”, εκδ. Καστανιώτης, Αθήνα, 1980)

  • Koun Karolos, “About theater”

(Κουν Κάρολος, “Για το θέατρο”, εκδ. Κακουλίδης, Αθήνα, 1981)

  • Koun Karolos, “We make theater for our soul”

(Κουν Κάρολος, “Κάνουμε θέατρο για την ψυχή μας”, εκδ. Καστανιώτης, Αθήνα, 2000)


2. CD’s and DVD’s





3. Documents







4. Internet









       The tradition of wrestling (Serres)_2

       The tradition of Anastenaria (fire-walking)_2



1. Network diagram and explanation

  • Papadopoulos Ilias composer and lyra of Pontos player

(He was my composition teacher in my Bachelor and he was the first one which he introduced me in deeper theoretical analysis of greek traditional  musicvia ancient greek studies and how connected these two cultures.)

  • Kyriakakis Giorgoscomposer

(He is greek composer of contemporary music and he have introduced in his works elements of byzantine and greek traditional music.)

  • Karakantza Sofia theatre director

(I have already worked with her several times and she can advise me both the ancient greek theater and stage performance.)

  • Vovolis Thanoscostume designer specializing in design and manufacture of masks    

(I found him in internet and I thought that could be advise me about the ideas with masks.) 

  • Theodorou Kostascomposer / improviser/ d. bass and percussion player

(I join in Kostas Theodorou -Dine Donneff- Quartet he combines elements from macedonian music, modern music and improvisation to narrate a story and create illustrations.) 

  • Rizopoulos Alexandrosarchitecture and percussion player

(He is a friend of mine and we worked for many years in the same band and in the past we have discussed about the music performance and the space.)

  • Robin de Raaff composer / main subject teacher
  • Rene Uijlenhoet  composer specializing in electronic sound
  • Jan Bas Bollen  composer specializing in visual media


2. Network interviews

a. Summary of interview with Robin de Raaff:

I had a discussion last week with my main subject teacher and I informed him about my topic and my first ideas. We talked about the ancient greek studies about music and the connection with the greek traditional music, we analyzed the below picture, that I created to make more clear my artistic research question. He told that my topic is very interesting and he liked a lot the parts about the intervals and masks.


Assignment 1: IDEA

         1.  Motivation

  • As a musician and a composer I always try to express and discover myself more and more through my compositions, combining  knowledge, experiences, personal moments, instinct, understanding of my character and artistic wishes and goals.

         2.  Artistic Research Question

  • How can I, as a composer, use elements of (ancient) Greek music for the development/enrichment of my own musical language?

         3. Goal

  • From my study and experience there is a relationship between ancient Greek music and original Greek folk music. As a composer I would like to use elements from these two fields in the frame of contemporary music, which assist to combine the two musical idioms,  contemporary and Greek. The final goal is to develop and enrich my own musical language.