Name: Stamatis Pasopoulos

Main subject: Classical composition

Main subject teacher: Robin de Raaff

AR domain: Composition

AR coach: Hans Koolmees

Date of submission: 30.11.2015

“Contemporary music creation in the greek traditional music”


#Contemporary music #Greek traditional music


Having my knowledge and my experience on greek traditional music as my basic implement, the only way to express myself and be creative, based on this material, is through modern music creation.

The real meaning of the word “tradition”, translated from greek, is “delivery”, which is also the real meaning of this music. Every generation has to deliver all this material to the next one, having passed it through some filters, adding -or even removing- some elements.

Holding this idea and having on mind that traditional music can be creative even in the 21st century and respond to the modern social circumstances, I decided to make my own “delivery” of this music.


To create a modern geological sound, which arises from the combination of the two elements I mentioned above. A sound through which I can find myself in the present, past and future, as well. To use the common elements of those two types of music, as well as accomplish a peaceful coexistence of this dissimilarity. Additionally, I think that the more effective direction  of this collaboration is that the contemporary culture have to approach the greek traditional, because is more physical way.

Research Question

How can I as a composer use elements from greek traditional music for the development of my own musical language?

The intervention cycle

During my first intervention cycle I tried to find in the past the departure point of combination of contemporary and greek traditional music. So I used as reference recording the String Quartet, which I have written in 2009 for lyra of Istanbul, two violins and cello. In the second step I made my personal reflection for the piece and I came to the conclusion that I can find in the piece many elements of my study of contemporary music in bayan. After this I received five feedbacks from the network’s members, which I choose in depend on their relationship with the greek folk music. For these feedbacks is interesting to mention the view of composers that I can learn more deep the possibilities in different layers and in the other hand the opinion of lyra-player, that there was a successful balance in this combination. In the third step of data collection, using the literature strategy of research, I search knowledge on the works of other composers which they have used from greek traditional music and specially to Iannis Xenakis, also on ancient greek music and relation between this music and greek traditional and additional the extensions of ancient greek music. In the end of the  first cycle my  intervention is to learn in focus and deeper in the using elements which come from greek traditional music, to find more technical, expressive and rhythmical possibilities in the instruments using the knowledge of greek instruments and to experiment much more with the possibilities which the contemporary music can offer to me.

The plan about the second intervention cycle is to compose a piece for a line-up of 8 instruments (flute, clarinet, eng. horn, violin, contrabass, harp, piano, percussions) applying my idea about layer music, in combination with a story from ancient greek mythology. I have in my mind also to use specific greek traditional scales with microtones fitting techniques of greek instruments to common classical instruments, like kaval and flute.

Research result

Artistic Product: In my final point of my research I would like to make a piece with big line-up where there is a combination between greek traditional and contemporary culture but not only in the layer of music but also about the stage performance, dance and perception of space.

Research Report: I have to experiment with new composition ways both how I use the material (rhythmical, melodic, expressive, technically) and how I choose the right material.


-Media review-


  • Kamarotos, D. (1994), “Iannis Xenakis”: a tribute of National Metsovian Technical University to a graduate student, Syghroni Epohi, Athens
  • Apostolopoulos, L.  (2002), The four Greeks, Kaktos, Athens
  • Aristoteles, (2008), Poetics, Zitros, Thessaloniki


  • Solomos, M. (….), Les Anastenaria de Xenakis. Continuité et discontinuité historique, (accessed November 2015)