Music > greek :introduction:ancient:byzantine:new:classical

* I present greek names in latin, greek and International Phonetic Alphabets.
Probably, you know the tunes Zorbas by Theodorakis and Never on Sunday by Hadzidakis. These were 'hits' of the 60s and have labelled greek music since then. Well, there is more...
Here is an outline about greek music and musicians through the ages.
Ancient music is practically lost, although there are a few fragments surviving (ancient greek notation is deciphered: it uses alphabet-symbols). The byzantine hymns are still sung in churches all over Greece and the study of byzantine notation, theory and hymnology is a very strong domain in musicological departments at universities. The greeks created a lovely folk music during the ottoman occupation. Its follow-up is the refugees' music, the rebetika and laïka (people's) music of contemporary times, with composers who never had 'western music' education. But also, intellectual composers as Theodorakis and Hadjidakis composed such music. It is still very much alive alongside pop, rock, ballads and all kinds of international influences.
As for the contact with western 'classical' music: it was introduced to the new greek state after 1832 starting with quasi bel canto music, moving to National School, and then to the 12tone-composer Skalkottas. The avant-garde composers: Xenakis who went to France after our civil war and Christou.

GENERAL SITES ON GREEK MUSIC with music files and notes
Greek Embassy in France Culture grecque excellent introduction in french.


ANCIENT greek music
index of ancient greek music
with material on fragments, bibliography, composers, notation...
GENERAL SITES Try it even if you do not speak german.
greek music links by Mr Lachanas
ancient music links by M Lachanas
The index of ancient greek music is still under construction.
Cf. Pölmann, Egert & West, Martin L. Documents of Ancient Greek Music; The Extant Melodies and Fragments. Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN10:019815223X, ISBN13:9780198152231.
Delphic Hymns by WIKIPEDIA
Also, check all the related pages.
Ancient Greek Music on Papyrus by William A. Johnson U. Cincinnati USA
Two fragments.
Ancient Greek Music fragments by Stefan Hagel at the Academy of Sciences AUSTRIA
Listen to midis of fragments
Vocal music - Yale papyri
William A. Johnson, Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati
Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol.LXV 4463
Alypius source for notation, published in 1652
by Nancy Sultan. 2008.
Selection detailed, at the Athens Music Library
CAREFUL: Ancient greek modes are different from ecclesiastical modes of the gregorian chant, due to a copyist's mistake. What is 'dorian' for ancient greek music, is NOT for western modes.
Greek Music by Mr Lachanas
Ancient Greek Origins of the Western Musical Scale, Pythagoras etc. by midicode
Skizze zur antiken Music in Berlin T U GERMANY
in german, very useful. Excellent AUDITORIUM
Greek Music. Plato. Pythagoras. Apollo small article
Metropolitan Museum New York: Music in Ancient Greece USA
Donatella Restani: Music and Myth in ancient Greece ITALY
Dr. Donatella Restani's article on myths - music.
Greek Music by Mr. Lachanas
Greek and Roman Pipe Organs at Bellum Catilinae site
Even if you do not read german, try it.
Music in Ancient Greece (vase painting) Metropolitan Museum New York USA
RECORDINGS - Ancient Greek Music
Portland State University Greek Civilization Topics for children
CLICK on MUSIC for article by Terri McReynolds.
Ancient Greek Musical Notation by Prof Wells
Test for Unicode support in Web browsers.

cycladic harpist
2800-2300 a.e.v.
Athens National Museum
auletris (woman playing aulos)
detail from relief found
in the villa of Ludovisi
c.470-460 a.e.v.
city of Locroi, southern Italy
Rome, Museo Nazionale

stele with music and epigramme
by Seikilos

Byzantine audio examples by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Nova Roma
CHANTING dowloadable music by the greek orthodox church
This is the official church site in english.
More info is available in its greek version.
Example: Christmas hymns AUDIO at
Byzantine Music Liturgical Music Gallery Audio files of hymns and modes. with music files and notes
Thousands of pages on byzantine notation, chant, etc. at retr. NOV 2007.
Byzantine Music by Paul Halsall at
Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae, Copenhagen Un.
Byzantine Music by Dionysios Politis at Thessaloniki U. GREECE in english and greek
The Byzantine Music by John D. Spyrakis at Thessaloniki U. GREECE in english
The Byzantine Music by Ioannis Spyrakis GREECE greek page
pdf files on Byzantine Notation: its signs explained.
Lots of hymns are given in both byzantine and western notations.
byzantine music links by M Lachanas
byzantine musicians

Modern Hellenic (Greek) Music by M Lachanas
In four pages. Start here, page 1
cultural events in Greece
kithara gr with lots of lyrics on songs, articles, etc. in greek
Greek Music Today: Links. by Yannis K. Ioannou Links in categories.
GREEK MUSIC TODAY - TEXT LINKS2 by Yiannis Ioannou Scroll down the page of links. CD shop in greek
links to sites with greek mp3 by (lots of pages are obsolete)
links to sites with greek mp3 by mdateplus
links to sites with greek mp3 by George Meligonis
FOLK MUSIC (Demotic)
folk music links by M Lachanas
Check, FOLK POETRY. Poetry-music-dance was an undivided whole.
Greek Music in Southern Italy (Magna Graecia) by Nondas Kitsos Excellent.
Traditional Greek Folk Culture CANADA
Museum of Popular Instruments in Athens
Traditional Music - download songs Stamatis Makris at Arcadia GREECE
Balkan music links by the ethnomusicologist and musician Muammer Ketencoğlu, TURKEY at Website of Muammer Ketencoğlu TURKEY
lyra player (lyraris)
by the naïf painter

NOTE: There are many kinds of 'people's' music: rebetika are different from laika (popular) and demotica (folk). Their common feature is that they were composed by naif composers, although scholar-composers gave beautiful 'laika' songs too. The art of songwriting is still very strong in Greece (all kinds: ballads, rock, quasi-ethnic etc.)
REBETICA (REMBETIKA) and traditional music of contemporary times
one photo, one story: Rebetes, 1933 at
photos by catefory at
rebetiko music links by M Lachanas
About rebetika and Roza Eskenazi Home Page Concise history.
Rebetiko Online. Where rebetika live online. Check history.
Balkan music links by the ethnomusicologist and musician Muammer Ketencoğlu, TURKEY at Website of Muammer Ketencoğlu TURKEY
Listen to Muammer Ketencoğlu's performance of Izmir and other rebetika, etc.
INTERWAR Rebetica and shadow theatre by FHW
Greek Rembetika or Laika? extensively described my Matt Barrett and his greecetravel
THE REBETIKA by George Panagiotakopoulos in english and greek
Amanes and music of refugees Gail Holst Warhaft, AUSTRALIA Audio examples and very well documented work.
laiki (popular) music links by M Lachanas
Greek Rembetika or Laika? extensively described my Matt Barrett and his greecetravel
TSITSANIS - BAΣIΛHΣ TΣITΣANHΣ 1915-1984 [va'silis tsi`tsanis] in english and greek
His song 'Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki' (=clouded Sunday) is representative not only of rebetiko music, but also, all modern greece.
THEODORAKIS - MIKHΣ ΘEOΔΩPAKHΣ b.1925 [`mikis θeoδo`rakis] Oscar award
Welcome - Bienvenue - Willkommen Mikis Theodorakis by Guy Wagner
Mikis Theodorakis - The Home Page (E)
Mikis Theodorakis,net by Guy Wagner in:
Mikis Theodorakis Index new
Mikis Theodorakis Film Music at IMDb
Biography in greek at arcadia personalities in greek
Mikis Theodorakis in greek only
Mikis Theodorakis mp3, 50 FREE legal mp3 downloads, sheet music and mp3s
SONG: Denial, poem by Yiorgos Seferis, melopoeia Mikis Theodorakis. A word-to-word presentation in international phonetic alphabet. Sound links for the song.
Zorbas the Greek sound track for the film (director: Mihalis Kakoyiannis) based on the novel of Nikos Kazantzakis.
Film sound track: [addendum]
Film video clip:
The theme, retrieved in NOV 2007 at
.mp3 [03:44] 3.5MB,,
.wav [03:10] 4MB
Ballet version
KHADZIDAKIS - MANOΣ XATZHΔAKIΣ 1925-1994 [`manos xadzi`δakis] Oscar award
Hadjidakis @wikipedia concise info. official site in english and greek. With Flash .swf. Audio samples.
Manos Hadjidakis Film Music at IMDb
OSCAR SONG: The kids from Piraeus (Ta paidia tou Peiraea) theme from film: Never on Sunday (gre: Pote tin kyriaki), actress, singing: Melina Mercouri. Note, that the composer did not like his song, thinking it became a 'tourist-tune'. But all greeks still love it, decades after it has been composed.
.wma sample [1:29] (first stanza)
video YouTube from national TV channel ET1 with english subtitles, retr. 11 NOV 2007.
T' asteri tou voria (gre: Τ' αστέρι του βοριά). Song, from the film-score of the 1963 film 'America America'.
Eleni Karaindrou -
She composes the music for the films of Theodoros Angellopoulos.
Eleni Karaindrou at IMDb
Vangelis Online
There is no equivalent greek singer of an Um Kulthum, or an Amalia Rodriguez or an Edith Piaf. The following names are my favourites and recognized as great singers (check at Google).
Grigoris/Gregory Bithikotsis
Mary Linda
Vicky Moskholiou/Mosholiou
Maria Farantouri
Nana Mouscouri belongs more to pop music.
Xylouris: the cretan singer NIKOΣ ΞYΛOYPHΣ by Yiannis Pratikakis
Also, the beloved voice of immigrants: Stelios Kazantzidis
(rebetiko musicians)

Vassilis Tsitsanis 1915-1984
(rebetiko composer)

Mikis Theodorakis

Manos Hadjidakis

links by M Lachanas in greek only
1897-1922 music: the beginning of greek national school by FHW
MANTZAROS - MANTZAPOΣ 1795-1872 [`mandzaros] (belongs to the 'italian' style of his times)
Hymne National Ambassade de Grèce with soundfile in french
Mantzaros @wikipedia
Music and composers of CORFU (Kerkyra) Mantzaros and more
KALOMIRIS - MANΩΛHΣ KAΛOMOIPHΣ 1883-1962 [ma`nolis kalo`miris] (creator of the 'national school')
Kalomiris Manolis Society Web Site
Kalomoiris BIO by Niki Diamanti in greek
SKALKOTTAS - NIKOΣ ΣKAΛKΩTTAΣ 1904-1949 [`nikos skal`kotas] (probably the greatest greek composer. Studied in Germany, 12-note style)
Check his Greek Dances and his 32 Piano Pieces.
Skalkotas @wikipedia
Friends of Nikos Skalkottas` Music Society in english german greek Links
Nikos Skalkottas by greek emagazie antibaro in english
TA NEA onLine Skalskottas by Christodoulou in greek
Skalkottas at local e-zine of Euboea island in greek
CHRISTOU 1926-1970 - ΓIANNHΣ XPHΣTOY [`janis `xristu] (An absolute genius. Wrote very few works.)
Jani Christou 1926-1970 by
Giannis Christou @wikipedia concise info.
book: Image and Music Jani Christou book by Anna M. Lucciano
Jani Christou bio in english // bio in german
XENAKIS - IANNHΣ ΞENAKHΣ 1922-2001 [i`anis kse`nakis] (possibly the most important composer of the end of the 20th century. also an architect.)
Xenakis @wikipedia in french and english
Iannis Xenakis biographie - 2002 IRCAM Centre Georges Pompidou in french
Center for the Composition of Music Iannis Xenakis in english and french
Xenakis by Todd M. McComb at
Iannis Xenakis. Architect of Light and Sound Abstract Article by Alessandra Capanna for the Nexus Network Journal vol.3 no.2 Spring 2001
Componist Xenakis , Yannis in german concise
Komponist Iannis Xenakis in german. concise.
Masterpiece's of 20th-Century Multi-channel Tape Music Xenakis
Roger Reynolds page an interview of Xenakis to Th. Rikakis in 1992
John Cage-Iannis Xenakis and Chance: paper by Tokeshi Oda
Un piccolo ricordo di Iannis Xenakis in italian
BBC News Sunday 4 February 2001 Xenakis dies
More composers, lists of composers at the Athens Music Library articles on greek music
Nikos Skalkottas

Jani Hristou
here, 24 years old

Iannis Xenakis

MARIA KALLAS - MAPIA KAΛΛAΣ 1923-1977 [ma`ria   `kalas]
Maria Callas EMI Classics
Photos, music samples, video samples, biographical notes and lots of recordings.
Divina The Official Maria Callas Web Site in english and italian
Maria Callas - Ten Best CDs by CulturKiosque
MARIA CALLAS - La Voix du XXème Siècle in french
in film MEDEA (director: Pier Paolo Pasolini)
DIMITRIS MITROPOULOS - ΔHMHTPHΣ MHTPOΠOYΛOΣ 1896-1960 [δi`mitris   mi`tropulos] - Demetris Metropoulos or Dimitris Mitropoulos
D. Mitropoulos 1896 1960 at Arcadia personalities in greek
Nelly' s photo of Metropoulos at ART TOPOS
SGOUROS, Demetris: pianist
ΔHMHTPHΣ ΣΓOYPOΣ [δi'mitris   'zγuros]
Classical Pianist Dimitris Sgouros Biography

EEME Greek Union for Music Education in greek
Music Issues (in greek only) by TEI Multimedia Lab
Files on Mozart, Schubert, the Orchestra, the Flute, links etc.
Maria Callas