In this course we will use the kanun to approach and understand a variety of the different musical idioms of Greece. We will place special emphasis on the unique distinguishing elements of each of the idioms such as the rhythmic structures with their idiomatic “drive” and “feel” (“groove”), the melody, as well as the subtle nature of the melodic intervals (semitones, quartertones).
We will play and compare pieces which ostensibly share the same rhythm, but with a very different idiomatic nature and “feel,” so as to highlight this as a defining feature of the different musical styles.
This course is for students who are already comfortable on the kanun, as we will focus primarily on the musical content rather than on the instrument and its techniques. Upon completing this course, the student will have come into direct contact with a variety of Greek musical idioms, and learned pieces from specific traditions in which the kanun is not usually present, but which, through an understanding of the musical idiom, can find a place for itself which is consistent with the character of the tradition in question.
Repertoire will include: “Azogirianos sirtos” (4/4) from Crete, “Katinaki” (makam Hüseyini, 4/4) from the rebetiko and café aman traditions, “Neratzoula” (tsamiko 3/4) from the Peloponnese, “Pses idia” (6/8) from Thrace, and “Patrounino” (11/8) from the region of Macedonia.