In Greece, the cultural presence of the mandolin – as a musical instrument expressing local musical traditions – dates back to the late 19th century. It is linked to four different musical traditions (the Smyrnean songs, the Athenian song, the Heptanisian serenade, and the Cretan music, dances) originating in four different regions: Asia Minor, Athens, the Ionian Islands, and Crete. The music differs from tradition to tradition and evolves continuously over the years. Moreover, it is characterized by an impressive diversity of rhythms, harmonies, scales, and melodies – due to the creative assimilation of both Orien-tal and Western European influences.
The purposes of this project are to explore, document and record the repertoire, as well as the playing techniques that have arisen in the musical traditions of Crete and Athens; to develop and document a specific performance practice method for these two traditions; to enrich the mandolin’s repertoire by bringing unknown repertoire and performing tech-niques to light; to improve improvisation skills of classical musicians; to inspire new com-posers to use the already existing instrumental techniques that have been spread orally through the four traditions, and create new contemporary music for mandolin.
The fieldwork will provide an overview of the repertoire and an accompanying range of insights about unknown playing techniques and pedagogical processes that are severely lacking at the moment.
Promotors: Yves Senden (Royal Conservatoire Antwerp) & Bart Eeckhout (UAntwerp)