Musical Selections from the mini-course "Musical Nationalism in Times of Crisis: A Greek Case Study"

Welcome to the class blog for the University of Michigan mini-course "Musical Nationalism in Times of Crisis: A Greek Case Study."

This course invites students to explore the socio-political repercussions of the current global economic crisis through the framework of music. Our case study is Greece, a nation situated on the margins of the European Union but at the focal point of the current financial and cultural crisis. Drawing from various types of musical expression, we examine how music shapes and reflects contemporary cultural and economic realities in Greece including: political and cultural globalization; the economic crisis; the balancing of regional and national governance policies and the creation of a contemporary Greek national identity.

This blog contains selected listening examples examined in this course.

Click the Class to View the Listening Assignment.

Class 1:

Class 2: (10/06)
introduces students to the broad spectrum of "Greek music" and challenges them to question just what is "Greek" about the songs.

Class 3: (10/11)
focuses on the Eurovision Song Contest. How do Helena Paprizou and Kalomira balance "Greek" and "European" identities in their performances?

Class 4: (10/13)
introduces students to the difficult socio-economic situation in Greece. It gives a small sample of the wide range of musical responses to the contemporary crisis.

Class 5: (10/25)
challenges students to question their own definitions of music. When does a sound become "music" and when is it just plain noise?

Class 6: (10/27)
examines the phenomenon of musical nationalism. Which musical styles are promoted on local and national levels to represent the nation? Which styles are avoided and why? How does the style in which a song is performed affect its reception?

Class 7: (11/3)
introduces students to various Greek composers who composed "national Greek music." In what ways did these composers musically identify their works as Greek? Do their compositions sound "Greek" to you?

Class 8: (11/08)
examines various musical reactions to the contemporary socio-economic crisis in Greece. It focuses a) on the songs and chants of the Indignant movement and b) on the phenomenon of musical parody as a means of resistance. How can we characterize the differences between musical mockery and musical parody?

Class 9: (11/10)
focuses on various mainstream pop songs whose lyrics discuss the injustices of the contemporary Greek crisis on the Greek people. What is strange about the use of mass music production and distribution technology in an effort to resist the injustices of the Greek economic system?

Class 10 &11: (11/15 11/17)
examines the phenomenon of contemporary rebetika performance as a means of protesting the social, political and economic Europeanization of Greece. It focuses on the performances of rebetiko musician Pavlos Vassiliou and his music tavern "Rebetiki Istoria" [Rebetika History] in Athens, Greece. Why is rebetika a particularly appropriate genre for this musical resistance?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CLASS 10: An Introduction to Rebetika

1. Makos Vamvakaris: Frankosyriani [Frankosyrian Girl]

2. Rita Abadtzi: Hariklaki

3. Anestis Delias: O Ponos tou Prezakias [The Pain of the Junkie]

4. Vassilis Tsitsanis: Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki [Cloudy Sunday]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CLASS 9: The Irony of Mainstream Resistance

1.) Dimitris Mitropanos "H Katsarola" [The Pot]

2.) Glykeria and Makedonas: "H Koursara" [The Limousine]

3.) Nivo "Kalhmera Ellada" [Good Morning Greece]

Sunday, November 6, 2011

CLASS 8: Parody and the Greek Crisis & The Indignant

1. The Demotic Songs of the Crisis "Armenaki" D.Kontogiannis

2. Greek Debt Song: Merle Hazard

3. Radio Arvila "One Year IMF"

5. Dimitris Mitropanos "H Katsarola" (New song written for the Indignant)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CLASS 6: National Music

1) AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM (Christina Aguilera Super Bowl 2011)

2) AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM (Jimi Hendrix Woodstock 1969)


4) GREEK NATIONAL ANTHEM (Without lyrics)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

10/ 25 CLASS 5: What is Music?


4) DIAMANDA GALLAS: "SKOTOSE ME" (Live with Jon Stewart)

While listening to these examples begin to question your preconceptions about what is and is not music. How can we define music?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CLASS 4: Ah Ellada: A Nation in Crisis 10/13


2. B.D. FOXMOOR: "DEN THUMAMAI POU XRWSTAW" [I Can't Remember Where I Owe]


4. ANTYPAS: "YPARHOUN DUO ELLADES" [There are two "Greeces"]

Many songs have been written about the difficult times in Greece. In what ways do these songs engage with the situation in Greece? Is the musical content appropriately matched with the lyrical content? Consider the musical characteristics: Could any of these songs
function as a unifying protest song for the Greek people?