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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
The songs "My Number One" and "Secret Combination" have represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest. In what ways do these songs a) represent Greece; b) represent Greece as a European nation; c) appeal to Greek audiences; d) appeal to international European audiences? Is it significant that their lyrics are in the English language?