Abstracts of issue 22 (2015)

Athanasios Trikoupis

Dynamic and melodic accent usage in the Modern Greek poetry set to music

The relation between the inherent musical features of poetry and the corresponding ones of the poems set to music receives multiple considerations and interpretations, as one can see based on the existing specialized bibliography. In the various kinds of poetry set to music, one can discern multiple correlations, stemming from the maintenance of some kind of consistency between the characteristics of the productive and the generative part, up to their complete dissociation, just as during the 20th century when the metre of the verse surrendered to the metrical pattern of the music. The existing fluctuation is totally obvious, let alone desirable, given the “a priori” co-existence of the poet and the composer. Indeed, the terms of this so called “co-existence” are normally set mostly by the latter.

The present study investigates the special case in which the composer is also the poet, be it a composer who left some samples of setting to music his own poetic work (e.g. George Lambelet, Antiochos Evangelatos) or rarely a poet who occasionally attempted to set to music some of his/her poems (e.g. Ioannis Tsakasianos). This approach allows for conclusions to be drawn regarding poetry set to music, in which an interaction between the musical formal characteristics of verse and melody is definitely attempted.

The study is limited to excerpts of works for voice and piano of the 20th century Greek art music, written exclusively in the major-minor tonal system. Correlations are attempted in all the musical features of verse and melody, with main emphasis on the usage of the dynamic and melodic accents.

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