Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Musical hybridity through Greek diaspora: in the case of Calliope Tsoupaki and Yannis Kyriakides

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Version 2 2023-09-27, 00:00
Version 1 2021-12-09, 01:09
posted on 2023-09-27, 00:00 authored by Elyse Dalabakis

This research explores the influence of Greek history and diaspora and its impact on Greece and the progression of Greek popular musical styles – traditional, folk, and rebetika music. This research examines the question: How have Greek music and musical styles impacted Greek composers now residing outside Greece? Through the lens of two case studies, this exegesis examines the effect of Greek history, diaspora, and the ever-transforming national and popular musical styles on two living Greek composers – Calliope Tsoupaki and Yannis Kyriakides, who both now teach at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in Den Haag, Netherlands. Though these cases are similar, this is not a comparative study nor a conclusive study to be applied to a collective Greek experience; but rather an examination of the results of Greek diaspora in the twentieth century on not only Greece‘s musical styles but also the contemporary art music that is being created today by two Greek people residing outside Greece.  This exegesis examines concepts of imagined communities (Anderson 2006), nationalism (as discussed by Taruskin, Curtis 2008), nationalism and music (Bohlmann 2011, Curtis 2008), diaspora (Clifford 1994, Safran 1991, Clogg 1999), traditional vs modern (Cassia 2000), social vs national memory (Pennanen 2004), and hybridity and popular music in regards to rebetika (Holst-Warhaft 2003). Through applying these concepts towards the case studies in chapter three, this exegesis examines the results of the birth of the Modern Greek nation, Greek diaspora, progressive musical style, and the impact of musical styles on two living Greek composers who now reside outside Greece; furthermore, it explores what this means for their sense of Greek identity and hybrid identity.  By applying the Greek history from 1832 and the progression of its popular musical style discussed in chapters one and two to Kyriakides‘ and Tsoupaki‘s experiences, the third chapter of this research shows two real-world experiences concerning diaspora and migration and examines the discovery of their hybrid identities through culture and their compositions, as well examining my own position as a performer who identifies as a hybrid of nationalities through the final section of this exegesis - ―In the case of a performer.‖ The importance of these case studies is to explore the impact the nineteenth and twentieth century Greek diaspora had on the musical styles of Greece which has further influenced Kyriakides and Tsoupaki on their personal and musical journey as Greek people residing outside Greece.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Maurice, Donald; Psathas, John