The Ney as a New Instrument in Greek Traditional Music.

This research will attempt to track all the important Cretan music elements that can be developed on the ney, and to invent new interpretative ney techniques for these.
1435137323 yannis ekonomou

Yannis Oikonomou

Keywords: ney, traditional Greek music, Cretan music
Duration: Started in 2012
Period: 20th century music
Musician type: wind
Host institution: Leiden University

The Ney was appeared in the Greek traditional music in the late 1970s, during the “paradosiaká revival”(meaning the revival of traditional Greek music - a movement initiated by the “cultured” Athenian youth). Besides the ney, a few other musical instruments started to be used again, most of which came from the tradition of Greece and Asia Minor (e.g. ud, lyre, lute, lafta). A small number of musicologists and researchers investigated this movement and mainly focused on its social, political and ethnomusicological aspects. Consequently, there is little knowledge available concerning the use of the ney in Greek traditional music, as well as musical elements that were developed on the ney during the revival. In order to get a deeper understanding of the role of the ney as a new instrument in Greek traditional music, my research aims to reflect on the investigation of all the processes of the instrument’s technique evolution during the paradosiaká revival.

After an extended literature review during the first and the second year of my PhD, it appears that the genre of the traditional Greek repertoire, which is not developed on the ney so far, is Cretan music. From a methodological point of view, this project will be based on a cyclical process, where practice (i.e. performance) and an investigation of the musical and cultural features of the genre will be interrelated. Articulating this embodied knowledge will result in an original contribution towards the development of the ney and its repertoire, the revelation of new sound qualities and aesthetics, and the enrichment of the traditional Greek music. The outcome of the process complies with the nature of the research and is in the form of a written thesis and ‘documented’ performances.

Prof. dr. Joep Bor (promotor), prof. Frans de Ruiter (promotor)