Influence Of Greek Folk Song

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Greece sits at the crossroad between the Eastern and Western cultures of Asia and Europe. Being at this critical junction, Greece has experienced the ebb and flow of two cultural currents which subjected and allowed her to assimilate creatively diverse influences. Once Constantinople fell in 1453, completing the collapse of the Byzantine empire, there followed four hundred years of slavery which greatly hindered the natural development of Hellenism and restricted its spiritual evolution.

This period was particularly harsh and had an inhibitive influence on Greek music. From the twelfth or thirteenth century forward, an economically exhausted Byzantium was slowly collapsing due to years of factional rebellion, religious disputes, western crusades and eastern invasions. While the new technique of polyphony was
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As early as the first century A.D., ancient Greek tragedy, which at its peak of harmonious unity, incorporated poetry, music and dance, had disintegrated into its component elements.

Actor-tragedians continued to perform only certain parts of the dialogue of the tragedies, while others with good voices sang the vocal parts. There also arose a gesticulator whose purpose was to illustrate, with pantomimic gestures, what the actor-tragedian was singing. This gradually transformed the old Attic style of tragedy and comedy into the tragic-pantomime style of the imperial Byzantine years that included dance, mime, recitation and song. The reactions of the Church Fathers and the stream of condemnatory decisions and excommunications issued by ecumenical synods indicate the popularity of these spectacle-concerts in multi-ethnic Byzantium and the influence of the mime performances on the austere moral code of the Christians for many centuries to

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