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LIGHT SONG

Light songs

The origin of light song

In late 19th - early 20th century, Greek songs were closely connected to the theatre. Songs were produced to serve the needs of musical comedies, reviews and light operas and borrowed most of their characteristics from European songs.

Given the lack of technology to store and reproduce sound, the theatre represented the main vehicle of transmission to a wide audience. People learned and loved the songs through the theatre and then looked for them in music labels where the scores were published almost immediately. These songs, played on the piano by the gentle hands of young women, were transformed into the protagonists of urban Sunday fiestas.

Thus, the songs created for the needs of the theatre assumed a life of their own. At that particular time, only the Athenian song and serenade (see relevant sections) created independent songs that were performed in taverns and transmitted from one person to the other.

The emergence of technology

When, in mid 1930s, Greece obtained the means to produce records, something that previously could only be done abroad, and the first Radio Station in Athens was created (1938), the scenery began to change. The technical means facilitated the rapid circulation of music and Greek songs began to detach from the theatre. Technology also insured the mass reception of music information from Europe and America.

Influences in Light song - The lyrics

Songs written since the 1920s ceased to have the heavy influence of Italian “Belle canto”. Composers were now more influenced by the French music school, creating skilful songs in melody and harmony, compatible to the romantic ideas of the time that could function as a source of family entertainment. However, in many occasions they did not hesitate to merge these songs with oriental rhythms and motifs borrowed from Greek music, like the 7/8.

However, French songs were not the only influence. From the late 1920s, the Argentinean tango had conquered urban areas « » [1936]. Eldo di Lazzaro – . « » [1937]. , as well as other Latin-American rhythms , like fox-trot, samba, rumba, etc, thrust the popular waltz aside, while jazz orchestras appeared in luxury entertainment centers. All of those things led to the creation of songs that incorporated a new kind of message.

The lyrics were mainly about love – « » [1953]. , fun – « » [1954]. , and wine – « » [1933]. . . .

The theatre and the cinema

The theatre, and especially reviews and light operas, continued to create songs, many of which became major successes. Composers had closely related their songs to theatrical productions. Christos Chaeropoulos represents a characteristic example of composers whose most popular songs came from light operas and were written to serve the needs of several Athenian theatrical companies.

In addition, the emergence of the Greek film industry that began mass production from the early 1950s, created a need for music production. The film industry offered the composers good pay as well as an ideal framework for the process of new music context and ideas , , 1950: (), , , , , , , (), , , .

Therefore, a whole new category of songs was created, the so called light songs, which addressed the middle and upper social and economical classes « » () « » ( ) – « » [1951]. « ’ ». « » [1943]. « ».

The composers

Many significant composers appeared in that time, among who were:

  1. Kleon Triantafyllou, also known as Attik (Athens 1885 – 1944) « » « ». – 1944 « – » « – » «» [1928]. : « - » « » [1930]. : « - » « » [1932]. « » [1935].
  2. Antonis Vottis (Athens 1890; - 1970) « » - « » - – « » [1930].
  3. Grigoris Konstantinidis (Phillipoupoli 1893 - Athens 1979) « » - « » - « » - – « » [1937]. – « » [1936]. .
  4. Iosiph Ritsiardis (Corfu 1896 - 1979)  « » - « » - – « » [1951]. « ». « » [1953].
  5. Kostas Giannidis (Smyrna 1903 - Athens 1984) « » – « » [1940]. – « » [1948]. « ’ » [1938]. who was also involved in “scholarly” music using his real name, Giannis Konstantinidis.
  6. Yiannis Kyparissis (Piraeus 1906) « » - « » - « » - « » - – « » [1940].
  7. Michalis Sougioul (Aydin 1906 - Athens 1958) « » « » () « » ( ) – « ».
  8. Mimis Katrivanos (Athens 1906 - 1972) « » « ‘ » - « ‘ » - – « ’ ». « » [1933].
  9. Christos Chaeropoulos (Athens 1909 - 1992) « » - – «» [1942]. « » [1936].
  10. Yiannis Vellas (1909 - 1999) – « ». – « » [1937].
  11. Nicky Jiakovlev (Russia 1910 - 1981) – « – » [1948].
  12. Leo Rapitis (Athens 1912 – Congo 1957) «, , » - «, , » - – « » [1947]. – « » [1946].
  13. Alekos Spathis (Edessa 1915 - Athens 1970) – « » [1950]. – « ».
  14. Nikos Gounaris (Zagora, Pelion 1915 - Athens 1965) « ‘» - « ‘» - « ». – « ‘».
  15. Takis Morakis (Athens 1916 - 1991) « » - « » - – « » [1938]. « ». « » [1957].
  16. Fotis Polymeris (Patra 1920) « » « » [1948].
  17. Giorgos Mouzakis (Athens 1922 - 2005) «» - – « » [1949]. – « ’ » [1948]. – « ».
  18. Theodoros Papadopoulos (Constantinople - Athens 1964) « » - « » - – « » [1951]. . . « ’ » [1936].
  19. Lola Votti «» [1931].
  20. Zozeph Korinthios « » - – « » [1955]. – « » [1951].
  21. Giorgos Myrogiannis – « ’ » [1954]. – « » [1950].
  22. Spyros Ollandezos « » - « » - – « » [1932]. .
  23. Sosos Ioannidis – « » [1935].
  24. Angelos Martino – « » [1937]. – « » [1933]. .