Topic 6 Different Music Styles

This topic will focus on different music styles performed by the programmes presented before.

Greek Traditional

Arrangement: Alexandros Livitsanos

Milo mou kokkino is one of the most popular folk songs from Macedonia which is heard at wedding dances. Folk songs reflect Greek feelings and lifestyle. Everyday life moments, emotions like love, happiness, love for nature have been expressed through folk songs which pass from generation to generation up to nowadays. Some Greeks learnt these songs from their grandparents while younger ones have been learning them at school.

The lyrics of this well-known song describe a young man’s love with no response. The girl he loves avoids him. He calls her “apple” and “pomegranate”, like a nice, sweet fruit. In his attempt to go close to her, the young man speaks to the girl’s door, as if it was a person. The young man’s disappointment as well as the girl’s refusal show their feelings which are true and simple, personified by natural things.

The piece uses an irregular time signature: 7/8 (3+2+2). This time signature is often used in Greek traditional folk music and is related to the Greek dance ‘kalamatianos’.

Composer: Andreas Michalopoulos

‘Modus Cyprius’ was composed in 2020 by the Cypriot composer Andreas Michalopoulos, for string orchestra and percussion, and it is dedicated to all the children who are participating in the orchestra of Sistema Cyprus. The idea was to create a piece with references to Cyprus and a strong rhythmic feel.

The title of the piece derives from the latin word ‘modus’ which means ‘way’ or ‘manner’, and ‘Cyprius’ which refers to Cyprus. The word ‘modus’ also refers to the musical modes, as the mixolydian mode it is used in the piece. The style and character of traditional folk music of Cyprus is based on the ancient and byzantine tradition and often uses the ancient scales (modes).

The piece uses an irregular time signature: 7/8 (3+2+2). This time signature is often used in traditional folk music of Cyprus and is related to the Greek dance ‘kalamatianos’. Cypriot folk musicians refer to this metre a ‘triamisi’ which means ‘three and a half’, as it splits in 3 parts, one part containing 3 quavers and another 2 parts containing 2 quavers.

Composer: Carlos Garcia

Ritmos Ciganos is a piece with happy gypsy melodies and rhythms with a lot of energy. Ritmos Ciganos has been performed by many orchestras around the world and causes a very good impact on the public and the orchestra.

Ritmos Ciganos is an arrangement commissioned by the Orquestra Geração with the aim of supporting the gypsy community that exists in several of the Orquestra Geração’s schools through its musical culture.

 It was composed in 2010 by Carlos García, a Portuguese composer; inspired by a cassette with gypsy melodies given by a father of one of Orquestra Geração’s students, mediator of the gypsy community and representative of the school community of zambujal.

Initially, Ritmos Ciganos was written for string orchestra, guitar and percussion and later a symphonic arrangement has been made with parts of all the instruments of the orchestra.. It is a piece with happy gypsy melodies, fast and with virtuosity represented by violins and clarinets, it presents rhythms with a lot of energy in the accompaniment and uses some resources that give a lot of life to the piece. The piece includes making rhythms with the palms, singing in the middle of the piece, doing percussion effects with the instruments and using the body as an instrument dancing and creating some choreographies.

Due to the good impact on the public and the fact that the students have fun playing, singing and dancing together, it is a piece that is played in many countries and programs.

Composer John Newton – Edwin Othello Excell

Arrangement Stephane Fourreau

Amazing Grace is one of the most famous Christian hymns in the English-speaking world. The first publication of written lyrics dates from 1779. Associated with various melodies over the years, it is now performed on the music of New Britain.

This time we play this work in a French version, interpreted by a cornemuse, instrument typical of Bretagne, a French region. We can see that it is structured in a way that starts with a single principal and that little by little the instrumentation provides a natural crescendo with a constant rhythm.

Afghan folk song

Arrangment: Kai Jack

“Bia Ke Beram Ba Mazar” is a widely known and popular Afghan folk song. The title of the song, sung in Dari, translates to “Let’s go to the Mazar”. A mazar being a muslim shrine or tomb. It could also refer to the city Mazar-i-Sharif, sometimes shortened to “Mazar”

The lyrics talk about the beauty and the flowers of the mazar and about the excitement of soon meeting a loved one at the mazar.

The song, along with a few other Afghan classics, was arranged by Kai Jack in 2018 to be played by the Dream Orchestra, in Gothenburg, Sweden, under Maestro Ron Davis Alvarez. Many of the Dream Orchestra’s musicians are refugees from Afghanistan and had requested that a few pieces from their home country be arranged so that they could play them.

A concert was held in 2019 in Gothenburg with both The Dream Orchestra and ZOHRA, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra. With both classical Western instruments, as well as traditional Afghan instruments, the two orchestras performed Bia Ke Beram Ba Mazar in front of a packed hall.