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Heterotopia and Ideology in Interwar Rebetiko

Doctoral project by Spiros Delegos

The aim of the research is to reveal the heterotopic aspects of interwar rebetiko, as shown by syncretic musical expressions and practices and to examine critically the interwar rebetiko representations regarding the ‘East-West’ dipole in relation to the meanings of ‘Greekness’. The approach utilizes the perspective of historical ethnomusicology (including music analysis).
The study will focus on the following key concepts: rebetiko: an urban musical genre of mixed origin, falling into the category of Greek urban popular music; heterotopia: a concept by Michel Foucault, meaning ‘other topos’, in particular an ‘in-between’ musico-cultural space; East-West dipole: a dichotomous ideological cultural narrative in terms of the meanings of the imaginary ‘westernness’ and ‘easternness’; Greekness: the imaginary Greek national identity based on diverse ethnocentric narratives.

I shall collect my research data from previous studies, archival sources and music databases. Subsequently, I will focus on rebetiko-related agents in transit, transcribe and analyse representative pieces, and interpret them within the contemporary socio-cultural context. Moreover, I will critically scrutinise articles, books, etc. on the genre in terms of the ideology of the Greek national identity. New perspectives on interwar rebetiko emanate from revealing its heterotopic character and the ideological aspects of the diverse ‘Greeknesses’ in its representations, leading to the deconstruction of the hegemonic ideological-cultural narrative of ‘East-West’ dichotomy.

Spiros Delegos is a doctoral student in the Research Study Programme at the DocMus doctoral school.

Keywords: Interwar period, Rebetiko, Heterotopia, East-West dipole, Greekness

Future doctors in music

We have approximately 150 doctoral students enrolled at the Sibelius Academy. This blog offers a view to their research projects.

The doctoral students are a part of a research community which is a unique combination of artistic activities, education, and research.

Their projects cover a wide spectrum of topics in the realm of music, combining musical practices and different research approaches.

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