Greek Music Timeline

  • c. 5000 BCE

    The first aulos musical instruments are carved from bone.

  • 2700 BCE - 2300 BCE

    The first depiction in art of the aulos musical instrument appears in Cycladic sculpture.

  • 2000 BCE

    The first examples of the lyre in the Bronze Age Aegean occur in the Cyclades and on Minoan Crete.

  • 1500 BCE - 1450 BCE

    The 'Harvester Vase' of Minoan origin depicts a sistrum player.

  • 1420 BCE - 1300 BCE

    Clay dancing figures including a rare female lyre player are made in Minoan Palaikastro.

  • c. 1400 BCE

    Lyres across the Aegean assume S-shaped arms and become more decoratively carved, most often with sculpted birds.

  • 1250 BCE - 1200 BCE

    A Linear B tablet from Greek Thebes mentions lyre players as members of the royal palace staff.

  • c. 700 BCE

    Sparta, Argos and Paros hold the first documented musical competitions in Greece.

  • 700 BCE

    The study of music theory begins in ancient Greece.

  • c. 550 BCE

    The silver drachma of Delos depicts a lyre - symbolic of Apollo - on its reverse side.

  • 548 BCE - 544 BCE

    Birth of Greek lyric poet Lasus of Hermione.

  • c. 400 BCE

    Theban musicians invent a more sophisticated aulos with metal keys.

  • c. 350 BCE

    Aristoxenos writes his theory of music treatise 'Harmonic Elements'.

  • 328 BCE

    Herodoros of Megara wins the first of ten consecutive trumpet competitions at the Olympic Games.

  • c. 100 BCE

    Coins of Kos and Thespiai depict a lyre on their reverse side.

During the Renaissance, composers took known musical forms from church music and secularized them. Forms of music that evolved during the Renaissance included the cantus firmus, chorale, French chansons, and madrigals.

Cantus firmus, which meant "firm chant," was commonly used in the Middle Ages and was strongly based on the Gregorian chant. Composers dropped the chants and instead incorporated secular, folk music. Another reform, composers would flip the "firm voice" from being the usual bottom voice (of the Middle Ages) to either a top or middle part.

Greek History

Greece is a land synonymous with history and archaeology, and as such is a perfect place to travel on a cultural holiday. From the Bronze Age civilizations of Mycenae, Knossos and Santorini to the Classical giants of Athens, Sparta, Rhodes and Delphi from the Byzantine wonders of Mystras, Monemvasia and Patmos to the modern comforts and pleasures on offer in Athens and Thessaloniki. The sights of Ancient, Medieval and Modern Greece are simply world-class.

Famous in the western world as the birthplace of history, philosophy, theatre and democracy (among much else), Greece has witnessed the passage of some of the ancient world’s most gifted individuals. Less well known is its later role as an important part of the Byzantine world, and as a province in the Ottoman Empire. Its winding path through history has endowed Greece with a variety of archaeological and architectural jewels from all ages, as well as a series of world-class museums devoted to its ancient heritage and its modern culture: the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Jewish Museum of Greece should not be missed.

In short, Greece provides an insight into many of the major Mediterranean civilizations, both past and present, and the achievement of its peoples has provided the very bedrock on which many of them were built. Here’s a very brief overview of some of the key moments in its history.

19th century

With the rise of established professional orchestras, the symphony assumed a more prominent place in concert life between approximately 1790 and 1820.

Beethoven dramatically expanded the symphony. His Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica), has a scale and emotional range that sets it apart from earlier works. His Symphony No. 5 is arguably the most famous symphony ever written. His Symphony No. 6 is a programmatic work, featuring instrumental imitations of bird calls and a storm, and a convention-defying fifth movement. His Symphony No. 9 takes the unprecedented step for a symphony of including parts for vocal soloists and choir in the last movement, making it a choral symphony (however, Daniel Steibelt had written a piano concerto with a choral finale four years earlier in 1820). Hector Berlioz, who coined the term “choral symphony”, built on this concept in his “dramatic symphony” Roméo et Juliette while explaining his intent in the five-paragraph introduction in that work’s score (Berlioz 1857, 1). Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a work famous for its innovative orchestration (Berlioz 2002, xv) is also a programme work and has both a march and a waltz and five movements instead of the customary four.

By the end of the 19th century, some French organists (e.g., Charles-Marie Widor and his students Charles Tournemire and Louis Vierne) named some of their organ compositions symphony: Their instruments (many built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll) allowed an orchestral approach (Kaye 2001 Smith 2001 Thomson 2001).

500-1,500 years ago (The Middle Ages):

Despite the fact that medicine in the Middle Ages was infamous for the liberal use of bloodletting leeches, music was still upheld for its therapeutic value. Religious leaders of the time considered music a tool to affect emotions and bring worshipers a higher awareness. Individuals with psychiatric disorders were treated with music and it was believed that several illnesses (one example: tarantism, an illness caused by the bite of a tarantula) could be cured through a musical composition designed to purify the blood. In fact, this is the origin of the tarantella dance.

Assorted References

For detailed coverage of earlier history of Greece, see Aegean civilizations and ancient Greek civilization.

For several years the Greeks had been fighting for their independence from the Ottoman Empire, and in 1832 the European powers recognized Greece as an independent sovereign state.

… and Iraq in 1925, between Greece and Bulgaria in 1925, between Peru and Colombia in 1933, between Greece and its neighbours in 1947, between the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1947, between India and Pakistan in 1948, between Israel and its neighbours in

…persevered in support for the Greek Communists while Stalin was adhering to his 1944 agreement with Churchill to keep hands off Greece. When Stalin and Molotov vetoed his plans for a Balkan confederation, Tito purged Yugoslav Communists known to be in the pay of Moscow. Stalin countered with brutal threats…

The Greek government of Venizélos, still a British client, occupied Smyrna (İzmir) and its hinterland, to the consternation of the Italians, who considered this poaching on their zone. Armenia was a special consideration because of its Christian population and the wartime deaths of hundreds of thousands…

…struggle for enosis (union) with Greece during the postwar British occupation, and, from 1959 until his death in 1977, he was the president of independent Cyprus.

Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952) West Germany (1955 from 1990 as Germany) Spain (1982) the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland

Foreign affairs

…Serbia, while in the south Greece was given the greater part of Çamëria, a part of the old region of Epirus centred on the Thíamis River. Many observers doubted whether the new state would be viable with about one-half of Albanian lands and population left outside its borders, especially since…

9, 1934), mutual-defense agreement between Greece, Turkey, Romania, and Yugoslavia, intended to guarantee the signatories’ territorial integrity and political independence against attack by another Balkan state (i.e., Bulgaria or Albania). The agreement provided for a Permanent Council, composed of the members’ foreign ministers, that would coordinate legislation and foster economic…

(1912–13), alliance of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro, which fought the First Balkan War against Turkey (1912–13). Ostensibly created to limit increasing Austrian power in the Balkans, the league was actually formed at the instigation of Russia in order to expel the Turks from the Balkans. The league members declared…

…quickly by Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. The Young Turks ended the conflict with Italy, ceding Libya, but failed to contain the Balkan armies. In May 1913 the great powers imposed a settlement Macedonia was partitioned among the Balkan states, Crete was granted to Greece, and Albania was given its independence.…

Greece and Serbia, however, laid claim to portions of Macedonia that Bulgarians regarded as rightfully theirs. It was the great mistake of Bulgarian diplomacy to organize a war against the Ottoman Empire without first clearly resolving these competing claims.

…with its Balkan neighbours, particularly Greece, and expanded its economic and cultural relations with most Western states. Relations with Yugoslavia remained strained, however, over the persistence of the Macedonian question. In 1979 Bulgaria proposed a treaty with Yugoslavia that would guarantee the inviolability of the borders established after World War…

…representatives of the governments of Greece and Turkey, was not widely accepted by the citizens of the new republic. The Greek Cypriots, whose struggle against the British had been for enosis (union with Greece) and not for independence, regretted the failure to achieve this national aspiration. As a result, it…

…British to transfer Cyprus to Greece. The Greek Cypriots’ demand for enosis (union with Greece) was opposed by Turkish Cypriots, constituting a major division in the island’s politics a string of almost annual petitions demanding enosis were matched by counterpetitions and demonstrations from the Turkish Cypriots. Britain had made an…

…in October, when Mussolini attacked Greece from Albania in a disastrous campaign that obliged the Germans, in 1941, to rescue the Italian forces and take over Greece themselves. The Germans also had to lend support in the hard-fought campaigns of North Africa, where eventually the decisive second battle of El-Alamein…

Also, an acrimonious dispute with Greece over the name of the republic frustrated Macedonia’s quest for international recognition, thereby deterring foreign investment and delaying economic reform. By 2018 that dispute was resolved, with Macedonia officially becoming the Republic of North Macedonia.

… and portions of Bulgaria and Greece and to the republic itself, the boundaries of which have been defined since 1913. In the following discussion, the name Macedonia is used generally to describe the larger region prior to 1913 and the area of the present-day republic thereafter.

…Yugoslavia and ethnic Macedonians in Greece, thousands of Macedonians fled Greece both during and after the Greek Civil War of 1946–49.

Initially, the Macedonian Question involved Greece, Bulgaria, and, to a lesser extent, Serbia in a conflict over which state would be able to impose its own national identity on the ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse population of the region traditionally called Macedonia. In that way, each state attempted to gain…

Greece, Romania, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) on the other. The treaty was signed at Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 24, 1923, after a seven-month conference.

…the European provinces, notably in Greece, Serbia, and the principalities, were frustrated. The Greek revolt was the product of the economic prosperity of the Napoleonic Wars and exposure to western European ideas and was a reaction against Ottoman centralization. The revolt was the result of the opposition of peasants and…

…on the Maritsa River, and Greece returned the islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos). A compulsory exchange of populations was arranged, as a result of which an estimated 1,300,000 Greeks left Turkey and 400,000 Turks were repatriated. The question of the city of Mosul was left to the League…

…set out to drive the Greeks from Anatolia and Thrace and to subdue the new Armenian state.

In July 1974 the Greek government supported the leaders of a coup that overthrew the Cypriot president, Makarios III, and proclaimed the union of Cyprus with Greece. Failing to persuade either Britain or the United States to take effective action, Turkey acted unilaterally and occupied the northern part of…

France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom) that operated as a forum for the coordination of matters of European security and defense. It contributed to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and

Truman Doctrine

…aid to the governments of Greece, threatened by communist insurrection, and Turkey, under pressure from Soviet expansion in the Mediterranean area. As the United States and the Soviet Union struggled to reach a balance of power during the Cold War that followed World War II, Great Britain announced that it…

…economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey by March 31. Greece was embroiled in civil war provoked by Communists. Turkey was under Soviet pressure for bases and naval passage through the Dardanelles. If those countries succumbed to Communist influence, the Mediterranean and the entire Middle East might follow. Truman,…

This would leave both Greece, where a communist-inspired civil war was raging, and Turkey to the mercies of the Soviet Union. Truman now came into his own as a national leader, asking Congress to appropriate aid to Greece and Turkey and asserting, in effect, that henceforth the United States…

Greece and Turkey, in the Cold War conditions of 1947, were strategically vital and highly vulnerable Western outposts on the southern flank of the U.S.S.R. and its satellite states. Turkey was especially exposed. In Greece, the mainly communist National Liberation Front (EAM) had failed in…

World War I

…Salonika pending resolution of the Greek political struggle. The Allies continued to back Prime Minister Eleuthérios Venizélos, who, because King Constantine still favoured the Central Powers, had fled Athens in September 1916 and set up a provisional government under Allied protection at Salonika. Finally, the Anglo-French forces deposed Constantine in…

…minister from 1910, Venizélos wanted Greece to participate in the Allies’ Dardanelles enterprise against Turkey in 1915, but his arguments were overruled by the general staff. The Allies occupied Lemnos and Lesbos regardless of Greece’s neutrality. Constantine dismissed Venizélos from office twice in 1915, but Venizélos still commanded a majority…

…Venizélos in November 1916 brought Greece into the war on the side of the Triple Entente. It became possible to open a new front against the Bulgarian-German forces in Macedonia, with the Serbian army playing a key part alongside British, French, and Greek units. After two weeks of hard fighting…

World War II

…prepare the long-desired attack on Greece for two weeks hence. He would declare his independence from Hitler and consummate his “parallel war.” On October 28, 1940, seven Italian divisions crossed the Albanian border into Greece, provoking Hitler’s adjutant to record: “Führer enraged…this is revenge for Norway and France.” In fact,…

…war of his own against Greece.

…1942), which operated in occupied Greece during World War II. Fighting against the Germans and the Italians as well as against other guerrilla bands, particularly EDES, EAM-ELAS became the most powerful guerrilla band in the country. It also established an effective administrative apparatus, through which it ruled liberated areas.

…that he decided to attack Greece through Albania in 1940 without informing the Germans. The result was an extensive and ignominious defeat, and the Germans were forced unwillingly to extricate him from its consequences. The 1941 campaign to support the German invasion of the Soviet Union also failed disastrously and…

…Germans, and the two major Greek movements, one nationalist and one communist, were unable to cooperate militarily against the Germans. A similar division emerged in Poland, where the Soviet Union backed the communist resistance movement and allowed the Polish nationalist underground, the Home Army, to be destroyed by the Germans…

Ancient Greece

A Brief Comparison of Greek and Roman Sculpture by Teacher Oz (me):
When comparing Greek and Roman sculpture you need to know about the three distinct periods of Greek sculpture. The Greek Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic styles each represent different ideals. Archaic, best represented by the Kouros, evolved from Egyptian sculpture. Kouros characteristics were: rigidity, one foot forward stance, formal hair treatment, bilateral symmetry (same on left and right), and its frontality (block like). It differed from the Egyptian in that the sculpture was nude, there was no webbing between the arms and body, and there was attention to anatomical detail. The Archaic Kouros was the composite of the athletic ideal through mathematical formula(1:8). It was not realistic, but idealistic.

During Classical period, the change in sculpture was embodied by one word: controposto. The most significant change in sculpture to that date, controposto was the counterbalance, or s-curve of the body. One foot came forward and the weight distribution became more naturalistic. Besides conroposto, the other characteristics of Classical sculpture were: head turned on different plain from body (aloof, representing reason controlled) and less formal hair treatment. Archaic was carving "stone into body", while Classical was carving a "body out of stone". "The Canon", by Polyclitus, is the archetype of classical sculpture. The goal of classical sculpture was to portray a perfect balance and harmony through art. This mirrored Greek philosophy.

The Hellenistic period occurred after the Peloponnesian War and a new reality emerged in Greek sculpture. This sculpture was not idealistic. "The Boxer" shows the boxer's bleeding knuckles after the fight. Ideal beauty is no longer the object.

The Roman's mainly stole or copied Greek sculpture. The chief legacy of Roman art was portraiture. Realism was the key (which would link it to the Hellenistic style), BUT idealism ruled sculpture when used for propaganda purposes (an example is the statue of Caesar Augustus).

Classical Greek Sculpture: IDEALISM/UNIVERSALITY

The History of Music Therapy

The Peterson Family Foundation believes music therapy has the ability to help alleviate pain and suffering in children and teens while they are in the hospital. Whether kids are listening to music or making it themselves, channeling their emotions into art helps both their mind and body.

Music therapy has a positive impact on the mental and emotional health of children and teens.

Music therapy involves a trained and certified professional using music in a clinical manner to improve healing in patients. Music is used to reduce pain, offer patients the ability to express themselves without words and facilitate relaxation through singing, playing instruments, writing songs or listening to music.

For children, music therapy is a chance to explore their emotions by listening to songs or learning to play a new instrument. It is individualized, providing children of all ages and ability levels self-discovery and a chance to release emotions.

The origins of music therapy go back millennia, to the time of the great Greek empire.

Music Therapy in Greek Mythology

Apollo: Apollo is the Greek God of Sun, Light, Music and Prophecy. As the son of Zeus, he is worshiped for his ability to heal and ward of disease. It is believed that, “Apollo’s lyre symbolizes the gift of music, which is the harmony of sounds. To have health and healing, there must be a harmonious ordering of all the vital forces within the organism all the strings must be in tune. There’s a deep therapeutic relationship between music and healing.” Apollo is also credited with creating the flute and lyre.

Asclepius: Asclepius is the son of Apollo and inherited the gift of healing and music. Known as the God of Medicine, Asclepius was raised by Centaur Chiron, who taught him medicine and the healing arts. In Egyptian culture, they believe that Asclepius was able to cure illnesses of the mind through music and song.

Music Therapy in Philosophy

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Music is cathartic?” This phrase is important because it connects Aristotle and music therapy.

The Oxford Dictionary defines catharsis as, “The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.” Aristotle first spoke of catharses in his book Poetics the phrase has been debated and discussed for centuries. His theory of catharsis refers to the purification of emotion, especially “pity and fear,” through art. Aristotle thought that experiencing tragedy or comedy through theatre could have a cathartic impact on the body.

Music therapy is important in providing catharses to those who are sick, especially children and teens, because it allows them an outlet to express and purge their emotions.

With the help of a music therapist, a child may be asked to listen to relaxing music to calm stress and anxiety. Based off their responses, music therapists measure the patient’s emotional wellbeing to make plans for future treatments. As well as listening to music, playing an instrument, writing and singing songs have all been known to provide catharses because these activities help release memories, negative emotions and repressed feelings. Music therapy is an important part of the healing process because it can bring about a positive change in thoughts, behavior and attitude, thus catharses.

As Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center & UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals explains,”Our patients come to us during difficult times in their lives. Hands-on music-making offers them a way to work through the emotions that accompany illness or injury. For children of all ages, creative expression is a powerful source of comfort and connection while they are away from home.”

Music Therapy in Native American Culture

Not unlike Apollo’s attributes in Greek mythology, Native Americans believe in harmony between mind and body. Tribes in Native American cultures believed that health was an expression of the spirit, mind and body. If anything was off, illness and harm would come their way. Only when harmony was achieved could health be restored.

Healing practices of Native Americans go back thousands of years and differ slightly between tribes. Many not only used herbs, roots and plants to create remedies for medical problems, but also believed in certain ceremonies and rituals to cure the ill. In addition to herbal remedies, the tribe would often come together to help the sick through ceremonies, dances, prayer and chanting.

Native American tribes used song and chants in their healing ceremonies.

In tribes such as the Sioux and Navajo, if the group as a whole needed balance and harmony, they would use a medicine wheel, a sacred hoop and hold ceremonies where they would sing and dance for days.

When individuals were sick, designated healers would also sing, dance, chant and use drums as part of the healing process. Medicine Men and Women believed their, “Primary role was to secure the help of the spirit world, especially the ‘Creator’ or ‘Great Spirit,’ for the benefit of the community or an individual.” The Medicine Man/Woman was also a priest in addition to being a doctor. Believing that disease could be caused by human, supernatural or natural causes, the healer was equipped to treat illness in any of these categories.

Some healers would use song when they were called on to help a sick member of a tribe. According to Dr. Frances Densmore, Native American Medicine Men and Women would fast in order to receive a song in a dream or vision that would instruct them on how to treat their patient.

Music Therapy in the Military

Music therapy was used to heal injured World War I and II Veterans.

Music therapy in the military goes all the way back to World War I and World War II. During two of the biggest wars in history, musicians in the community volunteered and went to veteran hospitals to play music for the wounded. Patients with physical and emotional trauma (or both) noticed a difference in their mood and experienced a positive emotional response to the music. Doctors and nurses also recognized an improvement in patients and began hiring musicians to play in hospitals.

Flash forward to 2012, when a historic program was established through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, the NEA brought a music therapy program to patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This program reflects the growing trend of creative art therapy programs in healthcare settings.

An event held at the Pentagon in 2014 showcased military veterans’ art work that expressed their “Invisible Wounds.” Art therapists as well as music therapists and professional creative writers took service members through a creative process, allowing them to reflect and organize thoughts that had been troubling them. The involvement of music therapy in the military is an incredible example of how powerful and meaningful it is to be able to express one’s emotions during a difficult time.

Music Therapy in Present Day

Today, music therapy is a critical part of many pediatric hospitals, including Boston Children’s Hospital and University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. Not unlike the soldiers of World War I and II, present day patients, nurses and doctors have all noticed a positive change when children engage in music therapy. The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has experienced outcomes of stress relief, behavioral modification, distraction and pain management from their music therapy programs.

According to Julie Pollman, Child Life Services teacher/supervisor at UCSF Benioff Children’s, “Parents have reported that music was the only thing to bring a smile to their child’s lips during their hospital admission.”

To keep this exciting method of healing, over 72 colleges offer bachelors and doctorate degrees in music therapy. Burklee College of Music is one example of a university that offers education and degrees in music therapy. Not only do students learn music theory, history of music therapy and how to teach and assess skills, they are also trained in how to operate in clinical settings.

There may be few subjects that have a more interesting and diverse history than music therapy. Greek mythology and Greek philosophers created an interesting discussion of the power of music and how it can be used as a healing tool. Native Americans centered much of their healing practices around the use of chant and song in rituals to mend and aid the sick. The United States military during World War I, World War II and in recent history have used music therapy to help Veterans by playing music and getting them involved in the creative process. Music therapy has evolved quite a bit from military volunteers to students studying to be professionals in the field. The success of music therapy in the past shines a bright light on the future of this form of healing.

Knowing how far music therapy has come and where it is now only instills hope and possibility for how far we can take it. Music therapy is important because it not only gives children and teens the opportunity to listen to music, but to also get involved and create music for themselves. The ability to creatively express oneself in an emotional setting, such as a hospital, cannot be taken for granted. If you would like to see more music therapy programs in hospitals to help children and teens relieve pain and improve their emotional state, please consider donating to the Peterson Family Foundation so we can make it a reality.

A brief history of Greece

G reeks call themselves Hellenes, and Greece Hellas our term "Greece" derives from their Roman conquerors. From the eighth century BC, colonisation had taken Greek-speakers all over the Mediterranean, from the Black Sea, Turkey, to North Africa, Italy France and Spain, like "frogs around a pond" (Plato).

By the fifth century BC Classical Greeks had organised themselves into independent citizen states (known as polis, from which comes our word "political") such as Athens, Sparta, Ephesus, Byzantion and Marseilles. Each polis had its own laws, dialect, currency and government. Strongly independent, they fought among themselves for domination, and internally over different styles of constitution (eg, tyranny, democracy, oligarchy). In the fourth century BC, Macedon in the north, under its king Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, took brief control, but on the death of Alexander in 323 BC, the mainland split into a series of leagues under Macedonian governors. Radical, direct democracy died at that moment, never to be restored.

The land-mass of Hellas became part of the Roman empire in the second century BC, and Greek poleis in Turkey and elsewhere followed. The leagues and poleis continued to run themselves, but were now under close Roman supervision. Roman expansion east was made easier by the conquests of Alexander the Great, who introduced Greek polis style culture, administration and urban living, as far as Afghanistan.

The Greek language, however, spread throughout the Mediterranean. Greek was heard in Rome probably more often than Latin. The gospel writers and St Paul knew perfectly well that they would have to write in Greek if they wanted their message to spread. Romans lapped up Greek culture – literature, history, philosophy and architecture – and by making Greek a central feature of their education system ensured that Greek achievement would be handed on to us today.

By the fourth century AD it was clear that the Roman empire was becoming too large to be centrally controlled. In 324 the Roman emperor Constantine in effect split the empire into two halves, the eastern half centred on Greek Byzantium, renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul). When the Western Roman empire collapsed under the impact of Germanic invasions in the fifth century, Constantinople became the new centre of the Roman empire, known as the Byzantine empire.

The collapse of the western empire led to some turmoil in the east, but the Byzantines gradually regained control over Greece until the treacherous attack on Constantinople in 1204 by the Frankish crusaders (western Europeans). The Franks split up Greece, but fighting among themselves and against Serbs, Albanians and Turks left them fatally weakened. On 29 May 1453 Constantinople fell to the Ottoman branch of the Turkish invaders, who had been mopping up the remaining territories of the old Byzantine empire, and for nearly 400 years Greece was under Ottoman control.

By the 19th century, the empire was economically on its last legs, and on 25 March 1821, Greece declared its independence. When France, Britain and Russia threatened to intervene against the Turks, the Turks capitulated. Greece used various means to extend its territory into the Ionian islands, Thessaly, Macedon, Crete and the Aegean – a disastrous advance into Turkey (1919-22) failed – and it reached its present configuration in 1947.

German occupation of Greece in the second world war ended in 1944, but a violent and complicated civil war at once broke out between (broadly) communists and western-backed government forces (1944-49), resulting in a Greek government inclined to the west, but with significant anti-western sentiment still in force.

In 1967 a military junta ("the colonels") overthrew the government and ended the monarchy. In 1974, the regime imploded, and since 1975 Greece has been a democratic republic. It joined the EU in 1981 and adopted the euro in 2001. Tensions with Turkey remain.

Dr Peter Jones is a leading classicist and co-founder of the charity Freiends of Classics

This article was amended on 7 May 2010. The original referred to 25 May 1821. This has been corrected.

History of Dance

Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest and most popular forms of classical dance that originated in Tanjore district in Tamil Nadu in South India. The origin of this dance can be traced to the sage Bharata Muni's Natyasastra.


Kathak, one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from India, traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement.

Royal Academy of Ballet


Modern dance is a broad genre of western concert or theatrical dance, primarily arising out of Germany and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modern dance is often considered to have emerged as a rejection of, or rebellion against classical ballet.


This form was established in the 1830s by Joseph Lanner and the elder Johann Strauss, and from then the waltz was particularly associated with Vienna, although it was popular throughout Europe.

Jazz dancing, and its steps and style, originated from the dancing of African Americans that were brought to America as slaves. Later it was brought from vernacular to theatrical

Tap Dancing

Tap dancing has evolved considerably to become the art form we know today. Before there were tap shoes, dancers wore soft shoes, or clogs. Tap dancing originated as Juba, a kind of dance practiced by African slaves. It melded with Irish dancing and continued to alter as it encountered the influence of jazz dance.


Salsa represents a mix of Latin musical genres, but its primary component is Cuban dance music. The roots of salsa originated in Eastern Cuba (Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo) from the Cuban Son (about 1920) and Afro-Cuban dance (like Afro-Cuban rumba)

Watch the video: Θά ρθεις σαν αστραπή - Greek Song About The Fall of Constantinople (January 2022).