"Zorba The Greek" dance music - based on traditional themes?

  • #1
Stephen Tashi
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Is the dance music from "Zorba The Greek" based on themes from older and traditional folk music? - or is it essentially an original melody?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
Klystron
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From the above reference:
During 1964, Theodorakis wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance,’ inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.

This excerpt jibes with what I was taught in a film studies seminar cerca 1967. The professor also compared the Greek/Cretan tunes in "Zorba" to Russian folk 'wedding dance' music played primarily on the balalaika where the song often begins at a slow pace becoming increasingly more frenzied. The article hints at Russian influence on Theodorakis during his French period.
 
  • #4
Stephen Tashi
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Try: https://walkerhomeschoolblog.wordpr...s-and-zorbas-dance-from-zorba-the-greek-1964/

Music repeats a lot of older melodic content as described above.

From that article:
During 1964, Theodorakis wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance,’ inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.

However, this doesn't answer my question because a composition may be "inspired by" or "influenced by" other pieces of music and yet not copy any melodic themes from those pieces. The popularity of the "Zorba The GreeK" theme makes it difficult to find (online) any other music for traditional Greek dances!

(By contrast there are situations such as Copland's "Appalachian Spring" where the source of the theme "Tis a Gift To Be Simple" can be found in its original form.)
 
  • #5
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This excerpt jibes with what I was taught in a film studies seminar cerca 1967.
Since this forum section also deals with linguistics, it's on-topic to mention that cerca is Spanish (pronounced "sair' ka") or Italian (pronounced "chair' ka"). In Spanish, it's often appears as cerca de, meaning "near to" in the physical sense. The Latin word you're looking for is circa, representing temporal nearness.
 

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