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Follow Varvara Gyra on Academia


Varvara Gyra is a Ph.D. in Musicology. She has been carrying out a thesis on the work of the Greek composer Jani Christou (1926-1970) at the Paris VIII University.





"The theatrical dimension of the performer in Jani Christou's last works" (in Greek)

The Music Library of Greece Lilian Voudouri, Megaron Mousikis, Athens, Conference, March 2009

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Thesis Abstract


TitleAesthetics and compositional principles in the work of Jani Christou.


This thesis studies the aesthetics and compositional principles in the work of the Greek composer Jani Christou (Cairo, 1926 - Athens, 1970). Christou, who emerged from the environment of contemporary music of the 1950s, introduced his own musical language, based on his personal research.


In the first part we study the composer’s work produced during the two first periods (1948-1958 and 1960-1964), and we focus on his compositions of the third and last period (1965-1970). They constitute the apogee of his musical thought in its most developed form. In particular, we studyPhoenix Music (1948), Symphony No. 1 (1950), Patterns and Permutations (1960), Mysterion (1966), Enantiodromia (1968), Epicycle I (1968), The Strychnine Lady (1967), and Anaparastasis III : The Pianist (1968).


In the second part we address the philosophical concepts that characterize Christou’s musical work, such as the principles of « proto-performance » and « praxis-metapraxis », taking into consideration the composer’s readings. We also study his manifesto, entitled A Credo for music; the role of the circular process in composition; and the notion of confrontation through musical experience. We pay particular attention to the psychological dimension of Christou’s musical work, since the composer, influenced by the work of Carl Gustav Jung, uses personal psychological elements in his music.