Smyrnaiiko minore

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At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe is living in peace and prosperity. The “Belle Époque” is an outgrowth of previous important historical events and developments. The networks that are created and which evolve funnel both people and their products, tangible and intangible. It is within this multi-layered world that sound recording and sound reproduction is invented. Early record labels send mobile crews literally all over the world to record local musicians. The range of the repertoire is endless. Cosmopolitanism in large urban centers favors polystylisms and polymorphisms. Colonialism, revolutions, conflicts, refugee flows; the theater, cinema, radio, photography, orchestras’ tours, but also circulations in all kinds of commercial channels in a world that evolves dynamically and anisotropically, form a complex network of “centers” and “peripheries” in alternating roles setting musical idioms in motion, both literally and figuratively. The network in which the Greek-speaking urban popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships that developed between “national” repertoires. The result of this ongoing research is “Cosmopolitanism in Greek Historical Discography”.

The term "Minore" (Minor) appears in Smyrnaean discography in the early 1900s and refers to the manes, that is, an à la greca form where vocal improvisation on a couplet plays a leading role. Since then, the exact same musical matrix has appeared at least 60 more times, in Smyrna (Izmir), Constantinople (Istanbul), Athens and New York. The titles on the labels vary. What we understand from historical sources is that the term is not only active among the Greek-speaking population of Smyrna, but is mostly used to describe a much more complex entity rather than a simple theoretical instruction. For detailed presentations of the "Minore manes" and of the à la greca manedes in general, see Kounadis (2010, 1: 45), Kokkonis (2017: 112), Ordoulidis (2018), Kounas (2019).

In the manes form, which in the majority of the recordings remains exactly the same (Introduction - A verse - Intermediate theme - B verse - Shift), the last part consists of the "shift", an ambiance change that involves new melodies with new rhythmic features. The rhythms that are usually performed in the shift are horas, waltzes and sirbas. In the case of "
Smyrneiko mane minore" (Smyrnaean minor manes), with singer Lefteris Menemenlis Beslemedakis recorded on February 9, 1911 (Constantinople, Gramophone 4487t – 1-55017), "Minore manes" (Minor manes), with singer Pantelis Voliotis recorded around 1911 (Constantinople, Orfeon 1492 – 11082), "Minore manes (Smyrneikos)", with singer Thanasakis recorded in 1919 (New York, Panhellenion 314A), and this record, titled "Smyrneiko minore" (Smyrnaean minor), with singer Marika Papagkika recorded in July 1919, the shift is a waltz. This is a melody that is often associated with Smyrna in the relevant bibliography.

This particular work comes from the Russian repertoire and is called "Ожидание" (ozidanie, anticipation). It is a work composed by Herold Kitler (Герольд Лаврентьевич Китлер, 1847–1916) that has been included in historical discography, based on the sources, since
1901, in various forms: symphonic, for piano, song (see the website-archive of Yuri Bernikov’s). Moreover, the work seems to have been appropriated by the Ashkenazi musicians and, thus, passed into the Jewish repertoire, initially under the title "Warten", which means anticipation in Yiddish, recorded in New York by the Kirilloff Russian Balalaika Orchestra and later under the title "Ershter Vals", recorded by Chaim Tauber in the form of song.

Research and text: 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
Unknown
Singer(s):
Papagkika Marika
Orchestra-Performers:
Violin, cello, cimbalom
Recording date:
07/1919 (?)
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E-7151
Matrix number:
85356-3
Duration:
3:29
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E7151_SmyrnaiikoMinore
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Smyrnaiiko minore", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4602

At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe is living in peace and prosperity. The “Belle Époque” is an outgrowth of previous important historical events and developments. The networks that are created and which evolve funnel both people and their products, tangible and intangible. It is within this multi-layered world that sound recording and sound reproduction is invented. Early record labels send mobile crews literally all over the world to record local musicians. The range of the repertoire is endless. Cosmopolitanism in large urban centers favors polystylisms and polymorphisms. Colonialism, revolutions, conflicts, refugee flows; the theater, cinema, radio, photography, orchestras’ tours, but also circulations in all kinds of commercial channels in a world that evolves dynamically and anisotropically, form a complex network of “centers” and “peripheries” in alternating roles setting musical idioms in motion, both literally and figuratively. The network in which the Greek-speaking urban popular song participates, constantly conversing with its co-tenants, is magnificent. Discography has already provided important tools in understanding the relationships that developed between “national” repertoires. The result of this ongoing research is “Cosmopolitanism in Greek Historical Discography”.

The term "Minore" (Minor) appears in Smyrnaean discography in the early 1900s and refers to the manes, that is, an à la greca form where vocal improvisation on a couplet plays a leading role. Since then, the exact same musical matrix has appeared at least 60 more times, in Smyrna (Izmir), Constantinople (Istanbul), Athens and New York. The titles on the labels vary. What we understand from historical sources is that the term is not only active among the Greek-speaking population of Smyrna, but is mostly used to describe a much more complex entity rather than a simple theoretical instruction. For detailed presentations of the "Minore manes" and of the à la greca manedes in general, see Kounadis (2010, 1: 45), Kokkonis (2017: 112), Ordoulidis (2018), Kounas (2019).

In the manes form, which in the majority of the recordings remains exactly the same (Introduction - A verse - Intermediate theme - B verse - Shift), the last part consists of the "shift", an ambiance change that involves new melodies with new rhythmic features. The rhythms that are usually performed in the shift are horas, waltzes and sirbas. In the case of "
Smyrneiko mane minore" (Smyrnaean minor manes), with singer Lefteris Menemenlis Beslemedakis recorded on February 9, 1911 (Constantinople, Gramophone 4487t – 1-55017), "Minore manes" (Minor manes), with singer Pantelis Voliotis recorded around 1911 (Constantinople, Orfeon 1492 – 11082), "Minore manes (Smyrneikos)", with singer Thanasakis recorded in 1919 (New York, Panhellenion 314A), and this record, titled "Smyrneiko minore" (Smyrnaean minor), with singer Marika Papagkika recorded in July 1919, the shift is a waltz. This is a melody that is often associated with Smyrna in the relevant bibliography.

This particular work comes from the Russian repertoire and is called "Ожидание" (ozidanie, anticipation). It is a work composed by Herold Kitler (Герольд Лаврентьевич Китлер, 1847–1916) that has been included in historical discography, based on the sources, since
1901, in various forms: symphonic, for piano, song (see the website-archive of Yuri Bernikov’s). Moreover, the work seems to have been appropriated by the Ashkenazi musicians and, thus, passed into the Jewish repertoire, initially under the title "Warten", which means anticipation in Yiddish, recorded in New York by the Kirilloff Russian Balalaika Orchestra and later under the title "Ershter Vals", recorded by Chaim Tauber in the form of song.

Research and text: 
Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
Unknown
Singer(s):
Papagkika Marika
Orchestra-Performers:
Violin, cello, cimbalom
Recording date:
07/1919 (?)
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E-7151
Matrix number:
85356-3
Duration:
3:29
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
10 in. (25 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E7151_SmyrnaiikoMinore
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Smyrnaiiko minore", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4602

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