Yannis Constantinidis: A historical and analytical study of his didactic works for solo piano

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Tian Ying - Committee Chair


The movement of musical nationalism, a phenomenon in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries most often employed to describe the works of composers who included folk music and nonmusical programmatic elements of national origin in their music, is most often identified with composers from Russia, Central Europe, and its peripheries. These and many other countries sought to reveal their nations' roots and culture through music, as did Greece, though seldom noted or mentioned for musical contributions. In an effort to portray the eclectic repertoire from Greek composers who incorporated folk songs, traditional melodies, and national dances in their music, this doctoral essay will focus on Yannis Constantinidis (1903-1984), a twentieth century nationalist composer from Greece who brilliantly displays all elements of musical nationalism in his music.Specifically examined are the didactic works for solo piano by Yannis Constantinidis. These traditional melodies, often referred to as piano miniatures, are not only a vivid representation of musical nationalism, but a unique source of piano teaching repertoire that include original folk songs and traditional dances as the content. It is a pedagogical masterpiece for piano rarely taught or played in any country other than Greece.This doctoral essay illustrates selections in 44 Children's Pieces on Greek Melodies for intermediate and advanced piano students, and includes the didactic implications and interpretive challenges contained in the three-volume set of pieces. Pedagogical and performance practice suggestions are given for students to better understand the complexity of the music and perform it with the proper technical, musical, and stylistic artistry and breadth required.



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