1911: Estudiantina Oriental on the Road (2021)

Ordoulidis, N. (2021). 1911: Estudiantina Oriental on the Road. "Musiques grecques en représentation (xixe et xxe siècles)", Bulletin de correspondance hellénique moderne et contemporain(5): https://journals.openedition.org/bchmc/949

This article concerns one of the most famous Greek ensembles active in Ottoman Smyrna (today Izmir) and Constantinople (today Istanbul) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The music ensemble used the term “estudiantina” in its name, inspired by the homonymous Spanish ensemble which toured a variety of places all over the world, beginning in Paris in 1878. The introduction of the article outlines the framework of the research into the Greek-speaking urban folk-popular music of Smyrna, of the 19th and early 20th centuries that has been carried out up to now. Furthermore, the second part of the introduction outlines the historical framework not only of Smyrna but also of the ensemble in particular, in the period we are examining.

The main body of the article follows the ensemble’s beginnings in Paris during the first three months of 1911 and then in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the same year. The article also examines the role of the tour’s intermediaries and organizers, the ensemble’s repertoire, and the ideological framework within which the orchestra created its musical art.

The article covers the complex music networks in Europe during this specific period and examines the way in which Europe perceived the music coming out of the East. It also focuses on issues such as roving repertoires and roving musicians, and the cosmopolitan mood that characterized the polystylist musical traditions of historical urban centers, during a very significant time period: the end of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the nation-states.

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