The recording career of Vasilis Tsitsanis (2014)

The Recording Career of Vasílis Tsitsánis (1936-1983). An Analysis of his Music and the Problems of Research into Greek Popular Music. Athens: Ianos [PhD thesis translation in Greek]


There is a clear and abundant evidence to suggest that Vasílis Tsitsánis (1915-1984) was a well known songwriter, bouzouki virtuoso, lyricist and singer both in Greece and abroad. The evaluation of his work reveals that he remains a key figure in the history of Greek popular music. Vasílis Tsitsánis as musician and composer was an innovator, his musical roots in rembétiko being transformed through his creative effort is said to have led to the development and establishment of the modern laikó style. An analysis of Vasílis Tsitsánis's commercial recordings does indeed reveal aspects of his unique contribution as both performer and composer. However, the analysis also reveals the development of a style that was to have a major impact on the history of Greek popular music. Situating Tsitsánis's work in the context of broader social and political developments in Greece, this thesis is the first in-depth analysis of Tsitsánis's musical style with a focus on songs found on his commercial recordings, from 1936 to 1983. Research on the recording career of Vasílis Tsitsánis not only reveals information regarding his own music, which is in itself important alone given the contribution he is said to have made by rembétiko scholars, it also sheds light on more general issues regarding the Greek popular style that have been previously neglected.



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