The Missing Pieces to the Puzzle that is Thessaloniki (2020)

PROLOGUE


The missing pieces to the puzzle that is Thessaloniki: The Alberto Nar recordings archive

 

From time to time much is written about the musical history of Thessaloniki. If one considers the major catastrophes the city has suffered, the lack of formal (let alone well-organised) archives would seem reasonable: Fires, earthquakes, and the violent movement of populations facilitated the destruction or removal of such archives. In other words, all the above hindered any systematic historiography on musical matters in Thessaloniki. The few archives that do exist (those of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, for instance) are organised in the most rudimentary manner, are not available digitally, and only concern scholarly music genres. Additionally, they usually concern the city's "Greek" history, namely the period following its liberation during the Balkan Wars on 25 October 1912, when Crown Prince Constantine (unwillingly) entered the city with his troops. But what was happening in the music scene of Thessaloniki before it was incorporated into the national state? How "Greek" was its identity following this incorporation, seeing as the tendency is to present it as such?

 

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