Ottoman History Podcast

Ottoman History Podcast

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Interviews with historians about the history of the Ottoman Empire and beyond
Episode 463

with Panayotis League
hosted by Chris Gratien

What is Greek music? For our guest Panayotis League, it’s no one thing. Rather, it is diversity that defines the many regional musical traditions of Greece and the broader Greek diaspora. In this episode, we discuss League’s ethnomusicological research on Greek music in diaspora, and we explore the history and transformation of Ottoman Greek music before and after the exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece. As League explains, Greek music in the Ottoman Empire was inextricably linked to the musical traditions of neighboring Turkish, Armenian, and Sephardic communities. However, the First World War, the Second Greco-Turkish War, and the exchange of populations that sent the entire Greek Orthodox population of Anatolia to Greece eliminated spaces of intercommunality where Ottoman music thrived. In our conversation, we discuss how the intercommunal music of the Ottoman Empire survived in Greece among exchanged people who pioneered the new rebetiko style that would reshape Greek popular music. We also discuss how the music of Ottoman Greeks fit into a larger diasporic communal dynamic in places like the United States.
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