Berklee Greek Ensemble

Course Number

In this ensemble, students learn and perform traditional Greek music from all of the regions of Greece: the many Greek islands (including Crete), mainland Greece (Thrace, Macedonia, Epiros, Thessaly, and Peloponnesus) and the country of Cyprus. Students learn music from Asia Minor, currently Turkey, where Greeks lived since 2000 B.C. until the 1923 religion-based population exchange forced over a million Greeks to move from Turkey to Greece (likewise, 355,000 Turks were forced to move to Greece). This includes folk music of the Black Sea (pontiaka), urban Greek refugee music from Smyrna or Izmir from the early 1920’s (Smyrneika) and more. Students play rebetika, often called the Greek blues: urban music originating in early 1900s in Piraeus, Athens and then influenced in the 1920s by the incoming Greeks from Asia Minor. The meters of Greek music range from 5/8 to 16/8. Greek music also includes improvisation (taximi) that is based on a system of modes (dromoi/makamlar); students explore this as well. There is one performance at Berklee per semester and possibly others both at Berklee and in the Boston area.

Written approval of course instructor
Required Of
Electable By
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring
Course Chair
Sean Skeete
Taught By
Courses may not be offered at the listed locations or taught by the listed faculty for every semester. Consult to find course information for a specific semester.

Get More Information

By requesting information from Berklee, you will receive emails about our educational programs, student resources, facilities, and more based on your selections.