Music and gender in the Greek music folk revival. The case of female musicians today
Sociology Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, CMH-PRO Paris, France
This paper deals with female musicians, instrument players, in Greek folk revival today. In the "traditional" version of folk music in Greece women were only signers or dancers and were not playing instruments. The Greek music folk revival that starts in the 1970´s but becomes wider during the late 1980´s, gave in a sense the possibility to women to play traditional Greek instruments. This revivalist phenomenon got in Greece a pedagogical component which is the State Music schools. Greek traditional music is taught in these schools both by instrument lesson as well as by theory classes and group performance. The State Music Schools being state secondary schools they have as much female as male pupils. In this case coeducation gave the opportunity to young girls to have access to an exclusively male world, the music playing. In the same time, professional socialisation was made very early for both girls and boys as the folk music revival in Greece was, during the 1990´s growing and offering job opportunities to young musicians. Inside this time and space context the Greek music revival movement included some young female musicians inside its community.
This paper is based on interviews made with female musicians starting their professional career in this milieu during the late 1990´s and early 2000´s. Through their experience and the analysis of the interviews and the history of this particular music revival we propose to discuss significant issues concerning music and gender in Greece and in music revivalist contexts.