Gail Holst

Road to Rembetika


The rembetika, songs that were sung in the poor quarters of Smyrna, Istanbul and the ports of Greece in the late nineteenth century, and became the popular bouzouki music of the 1930s to 1950s, have many parallels with American blues. Like the blues, the rembetika were the music of outsiders, who developed their own slang and their own forms of expression.

Road to Rembetika was the first book in English to attempt a general survey of the world of the "rembetes" who smoked hashish and danced the passionate introspective zebekiko to release their emotions. The author Gail Holst, an Australian musician and writer who first came to Greece in 1965 and who has continued to perform and write about Greek music ever since, describes her own initiation into the rembetika, outlines its historical and sociological background, its musical characteristics and instrumentation. The second part of the book is a collection of rembetika songs in Greek with the English translation en face.

The text is illustrated with photographs of the period, musical examples and original manuscripts of the songs. Although Road to Rembetika was first published many years ago, this revised edition of this now classic book still remains the most vibrant portrayal of this musical genre.

Über die Autorin / über den Autor:

As well as being a poet, Gail Holst has been a journalist, broadcaster, prose-writer, academic, musician, and translator. She left Australia, in 1965 and moved to Greece. During the Greek dictatorship of 1967-74, she moved back to Australia, studying harpsichord and becoming a journalist. In the 1970's, while researching a book on Greek music, she performed with Greece's leading composers, including Mikis Theodorakis, Dionysis Savvopoulos, and Mariza Koch. Two books on Greek music followed. Later she began translating Modern Greek poetry and prose. Moving to Ithaca, New York, in 1980, she married, completed a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Classics and had a family. In the 1990's, having joined the Institute for European Studies, Gail wrote two books on laments and grief and began publishing her own poetry. She founded a Mediterranean Studies Initiative and organized conferences, concerts and talks. On a trip to Greece in 2009, she became seriously concerned about the water crisis in many parts of the country. For the last eight years she has worked with faculty and students from a number of different departments to address water issues in the region.

Preis: CHF 33.50
Sprache: Englisch
Art: Broschiertes Buch
Erschienen: 2014 (1975)
Verlag: Denise Harvey
ISBN: 978-960-7120-07-6
Masse: 192 S.