A new online video on thematic catalogs and digital critical editions was published by the Greek department of IAML. The seminar was given by Ilias Kyriazis, Curator of Cultural Data, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany. Ilias provided a comprehensive introduction to the MEI, which is a standard format for encoding music notation, metadata, and other related information in digital form.

Of particular interest was, among other things, the discussion on the different music coding technologies and their characteristics that followed. In the discussion in which I also participated, special mention was given to the inability of the MEI to describe the notation of Byzantine music and the effects of this deficiency on Greek musicology and music librarianship. I tried to underline - perhaps with a bit of exaggeration - the importance of collaboration between different groups and protocols for the progress of music librarianship, as well as the need to develop a model for the symbolic representation of Byzantine music.

More than 100 civil society organisations across sectors have already signed our open letter about “The universal right to install any software on any device”. Now, in the European Week for Waste Reduction, we open up the letter to be signed by individuals. Join our cause and make your voice heard!

The European Union is about to redefine its ecodesign criteria for products within several legislative proposals in the upcoming months. The European Commission has already published a proposal for the “Sustainable Products Initiative” as well as the “Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition”. Now it is time for the European Parliament and Council to start its reading and come to a conclusion. We have written an open letter to help them do things right and use the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) to make our voice heard!

Sign the letter now!

We want users to have the “The universal right to install any software on any device” because the possibility to install a Free Software operating system can help users to overcome software obsolescence and to extend hardware lifetimes. That is why the universal right to freely choose operating systems, software and services is crucial for a more sustainable digital society.

My article entitled “Classical guitar in Greece during the second half of the twentieth century: aspects of the transformation of a musical instrument from the repertoire point of view” was recently published in the proceedings of the 9th Interdepartmental Musicological Conference entitled "Variations, arrangements, transformations" (Hellenic Musicological Society, Thessaloniki 2021).
The development of the guitar in Greece during the second half of the twentieth century is a special phenomenon, both in terms of the intensity with which it happened, as well as the way in which a musical instrument changed its character. Among the goals of the guitarists was the transformation of the instrument from an accompaniment to a solo one and its recognition as an instrument of art music. Repertory choices were a key aspect for achieving these goals.

The news of the ousting of Apostolos Kostios, Emeritus Professor of the University of Athens, is very sad. His contribution and presence was decisive for the musical things in Greece in the scientific and artistic field. His presence was also decisive for those who were lucky enough to attend his classes and get to know him closely. The passion with which he taught, inspired a generation of young scientists to turn to musicological research and love Greek art music. The same passion characterized his communication with people; his speech had the power to captivate you, to electrify you. An integral character, with a rare ethos, it was inevitable to be a role model for his students and a point of reference for his associates. His funeral took place in a close family circle.

The conference entitled “Music Engraving in the 21st Century – Developments and Perspectives” is held in Mozarteum Music University in Salzburg, Austria, January 17th – 19th, 2020. According to the conference invitation “computers are everywhere today. Even in the music world, computers have become a tool used for many purposes; especially for music engraving, they are now indispensable. The old craft of music engravers has become extinct, and we now rely on programs to apply the knowledge and aesthetics accumulated over centuries. This brings opportunities and challenges that have to be considered as we head towards the future of musical applications in the digital age.” See the program of the conference

Tassos Kolydas gave a talk on January 17th, entitled “Locked in time: Utilizing blockchain technology for the long-term preservation of engraved music” . The source code for the presented examples is available at github.

Tasos Kolidas and Nikos Poulakis presented a paper entitled “From handwritten sheet music to digital notation: Exploring the way Greek Composers compose their works using digital score". The presentation took place on Thursday, November 21, 11:00, at the main building of the University of Athens (Propylaea), in the context of the 11th Interdisciplinary Music Conference, "Innovation and Tradition (commemorating the 70th anniversary of Nikos Skalkota's death)," under the auspices of the Hellenic Music Society.

The purpose of the research is to investigate the way Greek composers today depict their compositions. Specifically, to what extent do they use the musical manuscript as a means of capturing a composition versus the digital score and what steps do they follow from conception of the original idea to production of the final "autograph".

Expected results of the research include outlining the use of digital scores by Greek composers and the process used to imprint a composition on musical notation. The resulting data is expected to contribute to the updating of research tools in the field of historical and systematic musicology and the reform of curricula in composition courses.

Title: Using blockchain technology for preserving digital documents in music libraries and archives

Short abstract:

Long-term preservation of digital information requires trust in the credibility and ability of the organization to provide consistently unchanged documents. Ensuring that the information provided has remained unchanged over time is a difficult challenge, if we take into account the many factors that can cause the modification of a digital document. The aim of the lecture is to suggest methods from the cryptography domain for digital documents preservation. In particular, blockchain technology is proposed for reliable trusted timestamping of documents in a way that is not questionable, without the need for a trusted 3rd party to guarantee the accuracy of the data. No proceedings are going to be published from the conference.

Tassos Kolydas presenter a paper at the 8th Conference of the Greek Society for Music Education, entitled Digital Scores: Selecting Software for Teaching Music in Greek Public Schools

Digital scores provide valuable support to music teachers, either as aids for lesson design and implementation or as products of the educational process. From teaching music notation to supporting school musical events, a digital score is a consistent part of a music teacher’s efforts. Factors related to day-to-day classroom management are taken into account along with factors including equipment availability, financial resources for the acquisition of hardware and software, increased teacher workloads, and teaching in multiple schools. Since learning a score editing program involves a steep learning curve, software selection must be undertaken with care to ensure that it offers long-term benefits to both teachers and students.

All things considered, it can be safely deduced that FOSS is the best choice for the Greek educational system.

Tassos Kolydas, Digital score as a historical source for recording music heritage; challenges, opportunities, perspectives

Music scores are a valuable kind of source for recording and studying music culture heritage. In particular, music manuscripts provide rich and diverse information; besides the musical content, they provide evidence for the conditions of creation of the musical work (corrections, additions and removals of material), composition (sketches, revisions, final version), identification of the work and the composer (creation date, original-copy distinction, writer's handwriting), etc. The ability to edit sheet music using a computer brings new  possibilities, gradually establishing digital score as the best way to write music. On the other hand, most of the mentioned information are missing from the digital score. The purpose of the announcement is to examine the challenges, opportunities, perspectives which occur from the study of the digital score.

My book about the pioneer greek guitarist Dimitri Fampas (1921-1996) was published by Panas Music. Pages: 456. Dimensions 17x24cm. ISBN: 978-6-18-531302-9. My goal is to investigate an unknown area in the history of modern Greek music and in particular to explore the rapid increase of interest in classical guitar in the second half of the twentieth century in Greece. Also, to investigate the foundations and development conditions of the Greek guitar school, through the study of the life and work of Dimitris Fampas.