Italian Canzone d'autore and Greek Entechno tragoudi: a comparative overview

Ioannis Tsioulakis, Franco Fabbri

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    ‘Canzone d’autore’ is the name that a vast community of Italian music critics, authors, per-formers, producers agreed upon in the mid-1970s, to describe the Italian singer-songwriter genre. Singer-songwriters, who had been missing from Italian popular music – with very few exceptions – until the late 1950s, had become increasingly popular after 1958, and were dubbed ‘cantautori’ in 1960. The term, which propagated to Spain, Catalonia, and Latin Amer-ica, is still in use, but ‘canzone d’autore’ superseded it as a genre label, highlighting the con-nections between authorship and artistic value, implied in the already established notion of ‘Cinéma d’auteur’ from which it was derived.

    The expression ‘entechno laiko tragoudi’ (‘art-folk song’) was coined in Greece by Mikis The-odorakis in the 1950s, to describe a new music genre combining the urban-folk musical idi-om with lyrics coming from high-art poetry. Although the origins of the genre are tied to the work of composers like Theodorakis and Hatzidakis who did not perform as singers, from the 1970s onwards entechno became the privileged field of new generations of Greek singer-songwriters. Dropping ‘laiko’ (folk) from its label, entechno expanded its musical influences outside the urban-folk repertory and transformed into the more all-encompassing contempo-rary ‘art song’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter
    EditorsKatherine Williams, Justin Williams
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9781107680913
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

    Publication series

    NameCambridge Companions to Music


    • Music
    • Greece
    • Italy
    • Entechno
    • Canzone d'autore
    • Popular culture

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Music
    • Anthropology


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