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tradition and modernity Essay

We are used to thinking of traditions as something old and stable, whereas the creative forces of people are directed towards the making of “new” forms of art and music. Nevertheless in our view, and according to our experience, new forms should not be sought in a cultural vacuum, without any connection to the past experiences of people and societies. Similarly, the “old” musics should not be approached with the attitude of preserving or mimicking other people’s practices. We believe that the past is important because in the great musics that were created we can sense a reBlection of the creators’ spiritual insights and wider understandings of the nature of man and his place in the world.

The passing on of this intuitive knowledge, through the practice of music, the sharing of experiences, the process of studying and teaching not as something that happens only within the school walls, but as part of everyday life, is what animates Neda not only to create, but also to teach their music and perform it in live concerts. Neda is a river in Peloponnese and one of the few rivers in Greece with a female name. In the Greek mythology Neda was the nymph who took care of Zeus when he was taken away from his father, who wanted to slaughter him. The water and the river are ancient symbols, signifying strength and endurance, but also adaptability and continuous Blow. Hence the signiBicance of Neda for the musicians, which carries the power of the female element of water to embrace difference; as it connects and naturally renews all things, it links past and future times into the present moment – where all sounds exist and all music is created.

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