Cretan Lullaby

Year composed:  2010

Instrumentation: violin, piano

Duration (approx.): 10′


Commissioned by Stella Roshi-Moles for their senior recital, 2010.

First performed by Stella Roshi-Moles and Jay Derderian during Cascadia Composers’s 2-day spring festival, In Just Spring, on March 18th, 2011. Portland, Oregon.



This piece is based off the first completely notated composition. It was discovered in 1883 by W.M Ramsey near Aydin Turkey and has been dated to around 200 B.C. – 100 B.C. It is a Skolion by a Hellenistic poet named Seikilos to his deceased wife, Euterpe.

This type of song was typically sung at the end of a symposium, and the singer usually sung with a lyre. The original marble tombstone uses Greek Notation which included letters, lines and dots above the letters indicating pitch and duration.

SONG’S TEXT (translation)

While you live, be happy [shine]
don’t suffer [be sad] anything at all;
[because] life is short
and time demands its toll [time leads to death]


Copyright © Jay Derderian Music Publishing (ASCAP), 2018. All Rights Reserved.


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