The nineteenth century ended without important developments in Greek music, the Italian influence still being decisive in the work of Greek musicians.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the process of renewal and innovation and the pursuit of a national character evident throughout the arts touched on music as well. With the example set by the Russian composers in creating a national Slavic school, with its creative use of folk music traditions, Greek composers attempted to create a national music school themselves.

Georgios Labelet wrote a theoretical treatise called I ethniki mousiki (National Music), in which he demonstrated the beauty of folk music and its originality as a form of Greek expression. He transferred his views into practice by composing the work I Yorti (The Feast), where he reshaped folk music motifs.
Manolis Kalomoiris, whose work is considered the first landmark in Greek music, epitomised the tendency for a national school in music. In his melodramas To dahtilidi tis manas (The Mother's Ring), protomastoras (The Master Builder), Konstantinos Palaiologos and his symphonies, Symfonia tis leventias, (Symphony of Manliness), Minas o rebelos (Minas the Rebel), folk music tradition and the perennial Greek myths find a new expression.
The more Classical and lyrical Marios Varvoglisbeing is represented by I Ayia Varvara (Melodrama), Poimeniki Souita (Pastoral Suite) and Rapsodia.