Musical Folklore Archives Melpo Merlie

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Photograph of Melpo Merlie

The Musical Folklore Archives (M.F.A.) was founded in 1930 by Melpo Merlie (1889-1979). It is the oldest nad the most historic center studying Greek traditional music, whether Byzantine, demotic or rebetica. From that time to the present day, the loving care of Melpo Merlier herself above all, as well as her distinguished associates (Nikos Skalkottas, Petros Petrides, Georges Poniridy, Nicholas Chryssochoides, Aglaia Ayioutanti, Despina Mazaraki, Samuel Baud-Bovy), has enriched the centre's precious collection with uniquely invaluable material. Items included are the following:

The present head of M.F.A., Markos F. Dragoumis, aided by Thanassis Moraitis and also friends that offers voluntary work, is devoted to enriching the Musical Folklore Archives with ever fresh material.

From 1975 to the present day, over 50 expeditions to several parts of the country have been carried out. Many songs and airs have been recorded, with the participation of local singers and musicians, unknown to the wide public. The purpose is clear: to study the musical, linguistic and ethnographic peculiarities of each specific locality and to do research on the correlation of influences absorbed from or exerted on other areas, both in the narrower sense of adjacent Greek regions and in the wider sense of neighbouring peoples.