Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, Athens

Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments, Athens

After dedicating 50 years of his life to the study of traditional folk music, the esteemed Cretan musicologist Phoivos Anogianákis (1915–2003) made a significant contribution to the preservation of musical heritage. In 1978, he donated his extensive collection of over 1,200 musical instruments, which had been used by Greek performers since 1750, to the Greek state. Fourteen years later, the museum bearing his name was inaugurated, serving as a tribute to the history of Greek folk and popular music, while prominently featuring the remarkable collection. Housed within an elegant mansion dating back to 1842, which once belonged to a prosperous Athenian family, this museum provides insights into the evolution of various island music styles and the introduction of 'rempétika' (Greek "blues") from Smyrna in 1922.

Instruments from all corners of Greece are on display, neatly organized into four sections based on their types: drums, wind instruments, string instruments, bells. Some are a bit rudimentary, while others are astonishing works of art in their own right. Exhibits are accompanied by photos of people playing the instruments, and many feature headphones that allow visitors to listen to the distinct sounds they produce. Historic videos are also available, demonstrating how some of the instruments were used during various festivities, while highlighting differences in regional musical and playing styles.

In the basement, you'll find an assortment of church and livestock bells, as well as water whistles, wooden clappers, and flutes. Elsewhere, wind instruments like 'tsampoúna' (bagpipes made from goatskin) and string instruments such as the Cretan 'lýra' are on display.

Tip:
The courtyard offers a refreshing oasis on hot summer days, and you may even stumble upon an outdoor concert if you're fortunate. Additionally, there is a small bookstore that offers books and CDs for those interested in delving deeper into Greek music traditions. The staff is welcoming and knowledgeable, so don't hesitate to ask for guidance; otherwise, you'll be left to explore at your own pace.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments on Map

Sight Name: Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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