Greek Music in America Archives Project moves into next phase

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Greek Music in America Archives Project moves into next phaseFor the first time, a group of professional specialists from around the country have undertaken to identify, collect, contextualize, preserve, and make public an integrated collection of Greek music produced in North America

A new preservation project is underway that few in Greek America would have dreamed possible, thenationalherald.com notes in a recent report by Steve Frangos.

For the first time, a group of professional specialists from around the country have undertaken to identify, collect, contextualize, preserve, and make public an integrated collection of Greek music produced in North America. The Greek Music in America Archives Project (GMAAP), a collaboration between Florida Cultural Resources, Inc. and the Archives of Traditional Music/Indiana University, is now in progress and has moved into its second phase.

Directed by Tina Bucuvalas for Florida Cultural Resources, the project was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts/Folk and Traditional Arts Program. The grant application notes the following so that the nature and complexity of this archival venture is understood:

The Greek diaspora brought with them the many permutations of music in Greece. During the early 20th century, a flood of immigration combined with commercial record production to generate unparalleled documentation of ethnic music. From 1896 to 1942, over 1000 analog discs with Greek recordings appeared in the U.S. on labels large and small – and thousands more have since appeared. Encompassing not only traditional music from all regions, but also emerging urban genres, stylistic changes, new songs of social commentary in traditional music forms, and reflections of the daily lives of Greek immigrants, they are invaluable documents of community practices and preferences. Music was one of the most prized and enduring creations of the diaspora and an important element for most social occasions. Greek music generated in the U.S. continues to have an enduring influence on the musical culture of Greece and other diaspora communities.

Grant funds will support the creation at the Archives of Traditional Music/Indiana University (ATM) of a comprehensive, contextualized, and publicly accessible collection of commercially released Greek music recorded in America or recorded by American companies in Greece from 1896 to 1985. The collection will encompass multiple formats, including analog discs, audiotapes, piano rolls, cylinders, and associated ephemera such as record catalogs, sheet music, or images. At this time there is no comprehensive collection of Greek recordings – and in recent years several excellent private collections were dispersed upon the collector’s death. We estimate the acquisition of ca. 2000 items that fit the project scope.

People of all ages and backgrounds may benefit from the increased knowledge about the history and development of Greek music in America, but for some there will be greater benefits. The intended audiences for project results include Greek Americans and Greeks with an interest in their musical and social history, folklorists, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, Modern Greek studies scholars, world music enthusiasts, music archivists and historians, and others…Scholars in Greece have already expressed a strong interest in the development of this collection, which will provide them with a needed resource to extend their knowledge of the development of Greek music in the diaspora…For them and for other scholars and enthusiasts, the collection could provide the groundwork for many future publications.

Among the potential audiences named above, there are between 1.3 and 3 million Greek Americans in the U.S. They constitute the project’s primary community base, and for them, the project will have particular importance because they will be able to more easily access and learn more about their musical history…

 Read the full article here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Tilemahos Efthimiadis 

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