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November 2003

As “selection of the month” the library offers a short article written in memory of Greek musicologist Fivos Anoyannakis.

In memory of Fivos Anoyannakis

On Tuesday, October 14, 2003, the cultural world suffered the loss of a great personaliry, identified closely with the field of music in Greece.  Musicologist Fivos Anoyannakie died at the age of 88, leaving behind a strong and vivid mark on the musical life of the Greeks.

If we attempt to summarize the most important junctures of Fivos Anoyannakis’ career, we must distinguish his contribution as musical director of the Hellenic Dance Society of Dora Stratou, the Lyceum of Greek Women, and the Peloponesian Folklore Foundation. Also noteworthy is his formidable musical research in several localities in Greece and Cyprus as well as his editorial work of many musical recordings.  An important moment of his life was his award of an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Crete which was soon followed by the medal of the Academy of Athens in recognition of his many contributions to Greek music. 

Anoyannakis was one the few researchers who, on the basis of ethnomusicological principles, opened the way to gathering musical pieces from around the counrry thus depicting the wealth of music in our country. With his life-long study of Greek musical instruments and his many multicolored editions in book form, the sounds and colors of our traditional music traveled the world and made it known everywhere.

Working both as a lover and as a researcher of Greek and Cypriot music, Anoyannakis was able to do away with sterile divisions and categorizations. He collected the total body of Greek music under the term Modern Greek Art Music. For the first time, the song known as rebetiko was legitimatized, so to speak, and given its proper place while its artistic value was analyzed and defended in a series of articles.

The legacy left behind by Fivos Anoyannakis to all contemporary Greek musicologists is importamt and multi-faceted:

In 1978, Anoyannakis donated to the Greek state his entire collection of Greek folk instruments, the richest in Greece and one of the most important in Europe.  He was influential in creating the Museum of Greek Traditional Instruments “Fivos Anoyannakis” in the Plaka area of Athens.  In addition, Anoyannakis has authored many monographs, catalogs, translations and introductions in Greek and foreign works, as well as articles in encyclopedias and dictionaries. All of his works make up the basic bibliography for the study of Greek music.

Above all, his ethics and personal dedication are the virtues with which Anoyannakis embraced the music of a nation; such virtues constitute a major legacy and an example for other Greek musicologists to follow.  

                                                                                   

                                                                                   Marianna Anastasiou
                                                                                   Athens, October 17, 2003

   
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