Catalogue description Greece: Traditional music from Mount Pílio Peninsula, Central Greece and Samarina, Píndhos Mountains, Western Greece

This record is held by Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service

Details of MS 4000/5/1/19
Reference: MS 4000/5/1/19
Title: Greece: Traditional music from Mount Pílio Peninsula, Central Greece and Samarina, Píndhos Mountains, Western Greece

The tapes are arranged as follows:


MS 4000/5/1/19/1 Recording of vegetable sellers in Aug 1966


Corfu and Mr and Mrs Alexio singing


MS 4000/5/1/19/2-5 Recording of Mikró Beach Side Folk Aug 1966


Festival and singing at Plataniá


MS 4000/5/1/19/6-10 Samarina music and singing and festival Aug 1966


MS 4000/5/1/19/11-12 Tape boxes only; tapes blank n.d.

Held by: Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

Charles Parker intended to produce a number of radio features on Greece, but both his proposed series of three programmes on popular song in Greece, in 1964, and 'The Kapetanios', in 1979, based on the book 'The Kapetanios; Partisans and Civil War in Greece 1943-1949' by Dominic Eudes, were turned down (MS 4000/3/13). This set of sound recordings of popular music and festivals in Central and Western Greece, made in August 1966, were probably also intended for a radio production.


The recordings in Central Greece were made at Mikró and Plataniá on the south coast of Pílio, near Láfkos on the Mount Pílio Peninsula and feature the Mikró Beach Side Festival. The recordings in Western Greece were made at the village of Samarina in the Píndhos Mountains. This village is reputed to be the highest village in Greece, and is principally inhabited during the summer by Vlachs from the plains of Thessaly and their sheep. The recordings capture the high point of the year in Samarina with the annual festival in August to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (MS 4000/5/1/19/10).


Throughout the 1960s Charles Parker became increasingly radical in his position on social issues. He was influenced by his association and work with the classicist and communist Professor George Thomson and his wife Katharine Thomson. George Thomson was Professor of Greek at Birmingham University, 1937-1970, and in his free time led Marxist Study Groups promoting the culture of working people (MS 4000/1/8/12). Charles Parker's relationship with George Thomson undoubtedly led to an interest in Greece and opposition to the human rights breaches there and support for the restoration of democracy in 1967. This can be seen in the material collected on the military coup in Greece on 21 April 1967, and activities of the Birmingham Committee for Democracy in Greece, at MS 4000/3/12.

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