Musical Rarity 

What is Rare? There are reams of words of similar meaning listed in the Thesaurus, depending on the various definitions of rare.

  • Rare is uncommon, unusual, scarce…
  • Rare is precious, unique, peerless…
  • Rare is frail, delicate, ethereal…
  • Rare is commendable, estimable, praiseworthy…
  • Or, rare is simply undercooked.

Rare – scarce, unique, and some delicate – Greek musical instruments can be found in the praiseworthy Museum of Folk Musical Instruments in Athens. As you can see below, I was collecting images of instruments related to plants & animals, although there is nothing here that is undercooked.

Baglamádes (singlular baglamás), small three double-stringed plucked instruments. On the left: back of a baglamás using a gourd as a sound-box, late 19th century. On the right: baglamás using a tortoise-shell soundbox, from the interwar years (1920s-1930s). Both of these are handmade, making them one of a kind.


Floyéra, flutes, each individually made from a wing bone of a large bird of prey. Unknown date.


A large lira – a Vrondólira – its three single strings (one missing) played with a bow and its neck ending in an the carved head of an agrimi – the rare wild goat of Crete. From that island, dating to the early part of the 20th century.


Rare: Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge


    • It is a great little museum in the heart of the ancient city (near the Roman Agora). The museum is combined with study and performance spaces, so we’ll be keeping a lookout for future performances. Love Greek folk music, but sadly have two left feet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As an ex-libraian, I guess it is second nature for me to reach for the thesaurus. I have a dictionary and thesaurus on each of my electronic devices – perhaps a bit of overkill, but we all have our quirks. This challenge was a struggle, but then I guess if it were easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge. I just wish I could have done better with photography through the glass cases. There was so much light bouncing off it and the reflections were a nightmare.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A lot of people use semantics to force their post into rarity. It is thus refreshing to come across a truly rare composition. It is a sad end to the birds but their is immortalized.


  2. I love your summer walks and digressions, Debi! Have not been to this little jewel of a museum but will very soon.
    Their website is excellent, too. We love bouzouki!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you will really like the museum. It really is a little jewel. The bells and drums in the basement were very interesting from a folklore perspective, did’t take any photos there. Personally, I love Cretan lira – ethereal when heard outdoors among the White Mountains. My other half likes all forms of Greek popular folk music. He’s the real reason we trooped downtown to see the museum.


  3. A fascinating response to the challenge, Debi. I bet I could get lost in thought in that museum. Cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon. Thanks for sharing.


    • It is a great LITTLE museum, so it might become difficult to loose your way. Although, It is entirely possible to spend an entire afternoon there looking at the instruments and listening to the music played through headsets at each display. Great music.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.