Museum of Traditional Music Instruments Thirathen

Pl. Rhga Feraioi

Iraklio 712 01

Εmail: [email protected]


Opening Hours

Monday – Saturday: 09:00 – 15:30

Sunday: upon request



Includes guided tour by Museum’s  staff & Digital tour


– Children 4-15 years old (accompanied by adults)

– Univercity Students (with presentation of Student card)

Museum of Traditional Music Instruments Thirathen

Having already completed a twelve-year course in the village of Krousona in the Municipality of Malevizi, the Museum of Traditional Instruments “Thirathen” opened a new chapter in its course, inaugurating the operation of a new space in the city centre of Heraklion.  Now, the Museum will be more easily accessible to residents and visitors of the island who no doubt love music.

The renovated neoclassical building in Riga Feraiou Square, opposite the church of Agios Minas, now houses a large part of the museum’s collection. Apart from the exhibition of musical instruments, the museum’s premises host a number of activities and events, so that the museum can fulfill its role as a shell for the documentation, study and promotion of the music of Crete, Greece and the Mediterranean.

The “Thirathen” Museum, like traditional music, is a living organism. Its collection is constantly enriched with musical instruments not only from Crete but also from Thrace, Pontus, Asia Minor etc., highlighting the similarities, differences, influences and routes of traditional music in the Mediterranean.

The musical instruments exhibited are classified according to the E VON HORUBASTEL – S. SAHS system according to the sounds produced by the corresponding pulsating movements of the materials in aerophones, chordophones, diaphragmophones and idiophones.

The visitor will have the opportunity to travel to the sounds and history of musical instruments not only mentally but also by listening to recordings and melodies. The tour is complemented by the rich photographic material of important musicians of Crete who have written their own history in the musical tradition of the island. Next to them, the art of instrument makers is highlighted, who with imagination, knowledge, exceptional skills and of course love have played a leading role in the preservation of old techniques and the application of new methods in the manufacture of instruments.

With interactive guided tours, educational programmes and musical games for children, the Museum promotes “instrumental knowledge” while at the same time it ensures the preservation and conservation of rich archival material. At the same time, the Museum organizes seminars, music lessons, concerts, art therapy programs, etc., aiming to become a reference point for the cultural life of Heraklion.

Crete is a place where traditional music remains alive. It has never ceased to be played, spread, taught and part of the everyday life of the Cretans. Besides, the unique richness of Cretan music is due to its location and history: Byzantine church music, Venetian urban music, Ottoman music and the influences of the refugees from Asia Minor have all contributed to the formation of a unique style.

The very name of the Museum “Thirathen” reflects the long history of classical education since the Byzantine period. The education that has a cultural and cultural character. Just like music!

This important year for the Museum of Traditional Music Instruments Thirathen coincided with the loss of the Museum’s friend, musician Yannis Kefalas. As a tribute to his memory, the Museum has declared 2024 as the “Year of Yannis Kefalas”.

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