Music Troupe “Mousa”

The Mousa music troupe began taking shape around 1985, on the initiative of Michalis Terlikkas. At first, its members were not fixed, but were determined by the needs of each show and the availability of musicians. The fiddlers Georgios Averof, Koullis Phylaktou, Demetris Katsaris (Pitrakkis), Stelios Papadopoulos, and Michalakis Elia, and the laouto players Michalis Poullos, Neophytos Roussos, Christodoulos Pipis, Xenis Liontaris, Costas Michail, Michalis Socratous, and Yiannis Melas all appeared with the group in the past. 

By 1991, when conditions had matured and more opportunities to play music in public became available, a fixed group was put together. This was initially made up of Savvas Stephanou or Costas Karpasitis on the violin, and Yiannis Souroullas on the laouto. In 1994, Nikos Souroullas was added to the group playing the tamboutsiá (a frame drum), an instrument that Mousa has always considered as the most authentic percussion instrument of Cyprus. Since then, Mousa has remained practically unchanged, comprising:  

Μichalis Tterlikkas (group leader) – voice

Costas Karpasitis – violin, voice

Yiannis Souroullas – laouto, voice 

Nikos Souroullas – tamboutsiá, voice

On specific occasions other musicians also join the group, such as: 

Nicoletta Demetriou – voice

Kyriakos Giorgallas – santur, clarinet

Andreas Christakkos – pitkiávli (reed flute), tsiattisma (improvised singing)

Mousa uses only local traditional instruments and enjoys particular distinction for its stalwart dedication to the ethos and expression of Cypriot traditional music. It features quite a rich repertoire, constantly enhanced through the research and auditory experiences of Michalis Terlikkas. Despite the fact that all group members have had some formal music training, they choose to implement the truly “traditional” method for learning new pieces: the auditory method.

Wishing to pass on the message that Cypriot traditional music is not a “museum piece” – in other words, that it has not died out, but is rather a living tradition that can function in today’s society as well – Mousa members have not adopted uniform costumes dating back to a specific age, but appear in simple attire of today’s day and age.

So far, Mousa has made its presence felt in the field of traditional music, appearing throughout the free areas of Cyprus as well as at events abroad. Furthermore, the troupe has appeared on a number of radio and television programmes, and has also participated in Michalis Terlikkas’s recordings:

  1. Ton Gennon tzai tis Lambris (Christmas and Easter Songs; 1998); CD
  2. Kypraia Foni – St’ Agnarka ton Tzairon (Cypriot Voice – Tracing Back Through the Years; 2002); double CD
  3. Kypraia Foni – Kalos Irtan Oi Xenoi Mas (Cypriot Voice – A Welcome to Our Guests; 2008); double CD

The troupe’s aim and concern is the preservation and dissemination of Cypriot traditional music, as well as its re-incorporation into the entertainment of the Cypriots of today.

Panayiotis Nicolaides was a member of the troupe from January 2001 to March 2014