Neço Muko (October 21, 1899 – 1934), also known as Neço Muko Himarjoti, was an Albanian singer and composer. His musical style created a new genre of Albanian polyphonic music called avaz himariot, or avaz himariotçe, that became identified with the music of his home region Himarë.
Life and Work
Neço Muko was born on October 21, 1899 in Himarë, southern Albania. After attending primary school, he travelled to the Kingdom of Greece to study. He returned to Albania in 1916, during World War I. Muko learned how to play the violin and the mandolin and, in 1923, he started composing vaudevilles. In 1924, he moved to France, but in 1926 returned to Albania. In the town of Sarandë, he founded a choral group named Pif-Paf. In 1929 and 1930, he travelled again to France with his group to make recordings for Pathé Records, in which Albanian students studying in France took part. These recordings increased his popularity in southern Albania and helped him establish his new genre the avaz himariot or avaz himariotçe.
Muko's best known song is Vajza e Valëve (English: Girl of the Waves), the poetical composition of which increased his reputation even more. In the 1920s, he also composed songs for well-known singers of Albanian urban music such as Marie Kraja and Tefta Tashko-Koço.