She was the first Greek woman to collect and notate Greek folk songs (Roumeli 1922). In 1923 she married Octave Merlier
(1897-1976), who was to become later director of the French Institute in Athens. It was with him and a group of Greek intellectuals (Penelope Delta, Ph. Dragoumis, I. Athanasiou, P. Mazarakis, Chrysanthos, bishop of Trebizond) that founded the Folk Song Society
(named in 1935 Folk Music Archives
and incorporated later to the Center of Asia Minor Studies
, which was founded by her as well), on the lines of the Institute of Phonology
A grant from the Greek government of Venizelos and technical equipment offered by the French
, enabled the Folk Song Society
to record in 1930-1931 222 78 r.p.m. plates of Greek folk music (A selection from those recordings is included in the LP entitled Folk Songs from the Melpo Merlier Collection
, issued by
in 1975 in Athens).
As an ethnomusicologist, Melpo Merlier (who was also active as a pianist, music instructor and musicologist) contributed to the preservation of an invaluable treasure of folk songs.
The article includes a list of her writings.