Mervyn McLean

Ethnomusicologist, writer and archivist.


Dr Mervyn McLean was formerly associate professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Auckland (retired 1992).

He was the founding head of the Archive of Māori and Pacific Music, formally established within the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland in 1970. Present holdings include more than 5000 reel tapes, 1100 audio cassettes, 600 video cassettes and over 500 commercial discs. Among the Archive’s noteworthy collections of music is the material personally recorded by Dr McLean’s – some 1300 items of traditional Māori chant and 30 hours from the Cook Islands.

Dr McLean has written prolifically on Māori and Pacific music and has published a number of critically acclaimed books, including Maori Music and Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance. He was co-author with Margaret Orbell of the Traditional Songs of the Maori and with Raymond Firth of Tikopia Songs.