Maltese traditional music is a topic that has received little scholarly attention outside of a small but dedicated Maltese academic community. However, over the past fifteen years, their publications and involvement in organising public performances have raised considerable awareness of traditional music among the Maltese general public.1 Their efforts came at a critical time as by the end of the twentieth century the rich variety of instruments and instrumental music that had once existed in Malta had significantly reduced, and most of the older musicians who knew how to craft and play them had passed on. Performances of instrumental music had been largely confined to heritage contexts such as carnival, the Mnarja festival2 and folklore troupes. The only form of music that thrives today as part of a continuous folk tradition is gh¯ana, usually encountered in the spirtu pront form of sung debates between pairs of singers with guitar accompaniment. This tradition continues in bars, homes and garages in Malta and across the Maltese diaspora, and, despite fluctuations in popularity over the years, it remains in a healthy state today.