Folk Music of Italy, Episode 2: The Italian Musical Calendar (part 4)
March 23, 1955
Performer: Lomax, Alan; Broadcaster: BBC
Track Number: 8
Archive ID: B008
Original ID: T561R01
Note: Discussed in this part: Beautiful and fervent devotional songs of the pilgrims during midsummer penitential rituals in Campagna. From Campagna also, a lovely pop song derived from a popular religious anthem, "Quanta grazia." November, the month of the dead. On an island in Venice, an old woman sings "Remember the poor dead souls." Description of the ceremony of the Day of the dead, when families visit to the cemetery. Songs of mourning. December, the bagpipe playing of the shepherds during the Advent season. A Christmas ceremony from Positano, haunt of tourists & Bohemia during the summer. Inhabitants of Montepertusso (the mountain with a hole in it) come down to the port in red caps to sing "The Luck of the Year." Ballo tamburo with Jew's harp, scrapers, wooden hammers, and tambourine in polyrhythm. This is African music in Italy, with whistling, glottal shakes and voice throwing. Flat-footed, legs-a-kimbo dancing around the fire. "How beautiful it is in the evening when the young women come to the fountain" sing the men. NB: Episode 3 of the series, "Italian Lifecyle In Song," was missing from Lomax's archive.
About the session: The Folk Music of Italy was an eight-part series of Italian folk music produced and hosted by Alan Lomax for the BBC's Third Programme. The recordings were made by Lomax during his Italian field trip in 1954 and early 1955; the series was compiled before his return to England in the early spring of 1955.
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