Calabria, Sicily, and Sardinia (Folk Music of Italy programs, episode 8)
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An 8-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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T552, the fourth segment of this program, is incomplete.
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T580: Calabria holds more mystery than any other part of Italy. It is the land of Pythagoras, where the Greeks first brought civilization to Italy. Albanian refugees (from the Turks) renewed Greek traditions. La Strina (alms seeking) with battente guitar. The Albanians brought polyphony to non-Albanian villages. Albanian style on accordion in Ferroleto. Comic ballad of the stolen chicken. Calabrian shepherd playing during Christmas season in Sicily. The oppression of women.
T579: Lullaby. Strident sadness of women's singing. Straits of Messina. Arabic influence of guitar. Mood of intoxicated and passionate yearning of serenades of young men. Sword fishing cries. The Sicilain carts and carter's song with jews harp. Shepherd with bagpipe. Sicily's wheat bowl. Sulfur miners songs.
T578 High and lonesome wagoner's song. Strambotto meter, first Italian poetry. Threshing song ('dispetto'). The gleaners of Modica. Ninna nana: "Sleep is coming from Messina." Harvest celebration dance with cane flute, tambourine, and guitar. Traveling (in Fiat) ballad singer tabloid news performance describing lurid murder. The professional storyteller in the village square with sound effects from wooden sword. Tunafishermen sing "oldest sea chanteys known anywhere."
T552: Sardinia. Launeddas triple oboe played with three reeds, brought thousand years ago from Egypt. Persistence of Carthaginian influence. Difficulty of mastering the instrument.
T581: Spanish influences (white voice, change of key, guitar accompaniment) on coasts reminicent of Andalusia. Dances for guitar duet. Duet from Nuoro, archaic vocal harmonic blend. Rythmic storytelling with choral response. Antiphonal polyphony from Orgosolo. Polyphonic shepherds' song performed while dancing. Brigandage, murder, and female freedom. Funeral laments. Choral bass polyphony characteristic only of the Basques and other isolated peoples in Western Europe (song leader is tenor).
Genoese 7-part polyphony (trallaleri), broken into parts and then together.