Il mondo subalterno del Sud: introduzione alla sua storia musicale sconosciuta


From a national point of view Arbëresh culture has been marginalised and abandoned as the one of a "language minority", with the result that it is no longer officially taught at school. On the other hand, music had always played a key role in community life and the combination of this rare language and sound never failed to make a great impression on everyone, no matter if they understand or not. It still accompanies the Arbëresh through the life cycle, during important feasts, carnival, weddings and funerals. In my introductory essay I try to look at these rich expressions from a different angle, by the recognition of common features the Arbëresh share with other communities of Southern Italy like /tarantella/ and /kalimera/, regardless the linguistic competences concerning Balkan dialects which once dominated "Il Sud", and regardless the religious background and the rite of these communities. Thus, the very distinct forms of Albanian music, which sometimes have only survived in the Italian diaspora, can be described by certain unique genres like the /vallje/ and the /ajrët/, and a kind of multipart song which has been identified by ethnomusicologists as world heritage of the Balkans and of Italy.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v4i1p53

Keywords: Arbëresh; Byzantine chant; Greek rite; Southern Italy,; Holy Week

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