Music of Sardinia

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Sardinia is probably the most culturally distinct of all the regions in Italy and, musically, is best known for the tenore polyphonic chant, sacred songs called gosos, and the launeddas, an ancient instrument that consists of a set of three single-reed pipes, all three mouth-blown simultaneously using circular breathing, with two chanters and one drone.

Launeddas[edit]

Launeddas in a Medieval painting

The launeddas is an ancient instrument, dating back to at least the 8th century BC. It is played using circular breathing. Launeddas are used to play a complex style of music that has achieved some international attention, and they are still played during religious ceremonies and dances (su ballu). Some of the most famous player were Efisio Melis, Antonio Lara, Dionigi Burranca and Luigi Lai. Many of the launeddas musicians are from the south of the island from villages like Villaputzu, San Vito and Muravera in the subregion named Sarrabus, or from Samatzai and even from Cabras near Oristano and Ovodda near Nuoro. Distinctively, they are played using extensive variations on a few melodic phrases and, because of the technique of circular breathing, a single song can last over an hour.

Cantu a chiterra[edit]

Traditional singing accompanied by guitar cantu a chiterra is also found in Sardinia, represented by performers like Luiginu Cossu, Maria Carta, and nowadays Franco Denanni; this genre is especially well known in the northwest region of Logudoro near the city of Sassari and in the northeast region of Gallura.

Polyphonic singing[edit]

Rural polyphonic chanting known as cantu a tenore is sung with four vocal parts. They are bassu (bass), mesa boghe (middle), contra (counter) and boghe (leader and soloist). The most popular group is Tenores di Bitti; another one is Tenores de Oniferi. In November 2005, the A Tenore vocal style of the Sardinian pastoral culture was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Other traditional singing, dance and music[edit]

Sacred gozos (in the Sardinian language gosos), or sacred songs, can be heard during religious celebrations, sung by choruses like Su Cuncordu 'e su Rosariu.

Traditional dances include ballu tundu, passu torrau, durdurinu, dillu, logudoresa, arroxiada, passu e trese, and campidanesa

Aside from the launeddas, traditional instruments include the benas, the organittu, the chiterra, and the tamburrinos.

Other influential Sardinian musicians include Totore Chessa (organetto), 1930s launeddas legend Efisio Melis, Maria Carta, Mauro Palmas, Elena Ledda of Sonos and Suonofficina, Cordas et Cannas, Antonello Salis piano, Paolo Fresu (trumpet) and Gesuino Deiana (guitar).

Musical and theatrical facilities[edit]

The modern Teatro Comunale of Cagliari is home to the permanent Choir and Orchestra of the Opera and Concert Association of Cagliari and seat of the Cagliari Opera Foundation. As well, there is a Roman amphitheater in Cagliari that is used for outdoor summer concerts and festivals. The city is the site of the Palestrina music conservatory.

The town of Tadasuni is the site of the interesting Giovanni Dore museum, a collection of 400 traditional Sardinian folk instruments. The Ente Musicale di Nuoro was founded in 1987 and, among other activities, sponsors the annual Nuoro Jazz Festival directed by trumpeter Paolo Fresu. Sassari is the site of the Luigi Canepa Music Conservatory, the Teatro Politeama Verdi, built in 1884; and the Civic Theatre (1827).

Hymns and Anthems[edit]

Su patriottu sardu a sos feudatarios (also known as Procurad'e moderare, barones, sa tirannia) is the revolutionary anthem written in Sardinian by Francesco Ignazio Mannu during the revolt occurred in 1794 all over the island against the feudalism, which culminated in the expulsion of the Piedmontese tyrants.

S'hymnu sardu nationale was the anthem of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia (later to become the Kingdom of Italy); it was written in Sardinian language by Vittorio Angius in 1842. It was replaced by the Marcia Reale (Royal March of Ordinance) in 1861.

Dimonios (Demons) is the official hymn of the Sassari Mechanized Brigade, written in Logudorese Sardinian.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • A. F. W. Bentzon, The Launeddas. A Sardinian folk music instrument (2 voll. Acta Musicologica Danica n°1), Akademisk Forlag, Copenhagen, 1969
  • Surian, Alessio. "Tenores and Tarantellas". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp. 189 – 201
  • Paolo Mercurio, La Cultura delle Launeddas, vol. I, Solinas Edizioni, Nuoro, 2010
  • Guide Cultura, i luoghi della music (2003), ed. Touring Club Italiano.
  • Paolo Mercurio, Introduzione alla Musica Sarda,Milano, 2014,ISBN 978-88-6885-013-5

External links[edit]