Italian folk music  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Italian folk music has a deep and complex history. National unification came quite late to the Italian peninsula, so its many hundreds of separate cultures remained un-homogenized until quite recently compared to many other European countries. Moreover, Italian folk music reflects Italy's geographic position at the south of Europe and in the center of the Mediterranean Sea: Arabic, African, Celtic, Persian, and Slavic influences are readily apparent in the musical styles of the Italian regions. Italy's rough geography and the historic dominance of small city states has allowed quite diverse musical styles to coexist in close proximity.

Today, Italy's folk music is often divided into several spheres of geographic influence, a classification system proposed by Alan Lomax in 1956 and often repeated since. The Celtic and Slavic influences on the group and open-voice choral works of the north contrast with the Arabic, Greek, and African influenced strident monody of the south. In central Italy these influences combine, while indigenous traditions like narrative and ballad singing remain. The music of the island of Sardinia is distinct from that of the rest of Italy, and is best known for the polyphonic chanting of the tenores.

List of Italian folk songs by region




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Italian folk music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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