A Look At Italian Music
Italian music spans a variety of genres and has a rich history. Just like art, Italy has also produced a lot of musical geniuses who brought about a revolution at first in Europe and later worldwide. Italian music is not restricted to one particular style or form. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most popular genres of Italian music as well as some notable musicians who created beautiful masterpieces.
Italian Classical Music
During the 1900s, classical Italian music was well known throughout Europe. This music followed a melodious and romantic style that was different from the classical music of neighboring countries such as Germany and France. Italian classical music comes in many different forms and we will take a quick look at some of the examples below.
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work with the combination of text and musical score. Many people connect opera with Italy and rightfully so. This musical art form originated during the 16th century. One of the earliest works of the opera was composed by Monteverdi in 1607.
In 1673, the first public opera house was opened in the state of Venice. Before this opera was only accessible to the nobles and the elite. This development ushered in a new age for opera and increased its reach and popularity. Some of the best works of Opera such as Barber of Seville and Madame Butterfly were produced between the 19th and 20th century.
Opera tends to overshadow instrumental music in Italy. However, this doesn’t mean that the latter is any less important. Historically, instrumental music appeared much later during the 20th century. It began with Giuseppe Martucci’s second symphony and from then on became a part of Italy’s musical heritage.
Some opera composers such as Giuseppe Verdi and Donizetti also created instrumental music. The generation of 1880 saw a group of composers who focused on creating instrumental music instead of mainstream opera. This group included Franco Alfano, Ottorino Respighi etc.
Experimental music is used to define all such musical forms that do not adhere to the traditional concepts of harmony and melody. This kind of music relies on electronic technology to create sounds that were considered impossible to create.
During the 1900s Ferruccio Busoni wrote of the future of electrical sounds in music and the limitations of traditional music during his time. Another person who contributed to experimental music was Luigi Russolo. He invented new types of percussion instruments that were used in experimental music.
Italian Folk Music
Italy was not always a homogeneous country and this is the reason why each region had its own folk music. Italian folk music differs from place to place and is directly related to the local customs of each area. There are many different styles of folk music ranging from instrumental to vocal. Music has a heavy influence in the daily lives of Italians. They have folk music traditions for seasonal holidays, celebrations as well as other important events.
Italian folk musicians used string, wind as well as percussion instruments to create music. Some of the most common instruments in Italian folk music include flutes, drums, accordions etc. Historically, some instruments were used during special occasions only. An example is the zampogna bagpipe that was used during the Christmas period.
Modern Italian Music
Apart from the above genres, Italian music also has a modern side to it. External influences from other countries shaped modern Italian music. As the wave of pop music spread worldwide, Italians also got on board with this new musical trend. Many Italian artists created a fusion of Italian music with other modern genres such a rap, techno and Eurodance.
Notable names in the Italian pop industry included Mia Martini, Vasco Rossi as well as international sensations Laura Pausini and Andrea Bocelli.
As you can tell, Italian music has come a long way and has managed to evolve during this period. Not only has Italian music made a name for itself in Europe but it has also adopted the musical styles of other places.
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