This paper will focus on documenting change and transformation of polyphonic singing in the Salento region of lower Puglia (southern Italy), based on a comparative analysis of early field recordings and recently collected materials. Cantipolivocali (“multi-voiced songs”), the repertoire of vocal polyphony distinct to the Salento region, was once widely practiced throughout the region with subregional musical dialects and a rich repertory of local variants. This rich musical activity was captured in early field recordings by the first major wave of researchers in the field, notably between the mid-1950s to late 1960s by ethnomusicologists Diego Carpitella, Alan Lomax, Gianni Bosio, and Clara Longhini. After mass emigration and significant changes in traditional music’s positioning in contemporary Italian culture, the tradition of this singing in Salento has shifted considerably in both its polyphonic structure and how it is situated in cultural spaces. By comparing recordings of the aforementioned early collections with field recordings recently collected by the author through analysis, this paper will aim to document these changes and identify the significant transformations of cantipolivocali in Salento.
Morello, Mario (2018) Shift and Transformation in Salento: Investigating Change in the Polyphonic Structure and Performance Practice of Canti Polivocali in Southern Puglia . In: Musicologist: International Journal of Music Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 96-114. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/1030758/.