Monday, November 24, 2014


In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the troubadours came from France in the wake of the crusaders, and many traces of their songs are to be found.  
As a result of repeated barbarian invasions from the far north and the far south, the most remarkable transformations and innovations occurred in the music and language of the period. Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, the founder of the university of Naples, ordered the establishment of a faculty to foster the new language. 
Towards the middle of the fifteenth century Neapolitan was declared the official language by Alphonso of Aragon. 
I know of no authentic musical works which have been preserved from the period of the late antique kingdom, the time of the maritime city-state and the empire of Constantinople, but it is possible to get an idea of them; one has only to think of the Moorish elements that still dominate the entire corpus of the canzone napoletana. This influence is the essential and most characteristic trait, not only in the kind of singing, but also in cadences and the relationship of intervals, and even in the later songs it is possible to recognize their origins through their colouring and expression.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Roberto Murolo, along with Sergio Bruni and Renato Carosone, was a major figure on the Neapolitan music scene, in the period after World War II, and it is also thanks to his work that Naples ceased to be a geographical place to become a universal, all-time place of the soul.
"Murolo is not the reason that Neapolitan songs such as 'O sole mio and Funiculì-Funilulà are known abroad. That goes back to yet an earlier generation, the years at the turn of the century when so many Neapolitans emigrated and took their music with them. 
Interestingly, however, Murolo was part of the post-WW2 generation of Neapolitan singers who resisted the onslaught of American popular music and helped keep the traditional music of his native culture from becoming passé".