The Italian folk music history is one of the most esteemed and pure examples of art not only in Italy but the entire world. Italian music is cherished and loved by many people all around the globe as one of the most beautiful and pleasing ear sources of tunes. Over the period, as many other nations came and ruled over the lands of Italy, they made an impact and influence over the traditional music. As a result, the Italian music we hear today is a combination and reflection of all these cultures.
The folk music of Italy has a variety of styles which include choral singing, instrumental music, polyphonic and monophonic songs, solo singing, etc. Due to the various outside influences over the original music, there is no set pattern or style in the Italian folk music. The Northern, Southern and other regions have modified it by adding components of their traditions to it. The Slavic and Celtics constitute the Northern influence in which choral and a polyphonic form of music are more common while the Africans and Greeks constitute the Southern influence where the concept of solo singing is famous. Various geographic regions in Italy itself have different music styles. Hence, the Italian music lacks a homogenous character.
Italian music has made some significant contributions to the modern music. The importance of Italian music lies in the fact that the Italians created the first symphonies in the world. The world-famous Ballet dancing has derived its name from the Italian world ‘ballare’ which stands for ‘dancing.’ This form of dancing has emerged mainly from the Northern parts of Italy as it is more common there. The Southern parts on the other hand feature more of lyrical songs.
The famous ‘Opera’ also has its roots in the Italian folk music history. It emerged in the 17th century in the city of Florence. The field of musical instruments also has a fair share of Italian influence. Instruments like bassoons were invented in Italy, and some of the modifications in the modern-day violins and pianos were also have been the major Italian contributions. Other instruments include bagpipes, clarinet, drums, flute, accordion, scacciapensieri, quarter, tambourine and dulcimers.
Some of the most notable personalities known for their contributions to Italian folk music include Luigi Nono and Franco Donatoni for symphonic music. For opera, Antonio Cesti, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni and Gaetano Donizetti have made notable contributions. The troubadours have had a great and significant influence on the traditional Italian music. Due to their contributions, the music began to be written in the local languages instead of Latin language.
The Italian folk music has also had an impact on the music in the church as it is largely a Catholic nation. However, due to various outside influences like the rest of the Italian music, today only a few hymns are chanted in the local Italian language. The pop, jazz and rap music in today’s times also derives some of its parts from the traditional Italian music.