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Neapolitan folk music Neapolitan folk music

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Presentation on theme: "Neapolitan folk music Neapolitan folk music"— Presentation transcript:

1 Neapolitan folk music Neapolitan folk music
The Neapolitan folk music has very ancient origins. In fact, it was born around the 13th century, when Frederick II founded the University of Neaples and it was the result of a spontaneous expression of the Neapolitan people. But it was only in the 17th century that this music became what we know today. In this period new rhythms like the tarantella, and new instruments like the triccheballacche, tammorra, putipù and old instruments like the mandolin where introduced into the Neapolitan repertoire.

2 Tammorra

3 The tammorra is the main instrument of the Campania tradition and it claims very ancient origins. Widespread all over the Mediterranean, the tammorra accompanies both traditional songs and dances. It belongs to the frame drum family, whose top side is made of a dried skin membrane, stretched over a circular wooden frame. The frame can have rectangular holes where tin jingles, called cymbals, are placed. When there are no jingles, the tammorra is called “mute”. THE TAMMORRA

4 Neapolitan instrument

The history of the tammorra is reconstructed through archeological finds. It begins with some Phoenician statuettes of female figures and Greek paintings that show women in the act of playing a drum similar to the current tammorra. Among the Romans we find it with the name of tympanum. In a Pompeian mosaic this drum is represented in the hands of a musician playing the instrument turning it to the bottom. The term tammorra is finally adopted in the Middle Ages. THE HISTORY OF THE TAMMORRA


If you want to play the tammorra you have to hold the frame from the botton with just one hand keeping it perpendicular to the body. The way you hold the tammorra is very important. When the instrument is held with the left hand and beaten with the right one, they say it is used in the male way. The use of the tammorra is difficult, because it requires uncommon rhythmic qualities. There is no general rule to hold the tammorra because each player finds his/her own way to play it.

8 THE TAMMURRIATA The origins of the tammurriata are lost in the mists of time. It has its roots in the ancient Greek and Sanskrit dances. Some of these ancient dances presented features that we can still find in the present dance of the tammurriata. The tammurriata is a dance in pairs and expresses all that nowadays is denied and repressed. It is composed of gestures that assume a symbolic and magic meaning.

9 Neapolitan Mandolin

10 The history of the mandolin is very old and it is linked to the history of the lute.
The lute appears for the first time in Egypt around the seventh century AD. It was introduced by the Arabs. With passing of time and different social and cultural influences, a constructive evolution of this instrument led to the birth of new musical instruments which, although differing in wood, size, shape and tuning, have common characteristics.

11 The mandolin with its current form was built for the first time in Florence, in This instrument, especially for the tone and sweetness of the sound, soon established in Italy. for this reason there are various kinds of mandolin in use in Italy and especially in Neaples.

12 The traditional Neapolitan mandolin is tear-shaped with a bowl back
The traditional Neapolitan mandolin is tear-shaped with a bowl back. It has eight strings paired into the four violin tunings of g, d, a and e. The strings are played with a pick, producing the characteristic ‘tremolo’ when the pick is rapidly moved over the unison strings.

13 It is a big mistake to think that the mandolin is just a folk instrument suitable to play serenades, popular or folk pieces. Authors as Pergolisi, Stavinsky, Vivaldi, Paisiello, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Mahler, Prokofiev and many others have written for this instrument.

14 Berlioz says in his “treatise of the orchestra” : “the sound of mandolin has something of spicy, witty and original, irreplaceable with other instruments such as the guitar and violin”


16 One of the most original instruments created by the inventiveness of the people from the south of Italy and in particular from the Neapolitan area is the “Caccavella”, which for onomatopeia, is called “Putipù” The “Caccavella” or “Putipù” is made up of a sound box, a skin membrane and a bamboo cane. The sound box can be an earthware pan, a wooden tub or a tin can.

17 Big tomato cans are often used for this purpose
Big tomato cans are often used for this purpose. When the animal skin is not available, the membrane is replaced with a thick cloth. On the upper end of the bamboo cane there is a ribbon or another decoration. The lower end of the bamboo cane is inserted into a hole made in the middle of the membrane. The bamboo cane and the membrane are tightly tied and fixed on the upper edge of the soundbox

18 Vibrations are produced rubbing the bamboo cane against the membrane
Vibrations are produced rubbing the bamboo cane against the membrane. These vibrations are amplified by the air inside the soundbox and create the characteristic, humoristic and sometimes disquieting sound

19 Triccheballacche

20 The“triccheballacche”, also called TRIC BALLAC or TRIK BALLAK, is a traditional musical instrument used in southern Italy above all in the Neapolitan area.

21 It is made up of three hammers framed among them
It is made up of three hammers framed among them. The three wooden hammers are parallel. The Bottom frame joins the three hammers. The upper frame makes the two external hammers slide.

22 These hammers are moved by a musician, and beating against the central hammer, which remains fixed, they produce the characteristic sound of the instrument. The hammers have tin jingles so that each beat of the hammer produces a percussive sound similar to the sound of the tambourine.


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