Simone Mongelli

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Music in the Kingdom of Napoli. Composers and oral tradition.




In the 16th and 17th centuries, in the area of Naples, some composers use to refer to oral tradition for their works in different ways: using lyrics from traditional tunes or novels, quoting traditional melodies, basing their works on dance rhythms of the rural heritage of the area, choosing lyrics on vulgar themes instead of literary texts. The "villanella", which was born here in this period, is a typical example of this practice.

This kind of music circulates both in the upper-middle classes and in the lower ones, since common people can partly recognize themselves in this form of culture. In their turn, traditional musicians can use and transform to their taste and habits this music, thus creating an interesting intercommunication between the two environments, too often considered separated, of "composed" and "traditional" music, which share to a certain extent a similar musical language and style. 

The intent of the programme is to combine composed "villanelle" on one hand and music from the oral tradition on the other, showing how close they can actually sound.



Anonymous, sec. XVI Vintitré li fronne
Giovanni Domenico da Nola Una Lampuca ho visto
Anonymous – S. Rosa (?) Michelemmà
Anonymous, in J. De colonia, 1537 Deh quanno ti veggio
Io. Leonardo Primavera Tre donne belle
Anonymous, in Kircher 1650 Antidotum Tarantulae
Anonymous, sec. XVI Si li fimmene
Leonardo Vinci Vurria addivintare suricillo
Anonymous, in J. De Colonia, 1537 Sia maledetta l'acqua
Anonymous, oral tradition Cicerinella
Bernardo Pasquini A Calascione
Anonymous, sec. XVII Li ffigliole
Anonymous – G.B. Basile, in Gardano 1567 Vurria ca fosse ciaula
Anonymous, oral tradition La 'ndrezzata



Giovanni Domenico da Nola, Canzoni villanelle, 1541

J. De Colonia, Canzoni villanesche alla napolitana, 1537

Io. Leonardo Primavera, Il primo libro de' canzoni napolitane a tre voci, 1565

A. Kircher, Musurgia Universalis, 1650

Leonardo Vinci, Li zite 'ngalera, Commedia per Musica, 1722

Bernardo Pasquini, MS 2431

A. Gardano, Il terzo libro delle villotte alla napolitana a tre, 1567



Armando Illario – voice, harpsichord

Simone Mongelli – percussions, jaw's harp



Other projects:


Peasant devotion in Campania

Radical Music