One of my friends recently completed a course in the History of italian music from the Accademia Europea de Firenze in Florence, Italy. I was amazed at the evolution of Italian music when she narrated to me the journey of medieval madrigals.
As she revealed the structure of Italian music history which composed of the Origins of Melodarma, Monteverdi, Instrumental music of 17th and 18th century, Violin culture, Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Verista, Belcanto...(the list was never ending) I felt that even I should recount to you the story of this Great Italian culture.
¬Historians studying Italian music have traced the music of Italy to the music that prevailed in Ancient Rome and they have found roots of Italian music even before Christianity was legally recognised. It seems that as worship in church progressed; it paved the way for musical innovations in Italy.
Name it the Renaissance or the 16th century, but in Italy it is the era of printed polyphonic music and instrumental music. The printed polyphonic music collection of Petrucci and Andrea Antico's printed Italian music for keyboard marked the beginning of printed music in Italy.
The sixteenth century witnessed events like Venetian Polychoral music reaching at its zenith, Villanella's lighter music capturing the hearts of Italians, Italian music losing its immunity to poltical events in Italy, the new face of Madrigalism and the fusion of Hebrew texts and European music.
The highlights of the Baroque era of Italy are the three cities:
Venice, Rome and Naples (the hometown of commercial opera, polyphony and church sponsored music conservatories), Extension of the keyboard and innovation in instrumental resources, forms such as sonata, symphony and concerto.
The new opera houses San Carlo Theater and La Scala at Naples and Milan, Claudio Monteverdi's opera, Alessandro Scarlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, Luigi Boccherini, Domenico Scarlatti, Benedetto Marcello, Giovanni Paisiello.
It was also the age when Italian music became truly international and Italian composers decided to work abroad.
In Europe, the 19th century in Literature symbolises Romanticiam.
This century remains significant in the history of Italian music as it marked it arrival by contributing to Italian music lyrical melodies which has been a part of the music of Italy ever since.
Bellini and Donizetti dominated the early years and Verdi, one of the greatest musical icon took charge of Italian music in the last fifty years of the century. Remaining primarily opearatic, Italy continued its musical tradition in the 19th century.
A glance into the history reveals that Italian experiments and innovations, Neapolitan songs, traditions of songwriters, domestic styles, folk music and even genres like jazz, hip hop has reserved a special place for them in Italian music history.
The story, as mentioned earlier is never ending but indeed, the glorious past of Italian music has given its people a separate cultural, national and ethnic identity.