excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 377-379 (294 words)

excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 377-379 (294 words)

part of

Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1

original language


in pages



text excerpt

encoded value

I was entertained in the evening with the music of some of those itinerant performers, that play at Christmas in the streets of Rome and Naples. Their native country is Basilicata, where the inhabitants of the Apennines learn from their infancy to wield the mattock with one hand, and the flageolet or bagpipe with the other. In these savages of Italy, music is not merely an art of pastime or luxury, but a talent awakened by necessity. Their usual employment is hoeing out drains, to draw the water off the land; but as there is not every year, nor in all seasons, a superabundance of rain, they take up their musical instruments for a maintenance, and, in small parties, travel over Italy, France, and Spain. Some have penetrated even into America, and returned from thence with great comparative riches, earned by their pastoral melody. Their concerts are generally composed of two musicians, who play on very long, large bagpipes, in unison:—I mean as to the tone, because one is always an octave higher than the other; while a third musician sounds a kind of hautboy, and, at the end of each ritornel, chants a rural ditty, to which the bagpipes play an accompaniment. The airs are all nearly alike, upon the model of the following Pastorale or Siciliana. [...]

 The trifling differences depend upon a greater or lesser vivacity in the performers, who are wont to embellish the common tune with variations, out of their own fancy. Every air, however, is composed of two characters: the ritornel is cheerful; the vocal part, slow and mournful. The instruments are all made by the shepherds themselves, in those forms and sizes which tradition has handed down to them, and experience has taught them to imitate.

appears in search results as

excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 377-379 (294 words)


reported in source


documented in
Page data computed in 319 ms with 1,645,848 bytes allocated and 35 SPARQL queries executed.