excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 59-60 (266 words)

excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 59-60 (266 words)

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Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1

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In Christmas time, all quarters of Naples resound with Pastorali or Siciliane, a kind of simple rural music, executed by Abruzzese or Calabrian shepherds, upon a species of bag pipes, called in Abruzzo, Zampogna, and Ciaramelli in Calabria. The tunes vary according to the provinces: in the south, they have three different airs; the northern shepherds know only two, to which they add what variations the boldness of their own genius inspires. The boys learn of their fathers to play upon this instrument as the means of subsistence. At other seasons, it is rare to hear any agreeable sounds in the streets of Naples, though it is the nursery of musical professors: a school, where the greatest masters have imbibed their principles, and acquired that knowledge of composition, which has enchanted the ears of all Europe. There is no such thing as a national music, unless we give that name to a monotonous drawling seguidilla, that serves the nurses as a lullaby to put their children to rest, and seems borrowed from the Spaniards, who, I believe, learnt it of the Moors. I never resided in any Italian town where there was a less musical turn in the populace: few songs, guittars, vielles, or organs, enliven the evenings, as in the northern states of Italy, unless they be sent for to entertain the parties that in summer sup on the shore of Posilipo.

They do not even dance to music, but perform the Tarantella to the beating of a kind of tambourine, which was in use among their ancestors, as appears by the pictures of Herculaneum.

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excerpt from 'Travels in the two Sicilies Volume 1' pp. 59-60 (266 words)


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