Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia . Bibliomediateca


The field work undertaken by the Centro Nazionale di Studi di Musica Popolare (National Center for Studies in Folk Music) and subsequently by the Accademia's Ethno-musicology Archives form the nucleus of this database.

The Archive holds the most important collection of oral music traditions in Italy and the Mediterranean basin. Currently, there are about 13,000 catalogue records from the Archive collections linked with relevant digital sound files, for a total of more than 400 recorded hours (about 10,000 sound files). Since 1948, thanks to field research conducted by the Centro Nazionale di Studi sulla Musica Popolare (National Center for Studies in Folk Music) founded in collaboration with the RAI, the Accademia has collected invaluable recordings of music from Italian oral traditions, the result of the tireless work of Giorgio Nataletti, Diego Carpitella, Ernesto De Martino, Alan Lomax and other scholars who undertook the research and study of this particular repertory with passionate dedication.

Since then, the sound Archives have broadened in scope to include many other countries in the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Through the lively music and images that recount the phases of this research, the Archives bear witness to cultures (Albanians in Calabria, Jewish communities, brotherhoods); territories (the seas and tuna nets of Sicily, the mountains in Trentino, Lucania); trades (carters, fishermen, pedlars); expressive techniques (the singing of a Sardinian tenor, Genovese ‘tra-la-la', songs accompanied by chitarra battente from the Gargano); and rites and liturgies (Ashkenazi Jews, Greek Orthodox Christians, various Muslim communities).


The first director of the Centro Nazionale was Giorgio Nataletti (1907-1972); subsequently, Diego Carpitella took the helm until 1990, the year he died. Than the Accademia availed itself of the scientific collaboration of a group of ethno-musicologists composed of Giorgio Adamo, Sandro Biagiola, Walter Brunetto, Francesco Giannattasio, Giovanni Giuriati and Antonello Ricci. The daunting task of rearranging, cataloguing and digitalizing the collections, which has already lasted more than twenty years, is evinced not only in the database currently available but also in the series of publications and recordings released by the Accademia in collaboration with the publisher Squilibri. In the past, different scholars collaborated with the Archives, among them: Girolamo Garofalo, Meriem Meghnagi, Antonello Ricci, Francesco Spagnolo, Nicola Tangari.


Today, via internet, you can listen to the first 40 seconds of all the works that have been digitalized in MP3 format. You can hear the complete recordings at multimedia stations in the Multimedia Library.

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