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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Melodies of Sardinia

SardiniaSardinia (Photo credit: giannisl)The Melodies of Sardinia By Helen Forbes
When you arrive in Sardinia, you might just hear an unfamiliar tune or two as you explore the area around your villa. In Sardinia, travellers will almost certainly notice many kinds of unique musical pieces and musical instruments that they may not be immediately familiar with. Sardinia is one of the most culturally distinct regions of Italy, and so too it is musically distinct. There is plenty to discover for those musically-inclined visitors. If you hear a few stray snatches of melody while exploring the towns of Sardinia, why not stop and listen for a little while? It could well be the soundtrack for a wonderful memory of your trip.

Polyphonic Chant
One absolutely beautiful (and quite unique) form of music from Sardinia is a rural chant known as 'cantu a tenore', which requires four singers of different types to produce its haunting melodies. The four singers are 'bassu', or bass, 'mesa boghe', or middle, 'contra', or counter, and finally 'boghe', the leader and also soloist when a solo section of the chant is called for. It is definitely a musical experience that will echo in your mind long after you have retired for the evening to your villa in Sardinia. This wonderful style of singing has also been critically acclaimed even beyond simple appreciation - the vocal stylings of cantu a tenore were deemed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, by UNESCO.
The launeddas is an ancient instrument, played using the little-utilised technique of circular breathing, and often heard at religious ceremonies and dances. The construction of the instrument is quite distinctive, being traditionally made of three reed-canes, two of them glued together with beeswax. The complex style of music that can be produced on a laneddas has been recognised internationally, with many similarities required of the musician as when playing other similar wind instruments - such as the Australian digeridoo or the Egyptian arghul. If you're impressed with the launeddas music while relaxing at your villa in Sardinia, you're not alone - professional musicians such as Frank Zappa and Peter Gabriel have included them in their modern works.
If you're interested in experiencing music in a more formal setting outside your villa in Sardinia, then why not pay a visit to the Teatro Communale of Cagliari? You'll be able to see a performance by the permanent Choir and Orchestra of the Opera and Concert Association of Caligari, and if you're preference is for open-air venues, then the Roman apmpitheatre is often open to visitors in the summer.
There are many ways of experiencing the musical heritage of Sardinia, these are but a few to whet your appetite.
Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you're looking for the perfect villa in Sardinia, Essential Italy is ideal. Every handpicked villa in Sardinia offers distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.

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