Structure of this study

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A T H E O R Y O F M U S I C A L G E N R E S :

T W O A P P L I C A T I O N S

Fr a n co Fa b b r i

This paper , deliv er ed at t he Fir st I nt er nat ional Confer ence on Popular Music St udies ( Am st er dam , 1981) , w as or iginally pr int ed in Popular Music Per spect iv es ( ed. D. Hor n and P. Tagg; 1982, Göt e-bor g and Ex et er : I nt er nat ional Associat ion for t he St udy of Popular Music, p. 52- 81) . Page t ur ns in t he or iginal ar e m ar ked bet w een br aces, e.g. “ { 52- 53} ” as t he boundar y bet w een pages 52 and 53. Please not e t hat Fabbr i has consider ably ex panded t he ideas pr esent ed below in his book I l suono in cui v iv iam o ( 1996, Milan: Felt r inelli) under t he headings “ Che gener e di m usica?” ( p. 7- 32) and “ I gener i m usicali e i lor o m et alinguaggi” ( p. 33- 41) .

St r u ct u r e o f t h i s st u d y

This st udy is div ided int o t hr ee par t s. I n t he fir st par t a definit ion of “ m usical genr e” is st at -ed and com m ent -ed on: fr om t his basis obser v at ions and ex am ples ar e m ade about t he t y pes of r ules t hat cont r ibut e t o t he definit ion of a genr e and on t he w ay s in w hich t hey ar e accept ed by v ar ious com m unit ies. I n t he second par t an analy sis is m ade of t he genr es char act er ized by t he canzone for m in I t aly t oday , in t he w ider m eaning int ended w it h can-zone. This sy nchr onic analy sis is aim ed at ex plaining t he st r uct ur e of a subst ant ial par t of t he pr esent I t alian m usical sy st em , and at illust r at ing t he possible dist inguishing lines be-t w een sim ilar genr es usually confused under be-t he com m on heading of “ lighbe-t m usic” . I n be-t he t hir d par t , one of t hese genr es, t he canzone d'aut or e, is analy sed in it s cour se t hr ough t im e; t his diachr onic analy sis is aim ed at t he inv est igat ion of t he w ay s by w hich a genr e becom es codified, and it s possible t r ansfor m at ions.

1 . 1 . D e f i n i t i o n

A m usical genr e is “ a set of m usical ev ent s ( r eal or possible) w hose cour se is gov er ned by a definit e set of socially accept ed r ules” .

The not ion of set , bot h for a genr e and for it s defining appar at us, m eans t hat w e can speak of sub- set s lik e “ sub- genr es” , and of all t he oper at ions for eseen by t he t heor y of set s: in par t icular a cer t ain “ m usical ev ent ” m ay be sit uat ed in t he int er sect ion of t w o or m or e gen-r es, and t hegen-r efogen-r e belong t o each of t hese at t he sam e t im e.

For “ m usical ev ent ” , t he definit ion of “ m usic” giv en by t he I t alian sem iologist St efani m ay be consider ed v alid: “ any t y pe of act iv it y per for m ed ar ound any t y pe of ev ent inv olv ing sound” . This definit ion is cont r ov er sial, but t hat w hich has m ade it so is ex act ly w hat w e need in t his case, t hat is t he fact t hat it is, if any t hing, t oo br oad. This m eans t hat t hose w ho ar e not in agr eem ent can r efer t o a set of r ules t hat define a m or e r est r ict ed set , but t hey cannot pr ev ent a com m unit y , sm all and discr edit ed t hough it m ay be, fr om consider -ing a “ m usical ev ent ” t hat w hich t hey , t he obj ect or s, do not consider m usic at all.

Ex cessiv e br oadness is a defect also of m y ow n definit ion of genr e: it allow s m e { 52- 53} t o call “ genr e” any set of genr es, and t her efor e som e w hich usually go under ot her nam es: m usical sy st em s, et hnic m usic, ev en “ t er r est r ial m usic” ( a union of all t he t y pes of m usical pr oduct ion and consum pt ion on t his planet ) or “ galact ic” .

The only solut ion I hav e found t o t his pr oblem is t o decide each t im e w het her a cer t ain set of m usical ev ent s is being consider ed in r elat ion t o ot her opposing set s in w hich case I w ill call it a genr e - or in r elat ion t o it s sub- set s - in w hich case I w ill call it a sy st em . I n any case t his defect is pr efer able t o t he opposit e r isk , t hat is, not r ecognizing as a genr e som e-t hing w hich is consider ed as such by m illions of people.

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answ er t o it , in t he chosen definit ion of a m usical ev ent . This r efer ence, how ev er , should help t o av oid any for cing w hich could der iv e fr om a m echanical applicat ion of t he t heor y of set s: t he em pt y genr e, cor r esponding t o t he em pt y set .

Accor ding t o t he definit ion, a sim ilar genr e w ould im ply t hat a giv en com m unit y had agr eed on a cer t ain set of r ules r elat iv e t o t he cour se of m usical ev ent s ( r eal or possible) , and t hat t hese ev ent s did not ex ist : w hich is not only a par adox fr om a logical point of v iew , but m ost ly fr om a sociological one ( and fr om m any ot her s) . The sit uat ion near est t o t his w ould be t he pr oclam at ion of a m anifest o, of an aest het ic pr ogr am m e: in t his case, of cour se, t he genr e is not em pt y , but at least consist s of t he possible m usical ev ent s t hat can be m ade accor ding t o t he r ules of t hat pr ogr am m e. Ther efor e t he em pt y genr e can be r e-duced t o a r ole of pur ely t opological abst r act ion in or der t o guar ant ee t he car r y ing out of oper at ions w it h set s, w it hout it s “ r ealit y ” being quest ioned.

The not ion of “ cour se” is also connect ed w it h St efani's definit ion and w it h t he concept ion of “ act iv it y ” cont ained in it , but t his is of secondar y im por t ance.

The codified char act er of gener ic r ules is associat ed w it h t he r egulat ion of t he r elat ion be-t w een be-t he lev els of ex pr ession and of conbe-t enbe-t .

Now , due t o t he par t icular aspect assum ed in m usic by ev er y sem ant ic quest ion, and t o t he nat ur e of per for m ance of t his ar t , and, as a com bined consequence of t hese t w o fac-t or s, due fac-t o fac-t he im por fac-t ance assum ed w ifac-t h r egar d fac-t o fac-t his by fac-t he confac-t ex fac-t , fac-t he cir cum sfac-t ances and t he r elat ions bet w een t he par t icipant s in a m usical ev ent , it is im possible t o t r y t o pick out one point , one m om ent in w hich or on w hich gener ic r ules per for m t heir r egulat ing t ask . The definit ion m ust t her efor e cont ain a m ult ifunct ional t er m applicable, accor ding t o r ules and genr es, bot h t o t he for m al choices of a ninet eent h cent ur y com poser and t o t he r eact ions of r ock { 53- 54} concer t fans, and in t he sam e w ay t o t he acoust ics of a j azz club as t o t he t hank sgiv ing cer em ony of a cont em por ar y com poser aft er a fir st per for m ance: “ cour se” seem ed t o m e an ideal t er m ; t he r ules w ill t hen define t he sense in w hich it has t o be int ended.

The fact t hat t he set of r ules be “ definit e” seem ed t o m e sufficient t o num ber am ongst genr es non w genr it t en poet ics and abov e all gengenr es based on ogenr al t genr adit ion, and necessagenr y in ogenr -der t o av oid an infinit e m ult iplicat ion of v ar iant s.

I hav e not im posed lim it s on t he com m unit y w hose agr eem ent for m s t he basis for t he def-init ion of a genr e: it s ex t ension is not a pr oblem ( t he decision t o st udy Ver di's m elodr am a or polit ical songs of t he 1972 st udent m ov em ent in Milan St at e Univ er sit y w ill depend on indiv idual int er est s) neit her is it s com posit ion. A genr e w hich am algam at es com plicat ed r elat ions bet w een com poser s, per for m er s, audience, cr it ics and or ganizer s, each w it h t heir ow n par t icular r ules, m ay be no m or e w or t hy of at t ent ion and analy sis t han a genr e based on an ar bit r ar y agr eem ent bet w een t w elv e j our nalist s and a r ecor d pr oducer , w ho all in-clude in it m usical ev ent s appar ent ly het er ogeneous accor ding t o obscur e idiosy ncr at ic r ules.

A w or d about t he w ay t his social accept ance w or k s, t her efor e about t he pr inciples of cod-ificat ion: t his is obv iously t he hear t of t he diachr onic dev elopm ent of genr es, t heir collo-cat ion in sy st em s w her e t he single genr es change t heir funct ion accor ding t o t he t im es, and w it hin t hem t he m usical ev ent s. This aspect w ill be dealt w it h fur t her on, and ex em -plified in t he last par t of t his st udy . Befor e t his I t hink t hat a sur v ey of t he v ar ious t y pes of r ules w hich com bine t o for m t he definit ion of a genr e is necessar y .

1 . 2 . T y p e s o f g e n e r i c r u l e s

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This w ould not pr ev ent a m usical sy st em or a par t of it fr om being analy sed, once a seem -ingly r elev ant gr oup of r ules has been found, only in t he light of t hese r ules.

A sy st em so ex am ined w ould appear lik e a m at r ix w it h r ow s of r ules and colum ns of gen-r es, in w hich each single elem ent a i j w ould indicat e t he v alue of t he r ule i for t he genr e j.

Obv iously a sim ilar m at r ix w ould only be used t o j og t he r esear cher 's m em or y .{ 54- 55}

No specific hier ar chical or der is giv en t o t he r ules pr esent ed her e. On t he ot her hand, in t he descr ipt ion of each single genr e som e r ules ar e m or e im por t ant , and a few m uch m or e im por t ant t han ot her s, t o t he point w her e t hese ot her s can som e t im es be consider ed m ar -ginal and ignor ed. I n t his case t he ex ist ence could also be claim ed of a sor t of “ hy per - r ule” w hich est ablishes t his hier ar chy ; t o t his hy per r ule w e can easily at t r ibut e t he nam e of “ ide-ology ” of t hat genr e. Ot her cases w ill inv olv e t he differ ence in t he st r engt h of codificat ion.

1 . 2 . 1 . Fo r m a l a n d t e ch n i ca l r u l e s

The r eflect ions j ust m ade on t he ideology of a genr e and t he hier ar chy for m ed by t his can be sur ely applied t o t he for m al and t echnical r ules. I n m ost m usicological lit er at ur e w hich has t ack led t he pr oblem of genr es, fr om posit iv ist s t o v er y r ecent ex am ples, t he for m al and t echnical r ules seem t o be t he only ones t ak en int o consider at ion, t o t he point w her e genr e, st y le and for m becom e sy nony m ous. Wit h all t his scient ific confusion one cannot ex pect com m on sense t o be m or e pr ecise and in fact t hese t er m s ar e easily int er changed in daily use. I t m ust be said, how ev er , t hat a r ecor d buy ing adolescent of t oday has clear er ideas on m usical genr es t han t he m aj or it y of m usicologist s w ho hav e m ade such a fuss about t hem .

Undoubt edly each genr e has it s t y pical for m s, ev en if t he opposit e is not t r ue, i.e. t hat a for m is not sufficient t o define a genr e. I t is also w ell est ablished t hat st y les of genr e ex ist : but t he pr act ice of st y list ic quot at ion has becom e so fam iliar t hat no one is w illing t o accept a st y le of genr e as an ident it y docum ent any longer .

I n any case t he for m al and t echnical r ules, on a com posit ional lev el, play a m aj or r ole in all m usical genr es, not only in t he so called “ cult iv at ed” ones. Ther e ar e r ules w hich hav e a w r it t en code, in t heor et ical t r eat ises or t eaching m anuals, and ot her s, no less im por t ant , w hich ar e passed on by or al t r adit ion or t hr ough m odel w or k s. This is also v alid for t hose r ules w hich r efer t o per for m ance t echniques, t o inst r um ent al char act er ist ics, t o a m usician's abilit y . The t r um pet play er in a classical or chest r a and t he one in a big band ar e cer -t ainly on -t he sam e lev el fr om -t he poin-t of v iew of sigh-t r eading and m em or y , bu-t fr om -t ha-t of em bouchur e, ex t ension and im pr ov isat ion t hey ar e not in agr eem ent and t he int er pr e-t ae-t ion of a r hy e-t hm ical pae-t e-t er n of doe-t e-t ed quav er s and sem iquav er s w ill find e-t hem in disa-gr eem ent . The guit ar ist s in a punk disa-gr oup and Andr es Segov ia hav e differ ent ideas on t he concept of t uning and m em or y , not t o m ent ion all t he ot her aspect s. The banalit y it self of t hese ex am ples show s how w ell r oot ed t he r ules of genr es ar e in our m usical cult ur e. But , t o r et ur n t o t he lev el of com posit ional st r uct ur e, one cannot help but not ice t he num ber of conv ent ions om it t ed, t he codes gov er ning t hese aspect s of m usic in such a w ell- r oot ed w ay as t o appear banal, but w hich do show t heir im por t ance { 55- 56} w hen com par ed t o ot her m usical cult ur es or w hen t hey ar e quest ioned by hist or ical dev elopm ent , or also, as in t his case, w hen one t r ies t o find t heir nuances.

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ifica-t ion of a m usical genr e no less ifica-t han ifica-t hey indiv idualize ifica-t he sifica-t y le of a single auifica-t hor . Mor e gener ally , t he concept ion of t he r elat ionship t ex t - m usic and t he for m al solut ions used t o br oach t he subj ect , and t he subj ect 's ideology it self, v ar y enor m ously fr om genr e t o genr e.

1 . 2 . 2 . Se m i o t i c r u l e s

Of cour se all t he r ules of genr e ar e sem iot ic, since t hey ar e codes w hich cr eat e a r elat ion bet w een t he ex pr ession of a m usical ev ent and it s cont ent . But in t he cont ex t of r ule clas-sificat ion it seem ed t o m e m or e useful t o call by t his nam e t hose near er t o t he t r adit ional fields of r esear ch in t his subj ect or som e of it s br anches. Since I hav e j ust cit ed t he case of m usical genr es w it h a t ex t , it should be added t hat not only can a m usical t ex t be st udied fr om t he point of v iew of nar r at iv e st r at egy , as t he obj ect of t ex t ual sem iot ics, and w it h r efer ence t o t he v alue of t he possible w or lds cr eat ed by a nar r at iv e t y pe of t ex t , but t hat v er y cir cum st ant iat ed r ules of genr e on t his subj ect ex ist ev en if t hey ar e not w r it t en.

The nar r at iv it y it self is in quest ion in som e genr es bot h in t he t ex t and, in par t icular , in t he m usic. The fact t hat in t his last field, r esear ch on at t ent ion cont r ol and on r het or ical dev ic-es is not y et w ell dev eloped doic-es not alt er t he fact t hat cer t ain differ encic-es in t he concept of m usical dev elopm ent bet w een differ ent er as and genr es appear obv ious.and w ell coded.

Then t her e ar e t hose r ules r efer r ing t o t he com m unicat iv e funct ions point ed out by Rom an Jak obson in his linguist ic st udies: r efer ent ial, em ot ional, im per at iv e, phat ic, m et alinguis-t ic, poealinguis-t ic. Jak obson holds alinguis-t haalinguis-t alinguis-t hey ar e all m or e or less pr esenalinguis-t { 56- 57} sim ulalinguis-t aneously in ev er y m essage, but t hat one dom inat es t he ot her s. The r ules of genr e det er m ine t his dom inance: a m usic w hich is m ainly phat ic is “ back gr ound m usic” ( an int er est ing case w her e a genr e m ay include w or k s or iginally int ended for ot her uses) . At t ent ion t o t he aes-t heaes-t ic poeaes-t ic facaes-t or , in differ enaes-t degr ees and w iaes-t h differ enaes-t inaes-t enaes-t ions, disaes-t inguishes “ ar aes-t ” m usic fr om t he ot her s, as it dist inguishes “ pr ogr essiv e r ock ” fr om “ har d r ock ” , t he “ chan-son d'aut or e” fr om “ pop song” . The m et alinguist ic funct ion is as fundam ent al in defining t he “ av ant - gar de” ( w ho m ak e no dist inct ion bet w een “ speak ing of m usic” - also in m usic - and “ m ak ing m usic” ) as is t he im per at iv e funct ion w hich pr edom inat es in dance m usic and t he em ot iv e one in film m usic and adv er t ising j ingles.

These ar e r ules of genr e, of cour se: t her e is a non- w r it t en agr eem ent , for ex am ple, on t he per m issible lev el of em ot ional ex cit em ent w hich can be induced by cont em por ar y m usic abov e w hich t he m usic becom es “ pam per ” or neo- r om ant ic” .

The sem iot ic r ules do not necessar ily r efer t o t he m usical t ex t ( or t he v er bal one connect ed t o t he m usic) in a st r ict sense: t he chosen definit ion of m usical ev ent w it h it s w ide r ange inv it es consider at ion of par allel codes r efer r ing t o t he cont ex t inv olv ed. The lat t er is also a case of pr osem ic r ules w hich r efer t o t he spacing of t he par t icipant s in a m usical ev ent . Each genr e has it s ow n space set out in a par t icular w ay , and t his w ould not be w or t h m en-t ioning if en-t his char acen-t er isen-t ic did noen-t conen-t r ibuen-t e en-t o en-t he definien-t ion of en-t he m eaning of a m usical ev ent . The r elat ionship bet w een t he space, t he com m unit y occupy ing it , t he int ensit y of sound and t he “ sy nt het ic for ce” of t he m usic, t r eat ed by t he m oder n pr ess in r efer ence t o big r ock fest iv als, w er e ear lier dealt w it h by Paul Bek k er in his st udy of sy m phonies and by Ador no in his essay on t he use of m usic in r adio. The dist ance bet w een m usicians and audience, bet w een spect at or and spect at or , t he ov er all dim ensions of t he ev ent ar e oft en fundam ent al elem ent s t o t he definit ion of a genr e, and oft en guide t he par t icipant s, in t he r ight or w r ong w ay in det er m ining w hat t hey should ex pect about ot her r ules of genr e; oft en “ how y ou ar e seat ed” say s m or e about t he m usic t hat w ill be per for m ed t han a post er does.

Codes closely par allel t o m usical ones ar e, for ex am ple, gest ur al- m im ic codes: not only t he obv ious ones st r ongly coded by v ar ious dance for m s, but also t hose r efer r ing t o t he pos-t ur es and m ov em enpos-t s of singer s, inspos-t r um enpos-t play er s, conducpos-t or s, pos-t he lispos-t ener s and ev en t he cr it ics. Rules r egar ding dr ess ar e also sim ilar in t heir pr incipal effect w hich consist s of r eassur ance about t he ident it y of t he m usical ev ent in act and in t he choice of ot her codes.

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1 2 . 3 . Be h a v i o u r r u l e s

Met hods of appr oach t o t his t y pe of r ule v ar y enor m ously , fr om t hose of t he v ar ious psy -chology schools t o t hose of so called “ m icr osociology ” : but it is bey ond doubt t hat m any of t he st udies of t his t y pe m ade in t he m usical field hav e found r egular it ies, ev en w hen t hey w er e not look ing for t hem , w it hin t he sam e genr e. Many of t hese st udies ar e aim ed at t he psy chology of m usicians, in par t icular concer t per for m er s, or chest r al m usicians or session m en, w hose r eact ions w hen faced w it h an audience or an unk now n scor e w er e an-aly zed. How ev er , t he audience also has psy chological and behav iour al r eact ions codified fr om genr e t o genr e. We w ill see for ex am ple how t he per for m er 's “ sincer it y ” is v alued dif-fer ent ly accor ding t o genr es.

I t is w ell k now n t o t hose fam iliar w it h m or e t han one genr e t hat each genr e is char act er ised by r ules of conv er sat ion, sm aller and lar ger r it uals w hich m or e t han any ot her r ule help t o m ak e an ex clusiv e cir cle of a genr e and t o quick ly show up any int r uder w ho is not w ell infor m ed.

1 . 2 . 4 . So ci a l a n d i d e o l o g i ca l r u l e s

Ev er y genr e is defined by a com m unit y of v ar y ing st r uct ur e w hich accept s t he r ules and w hose m em ber s par t icipat e in v ar ious for m s dur ing t he cour se of a m usical ev ent . Dist in-guishing bet w een genr es accor ding t o t heir social funct ions, t heir int er nal social st r uct ur e, or t heir classes, gr oups or gener at ions t hat pr efer t hem is not t he t ask of t his sect ion of m y paper : it is w ell k now n t hat t his has been t he fav our ed aim of genr e st udy since t he fir st sociological st udies of m usic w er e m ade.

But t her e ar e cases in w hich t his sociological infor m at ion becom es a par t of t he set of r ules for a genr e: it is by no m eans unusual for sociological analy sis t o be ant icipat ed by t he pr ecise aw ar eness, on t he par t of par t icipant s in a m usical ev ent , of t he social m eaning and st r uct ur e of t hat in w hich t hey ar e par t icipat ing. For ex am ple, t he div ision of labour t y pical t o a genr e is also a r ule, and again, t he link bet w een a genr e and cer t ain age gr oups or social classes can becom e a r ule, ev en t o t he point w her e single indiv iduals can deny t heir gr oup or class by t he adopt ion of a cer t ain genr e.

Sim ilar t hings can be said about ideological r ules as about social r ules. But , bear ing in m ind w hat w e said about t he so called hy per - r ules w hich cr eat e hier ar chies am ong t he ot her r ules, it seem s m or e int er est ing t o br ing ideology back t o it s or iginal m eaning of “ false science” , r at her t han lim it our selv es t o t he obser v at ion of t he polit ical or ideological con-not at ions of t his or t hat genr e.

I n t his sense it should be not ed t hat k now ledge of t he r ules of a genr e by one of it s par -t icipan-t s is alm os-t alw ay s of an ideological na-t ur e, and -t his, am ongs-t o-t her { 58- 59} t hings, has st opped m any m ilit ant cr it ics ( oft en m ilit ant in one genr e only ) fr om car r y ing out a scient ific st udy of m usical sy st em s and t heir genr es w it hout pr ej udice. I deology can not only giv e m or e im por t ance t o cer t ain r ules com par ed t o ot her s, but can act ually con-ceal som e, w hen t hese ar e found t o be in cont r ast w it h ot her s consider ed m or e “ noble” . How ev er it should be st r essed once m or e t hat a hier ar chy of r ules need not necessar ily be of an ideological nat ur e, nor need it depend on t he codify ing for ce of each r ule ( I adm it t hat t his can be consider ed a k ind of “ scient ific” ideology ) .

1 . 2 . 5 . Eco n o m i ca l a n d j u r i d i ca l r u l e s

Am ongst t he r ules of genr e, t hese how ev er r eadily av ailable for cr it ical analy sis, ar e t hose m ost oft en subj ect t o ideological concealm ent . One does not ex pect a m usician or a list ener of a giv en genr e t o let us k now t he econom ical and j ur idical back gr ound t hat guar ant ee t he sur v iv al and pr osper it y of t hat genr e; one does ex pect t his fr om an av id cr it ic of t hat genr e. This is a v er y r epr esent at iv e ex am ple of t he differ ence bet w een ideological hier ar -chies and hier ar -chies for m ed due t o t he for ce of codificat ion: t hese r ules, t he st r engt h and im por t ance of w hich has act ually been t r ansfor m ed int o st at e law s, can be concealed be-hind t he ar t ist 's independence or “ t he anger of a gener at ion” .

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sci-ent ific analy sis but m er ely so t hat t hey cannot influence t he conclusions alr eady dr aw n.

1 . 3 . T h e m u si ca l co m m u n i t y

A m usical ev ent can inv olv e v ar iously st r uct ur ed com m unit ies. Thank s t o t he t y pe of def-init ion w e hav e accept ed her e for genr e and m usical ev ent , t he com m unit y inv olv ed does not necessar ily coincide w it h t hat phy sically pr esent at t he m om ent in w hich t he sounds m ay be hear d. This m ay be banal, but it indicat es clear ly t hat a st udy of genr es cannot coincide w it h a sociology of m usical consum pt ion ( w it h w hich t he pr ess oft en confuses it ) ev en if t his can be included. Pr oof of t his can be seen in t he fact t hat a genr e, in or der t o be called such, does not necessar ily hav e t o hav e w hat is nor m ally m eant by t he t er m “ au-dience” . This last st at em ent is t o t he point . The st r uct ur e of a m usical com m unit y is t y pical of a genr e, t o t he point w her e it oft en becom es par t of it s r ange of r ules ( as w e hav e seen in 1.2.4., abov e) . But w e m ust k eep in m ind t he hist or icit y of t he cat egor ies t hr ough w hich w e can analy se t his st r uct ur e and, m or e im por t ant ly , of t hose w hich becom e par t of t he r ules of genr e. { 59- 60}

Com m on not ions of com poser , play er , m anager , list ener , cr it ic and so on ar e t oo obv iously connect ed w it h a definit e per iod and cult ur e: w e can use t hese t o st udy v ar ious phenom -ena t ak ing place out side t hat ar ea, but only for conv enience, specify ing t he condit ions in w hich t hey ar e used. I t is not necessar y t o delv e t oo far back , finding r efer ences in ancient hist or y or et hnom usicology , in or der t o giv e ex am ples of t he inadequacy of t he cat egor ies j ust m ent ioned. I t is enough t o see how m any dist inct ions ar e needed in or der t o use t he sam e cat egor y of per for m er or play er for Ar t hur Rubinst ein and for Keit h Em er son, or for t he t w o t r um pet play er s m ent ioned ear lier ( see. 1.2.1.) . The best solut ion t o t his pr oblem seem s t o m e t o be alw ay s t o r efer as pr ecisely as possible t o t he r ole play ed by each single par t icipant in a m usical ev ent , ev en if t his m ak es for som e ex cessiv e pedant r y .

Apar t fr om t he funct ions at t ached t o t he v ar ious t ask s w it hin a genr e, t her e ar e t he char -act er ist ic funct ions of t he differ ent genr es t hat for m a m usical sy st em . Wit h w hat pur pose do m usical com m unit ies for m ? Ar e t her e connect ions of any k ind bet w een t hese com m u-nit ies and t he ot her s int o w hich societ y is div ided for ot her pur poses or on t he basis of ot h-er analy t ical cr it h-er ia? I t seem s obv ious t o m e t hat t he sociology of m usic cannot answ h-er t hese “ classical” quest ions if it does not t ak e int o consider at ion all t he com ponent s w hich go t o for m t he definit ion of a genr e, r efusing t he cont r ast bet w een t he inst r um ent s of anal-y sis based on r esear ch and t hose of an her m eneut ic nat ur e. I believ e t hat one m ust r ec-ognize t he v alidit y of differ ent appr oaches in v ar ious fields of r esear ch. I t is a w ell- k now n fact t hat big differ ences in social funct ions and in t he par t icipat ion of v ar ious social classes and st r at a can be found ev en bet w een genr es t hat t he fir st sociological st udies w ould hav e lum ped t oget her under a single heading. The cont r ibut ion offer ed by t he v ar ious m et hods of analy sis t o t hese r esult s is indist inguishable.

The t hing t hat has caused m ost dam age t o sociological st udies is t hat k ind of sociologism w hich at t r ibut es t he sam e aw ar eness t o t he obj ect of analy sis as t o t hat of t he analy st . Accor ding t o t his point of v iew , classes, gr oups and gener at ions w ould alw ay s be conscious of t heir pr ecise r ole in m usical r ealit y , an aw ar eness one w ould har dly at t r ibut e t o t hem in ot her fields. How ev er , t his is a r isk in t his st udy t oo, not least in t he not ion of m usical com -m unit y on w hich it is based. I n w hat w ay ar e t he r ules of genr e codified? How aw ar e is t he m usical com m unit y of t his codificat ion? I s t his aw ar eness on t he sam e lev el for all t he m em ber s of t he com m unit y ? Let us clear up t hese quest ions st r aight aw ay .

1 . 3 . 1 . T h e co n d i t i o n s o f co d i f i ca t i o n

A new genr e is not bor n in an em pt y space but in a m usical sy st em t hat is alr eady st r uc-t ur ed. Ther efor e a consider able par uc-t of uc-t he r ules uc-t hauc-t define iuc-t ar e com m on uc-t o ouc-t her genr es alr eady ex ist ing w it hin t he sy st em , t hose t hat indiv idualize t he new genr e being r elat iv ely few . I n t his cont ex t it is under st andable t hat t he char act er ist ic gr oup of r ules is for m ed t hr ough t he codificat ion of t hose w hich in t he beginning ar e only t r ansgr essions t o t he r ules of ot her genr es.

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new t echniques, m ade possible by t echnological dev elopm ent , t o t he pr oclam at ion of an aest het ic pr ogr am m e ( t hat is t he t r ansgr ession cont aining it s codificat ion) passing t hr ough num er ous int er m ediar y point s.

The im por t ant t hing is t hat , alm ost alw ay s follow ing t he success of a single m usical ev ent , t hese innov at ions ar e used as a m odel and becom e a r ule. But one m ust not fall int o t he t r ap of t hink ing t hat t he codificat ion of a genr e consist s sim ply in t he confir m at ion of a suc-cess. Accor ding t o t his int er pr et at ion t r ansgr essions t o unbr eak able r ules ar e m ade fir st and t he r esult t hen put in a sor t of black box - how it w or k s no- one k now s - and if t his box indicat es “ success” t hen t he t r ansgr essions ar e codified.

A m or e r eliable ex am ple is t hat som e r ules of genr e begin t o be consider ed out dat ed by som e m em ber s of t he m usical com m unit y in spit e of t he fact t hat t hey ar e st ill r espect ed. Thus an ex pect at ion is cr eat ed w hich r epr esent s, albeit st ill in a v ague w ay , t he new r ules. “ Success” is only t he codificat ion of t hese r ules, t hr ough t he ex am ple t hat has been giv en and by t he com m unit y t hat decr ees it . As t he cliché say s, t hen, success - w hich has not hing t o do w it h aest het ic v alue consist s in t he answ er t o ex pect at ions. Som et im es t hese ex -pect at ions coincide w it h r ules alr eady codified, at ot her s w it h t he desir e for new codifica-t ions. Thacodifica-t w hich is m y scodifica-t er ious, or becodifica-t codifica-t er scodifica-t ill, codifica-t hacodifica-t w hich is w or codifica-t h scodifica-t udy ing, is nocodifica-t success but it s opposit e: t he r eason w hy m usical ev ent s w it h all t he char act er ist ics for w or k ing w ell ( sat isfy ing t he r ules of genr e) m eet only w it h failur e. I n ot her w or ds w hy do r ules det er io-r at e?

1 . 3 . 2 . Aw a r e n e ss o f co d i f i ca t i o n

Analy t ical com pet ence in a code is not essent ial t o it s use: w e all lear n t o speak befor e w e ar e t aught t he r ules of sy nt ax , gr am m ar , r het or ic and sem ant ics. The sam e can obv iously be said for t he code of a genr e. I n t he case of codes lik e t he linguist ic one, ex per ience t ells us t hat analy t ical com pet ence is an im pr ov em ent , a w ay of penet r at ing fur t her t he infinit e v ar iet y of m essages possible in t hat code. But t he sam e cannot be said of all t he r ules of genr e. Ther e ar e m usical codes w hich, ev en m or e t han linguist ic ones, offer such a v ar iet y of com binat ions t hat t he life of a m an is not sufficient t o achiev e t heir com plet e analy t ical com pr ehension. But t her e ar e ot her codes w hich hav e ex t r em ely lim it ed possibilit ies of com binat ion, t o t he point w her e not only analy t ical com pet ence, but ev en t he k now ledge of all t he { 61- 62} possible m essages is easily acquir ed in a r elat iv ely shor t t im e. Ther e appear s t o be a t hr eshold div iding “ r ich” codes fr om “ poor ” ones. On one side of t his t hr eshold, analy t ical com pet ence, t o quot e a m uch used t er m , allow s t he r educt ion of ex cessiv e infor m at ion and t her efor e incr eases t he int er est in t he m essages; on t he ot her side analy t ical com pet ence m ak es all m essages pr edict able and t her efor e of lit t le int er est .

The det er ior at ion of r ules of genr e can be int er pr et ed as being t ied up w it h t he analy t ical com pr ehension of “ poor ” codes. As soon as a lar ge par t of t he m usical com m unit y can for e-see m or e or less t hat w hich, unt il a shor t t im e befor e, w as t he obj ect of dir ect ional ( or ien-t aien-t ed) buien-t noien-t analy ien-t ical ex pecien-t aien-t ion, ien-t he m usical ev enien-t w hich fulfils ien-t haien-t ex pecien-t aien-t ion loses int er est and som et hing is r equir ed t o cont r adict it .

A fact w hich can be link ed w it h t his int er pr et at ion is t he follow ing: t he m or e a genr e is founded on a gr oup of com plex r ules, t he m or e “ r ich” codes it w ill cont ain and t he longer it s r ules w ill last . The opposit e is t hen v alid for t hose genr es or sy st em s consist ing m ainly of “ poor ” codes: t he change of r ules is m uch m or e not iceable.

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1 . 3 . 3 . T h e v a r i o u s co m p e t e n ce s

As has been seen since t he fam ous analy sis by Ador no, codal com pet ence v ar ies not only fr om one genr e t o anot her , but also w it hin one single com ponent t he audience of a giv en genr e. I t is obv ious t hat com pet ence v ar ies for com ponent s such as com poser s, play -er s, cr it ics, or ganiz-er s and so on. The pr oblem is how t o fit t oget h-er t hese diff-er ences in t he light of w hat has been said up t o now .

The m ost obv ious point is t hat t he ideology of genr e is t he feat ur e w hich v ar ies m ost fr om one com ponent t o anot her . Ther e w ill t her efor e be r ules consider ed m or e im por t ant by one com ponent and less so by anot her . But t he r efer ence t o { 62- 63} ideology cannot be sep-ar at ed fr om t he opposit ion bet w een “ use com pet ence” and “ analy t ical com pet ence” . I n ot her w or ds, use com pet ence can assum e an ideological char act er w hen t he code t o w hich it r efer s is denied as such ( as a conv ent ion) and is pr esent ed as a “ nat ur al” fact . On t he ot her hand it seem s plausible t hat t he opposit ion ex ist ing bet w een use com pet ence and analy t ical com pet ence am ong v ar ious com ponent s of t he m usical com m unit y can be t r aced t o t he indiv idual funct ion of t hese com ponent s also fr om a non4deological point of v iew . The m ain consequence of t his differ ence is t he possibilit y of an aber r ant decoding, t hat is t he use of differ ent codes fr om t hose of t he em it t er . Rat her t han a scient ific m isadv ent ur e, t his seem s t o be am ong t he pr incipal causes of hist or ical m ov em ent and of t he r ichness of m usical life.

Let us suppose t hat a new m usical ev ent is br ought t o t he public at t ent ion. One par t of t he m usical com m unit y , let 's say t he cr it ics, can, t hank s t o t heir analy t ical com pet ence of codes, consider it an adm issible v ar iant of a genr e alr eady k now n. But anot her par t , let 's say t he audience, can consider a par t icular com binat ion of r ules t o w hich t he ev ent con-for m s so unusually as t o be significant ly against t he w ell- est ablished ideology , so t hat t he cr eat ion of a new genr e is consider ed necessar y . On t he ot her hand, t he cr it ics m ay not r ecognize, because of ideological defor m at ion, t he r egular elem ent s w hich link a new ev ent t o a genr e alr eady in ex ist ence. I f w e ex t end t hese ex am ples t o all t he possible r elat ion-ships w it hin a m usical com m unit y , w e see t hat t he life of genr es has lit t le or not hing in com m on w it h a Teut onic r espect for r ules and r egulat ions, but r at her t hat it is fuelled by r elat ionships bet w een v ar ious law s, by t r ansgr essions against t hem and abov e all by am -biguit ies.

2 . T h e s y s t e m o f “

c a n z o n e

” i n I t a l y t o d a y

The use of t he t er m canzone im plies t he definit ion of a set of r ules. To do t his how ev er w e do not need t o quot e all t he r ules one by one. The t heor y of set s per m it s som e oper at ions w hich abbr ev iat e t his ot her w ise lengt hy pr ocess, on t he condit ion t hat w e t ak e as alr eady defined som e par t icular set s. This is w hat nor m ally happens for any cult ur al unit y , in or der t o av oid infinit e r egr ession. The follow ing definit ion ex em plifies t his possibilit y .

2 . 1 . T h e “

c a n z o n e

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canzone and ar ia, r om anza and Lied. The pur pose of t his st udy is not t hat of list ing all t he r ules on t he basis of w hich cult iv at ed m usical sy st em m ay be dist inguished fr om t hat of popular , light or m ass m usic ( a dist inct ion w hich can be t ak en as r ead, her e, or as t he ob-j ect of specific r esear ch) . I believ e w e can accept a definit ion w hich lim it s t he set of for m al and t echnical r ules m ent ioned t o t he spher e of popular m usic. The oper at ion is scient ifically cor r ect and t his is t he im por t ant point her e: as w e hav e seen it is not necessar y t o giv e a com plet e list of t he canzone sub- sy st em r ules, but t o show 1) t hat a definit ion of canzone using t he t heor et ic t er m s seen up t o now is possible and 2) t hat som e caut ion is necessar y . Pr oof of t his last point can be seen in t he fact t hat w hilst in I t alian t he t er m canzone, apar t fr om v ocal or inst r um ent al for m s of t he Renaissance per iod, is w it hout doubt lim it ed t o t he ar ea of popular m usic, t he sam e cannot be said of it s equiv alent in ot her languages. The fact t hat Lied is not t r anslat able as canzone w it hout a ser ies of ex planat ions, pr ov es t hat I t alians and Ger m ans w ishing t o discuss “ songs” m ust w or k fr om a r easonably pedant ic definit ion such as t he one giv en. How ev er , I t hink t hat t he English w or d song can be used fr om now on w henev er it is int ended in a for m al sense, using t he I t alian canzone w hen r efer r ing t o t he sy st em or t o t he genr e canzone d'aut or e only .

2 . 2 . T h e g e n r e s o f “

c a n z o n e

The follow ing pr incipal genr es based on t he for m canzone ( song) ar e pr esent in t he I t alian m usical sy st em t oday : t he t r adit ional song, t he pop song, t he “ sophist icat ed” song, t he canzone d'aut or e, t he polit ical song, t he r ock song, t he childr en's song.

This does not ex clude t he ex ist ence of ot her genr es, w hich ar e how ev er consider ed sub-genr es of t hose list ed. The case of m usical ev ent s w hich ar e at t r ibut ed t o m or e t han one genr e at t he sam e t im e is also fr equent : canzone d'aut or e and r ock song, canzone d'aut or e and polit ical song, and so on. { 64- 65}

The differ ences bet w een one genr e and anot her w ill be analy sed her e w it h r efer ence t o t he t y pes of gener ic r ules list ed in t he fir st par t of t his st udy .

2 . 2 . 1 . Fo r m a l a n d t e ch n i ca l r u l e s

Fr om t he point of v iew of t he ov er all for m al st r uct ur e, only t r adit ional song obey s a r ule w hich gov er ns t he use of a par t icular for m der iv ed fr om t he r om anza. The ot her genr es hav e no specific for m s. How ev er , for m is influenced by t echnical r ules w hich t ouch on ot her st r uct ur al r ules, and w hich ar e link ed t o sem iot ic r ules: t hese ar e r ules per t aining t o t he lev el of st r uct ur al com plex it y of t he single genr es. They r ange fr om m ax im um sim plicit y -r ecognizable f-r om t he num be-r and -r egula-r it y w it h w hich t he single elem ent s a-r e -r epeat ed - for t he pop song or childr en's song, t o m ax im um com plex it y for t he sophist icat ed song. One m ust bear in m ind, how ev er , t hat t he sam e cr it er ia ar e not alw ay s v alid for t he ly r ics: in t his case t he canzone d'aut or e is at t he highest lev el of com plex it y , w it h r egar d t o r ich-ness of v ocabular y , r het or ic and sy nt ax . Bot h in t he m usic and in t he ly r ics t he differ ent lev els of com plex it y ar e ex pr essed in t he sy nt ax , int ended in t he w ider sense of r elat ion-ship bet w een par t s. Pop, r ock and childr en's songs ar e par at act ic, t r adit ional and sophis-t icasophis-t ed songs ar e sy nsophis-t acsophis-t ic, w hilssophis-t sophis-t he polisophis-t ical song and sophis-t he canzone d'aut or e ar e sy nt act ic w it h r egar d t o t he ly r ics but not necessar ily t o t he m usic.

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song but not v ice v er sa. The sam e for m al t oler ance under t he m elodic- har m onic pr ofile applies t o t he canzone d'aut or e and t o t he polit ical song. I n bot h t hese cases w e can speak t oday of a pr efer ence for chor d block s and m elodies der iv ed fr om v ar ious Eur opean folk t r adit ions as w ell as fr om Am er ican count r y blues.

Fr om a r hy t hm ic point of v iew t he w idest v ar iet y of t em pos and m et er s is found in t he so-phist icat ed song and in t he t r adit ional song: t his last sav es it self fr om t he { 64- 66} abun-dant sy ncopat ion t o be found in t he sophist icat ed song, w hich is influenced m or e t han any ot her by j azz. The t endency t o r espect t he st r ong accent s in a bar is at it s highest in t he childr en's song, w hilst t he pop song and t he r ock song ar e t hose w her e t he r hy t hm ic pulse m ust alw ay s be in ev idence. The canzone d'aut or e is fair ly open on t his point , w hilst t he polit ical song usually has a clear and definit e r hy t hm .

St r ict ly connect ed w it h t hese r hy t hm ic conv ent ions, - m ov ing on t o or chest r at ion - w e can see t hat pop, r ock and childr en's song base t heir r hy t hm ic scansion on dr um s ( and so does sophist icat ed song but w it h a m or e v ar ied dist r ibut ion of accent s) . Polit ical song t ends t o do w it hout , accept ing folk per cussion inst r um ent s inst ead ( ex cept ions t o t his r ule ar e v er y r ecent ) . The canzone d'aut or e oscillat es bet w een t he r ules of ot her genr es, w hilst t he t r a-dit ional song t ends t o accept dr um s only w hen dr ow ned by v iolins.

I t is alm ost im possible t o t hink of t he t r adit ional song w it hout a k ind of sy m phony or ches-t r a. Up ches-t o ches-t he m om enches-t of iches-t s ches-t r ansfor m aches-t ion in an ex hibiches-t ion of songs. of v ar ious genr es pr om ot ed by t he r ecor d indust r y , t he Fest iv al of San Rem o w as a cult cent r e for t r adit ional song, and it had an or chest r a cont aining st r ing quint et , w oodw ind, br ass and a m oder n r hy t hm sect ion. Songs w er e also r epeat ed by a sm all night club gr oup in or der t o dem on-st r at e t heir adapt abilit y t o sm all gr oups, but on t he r ecor d r eleased t he big or cheon-st r a w as alw ay s pr esent . The sophist icat ed song also has a r ich inst r um ent al sect ion, ev en a lux u-r ious one. The “ m usical” concept t hey t u-r y t o put acu-r oss is t hat no ex pense has been spau-r ed in t he ar r angem ent . Pop song has no specific r ules, if not t hat it r efuses an ex cessiv e pov -er t y in t he sam e w ay as ex cessiv e v ir t uosit y , w hich w ould be accept able in r ock song. Rock song has a char act er ist ic, “ int er nat ional” t im br e, so does t he childr en's song. The canzone d'aut or e t oday basically accept s t he inst r um ent al set 'up of r ock ( dr um s, bass, elect r ic gui-t ar , k ey boar ds) plus acousgui-t ic guigui-t ar , w hich is gui-t he fav our igui-t e insgui-t r um engui-t of m osgui-t of gui-t oday 's cant aut or i. I n polit ical song acoust ic guit ar is st ill dom inant , occasionally accom panied by folk inst r um ent s. Elect r ificat ion is st ill consider ed a v iolat ion ( no less t han for Dy lan at New por t ) .'

The t echnical capacit y of inst r um ent alist s is connect ed t o inst r um ent al gr oups: for st r ing, w oodw ind and Fr ench hor n sect ions, bot h for t r adit ional and sophist icat ed songs, ele-m ent s, bot h cur r ent and obsolet e, fr oele-m sy ele-m phonic or chest r as ar e used. The ot her br ass play er s, sax es and r hy t hm sect ions use j azz or igins or dr aw on t he idiom of dance or ches-t r as. I n pop, childr en's, r ock songs and canzone d'aut or e aut odidact s pr edom inat e. I n com m on w it h m ost count r ies w her e t he m usical indust r y is highly dev eloped, t he r ecor ding of discs w hich t hem selv es influence liv e per for m ance, is in t he hands of a r est r ict ed gr oup of session m en, w ho ar e pr oud of t heir abilit y t o per for m in v ar ious genr es. Technical com -pet ence is t her efor e st andar dized. { 66- 67} I t is obv ious t hat , w hen left t o play w hat t hey lik e, t hese m usicians t end t ow ar ds t hat w hich is alm ost ev er y w her e k now n as “ fusion” m u-sic. For t he m any unw r it t en par t s t he pr oducer , w hose j ob is t o or ganize t he r espect or v iolat ion of t he r ules of genr e, com m unicat es w it h session m en using ex am ples of genr e, such as: “ This is a pop song: don't play t hat k ind of Jaco Past or ius bass” .

The am at eur st at us of t he polit ical song separ at es t he t echnical sk ills of it s play er s fr om t hose of session m en, and also fr om t he session m en's fet ishism for big nam e inst r um ent s; a cant aut or e ( not his accom panier s) can be a fair ly poor play er of his inst r um ent .

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Not iceable differ ences can be seen fr om a v ocal point of v iew . I n t r adit ional song t he r e-quir em ent s of int onat ion, ex t ension and v oice pow er ar e close t o t hose for oper et t a, espe-cially for m ale v oices; w hilst sophist icat ed song adds t he need for com pet ence in t he t echniques of em ission der iv ing fr om j azz and of a t y pically fem inine nat ur e. The good m ale singer is a t enor and sings t r adit ional songs, t he good fem ale singer is a st ar of m u-sicals ( a genr e t hat , how ev er , does not ex ist in I t aly ) and sings sophist icat ed songs.

Childr en's songs ar e sung by childr en, or by singer s of v ar ious genr es w ho im it at e t he v oice m ost adult s consider should be used w hen speak ing t o childr en.

Pop song does not r equir e par t icular v ocal gift s, w hilst r ock song r equir es a not able ex t en-sion t ow ar ds high not es, and phonet ically a highly accent uat ed v ocal m ask . I n polit ical song ideological at t ent ion is giv en t o t he m odes of t r adit ional folk singing, but pr act ice t ends t ow ar ds an oper at ic m odel, w hilst accept ing a popular t y pe of defor m at ion of t he m odel.

I n t he canzone d'aut or e, t hings t hat m ight be consider ed as m ist ak es of int onat ion, em is-sion and bad pr onunciat ion in ot her genr es ar e accept ed as char act er ist ics of indiv idual per sonalit y , w hich is of pr im ar y im por t ance in t his genr e.

At t he conclusion of t his par agr aph w e com e t o t he r ules gov er ning ly r ics: w e can see t hat t he t endency of t he canzone d'aut or e t ow ar ds indiv idual char act er izat ion can be seen abov e all in t he v ocabular y , w hich is r icher . and m or e open t o lit er ar y suggest ions. Am ong ot her genr es, a r ich lex icon can also be found in sophist icat ed and polit ical song, w her e t he influence of t he w r it t en language is also ev ident , but , obv iously , per t aining t o ot her t y pes of lit er at ur e ( lit er ar y genr es) .

Cer t ain ex pedient s connot ing a low er , old fashioned, for m of poet r y , lik e put t ing t he ad-j ect iv e befor e t he noun ( w hich is adm it t ed in I t alian, but not fr equent ) , { 67- 68} or apocope t o obt ain w or ds accent ed on t he last sy llable (am or inst ead of am or e) ar e, how -ev er , m or e t y pical of t he t r adit ional song, and in t he canzone d'aut or e const it ut e only in-div idual v ar iant s. The poet ical char act er of t he canzone d'aut or e is m or e com m only based on pr efer ence for m et aphor s, w hilst it cannot be said t hat t he v er se under goes a t r eat m ent differ ent fr om ot her genr es. A big pr oblem for all genr es of I t alian canzone is t hat of w or ds accent ed on t he last sy llable, especially w her e t he English and Am er ican m usical influence is st r ongly felt . The ideology of t he r ock song genr e for ex am ple is t hat t he I t alian language is not suit able for t his m usic, and t hat it is sung in I t alian only for quest ionable com m er cial r easons. I t alian r ock singer s ar e all t r y ing t o per suade t heir r ecor d pr oducer s t o let t hem conquer t he w or ld m ar k et by singing in English. Many r ock and pop song com poser s and also per haps a few cant aut or i com pose t heir m elodies singing in a false English w hich t hey t hen t r anslat e int o I t alian. This r esult s in a v ast am ount of w or ds accent ed on t he last sy l-lable, and since t hese ar e v er y lim it ed in num ber in I t alian r epet it ion and im pov er ishm ent of v ocabular y ar e aut om at ic.

2 . 2 . 2 . Se m i o t i c r u l e s

Tex t ual st r at egies v ar y fr om genr e t o genr e. Polit ical songs m ust show w it hout doubt t hat t he w or ld t hey speak of is t he r eal w or ld, as it is t oday or as it w as dur ing a par t icular m o-m ent in hist or y . Tr adit ional, pop, r ock and sophist icat ed songs show a possible w or ld w hich is an elem ent ar y v ar iant of t he r eal one, a scene in w hich t he list ener can t ak e t he place of t he song's pr ot agonist . Gener at ional and sociological connot at ions can v ar y in t hese genr es, but not t he ident ificat ion m echanism . This is also v alid for childr en's song, w her e t he possible w or ld coincides m or e obv iously w it h t he infant ile im aginat ion, w hich cannot be denied t o cont ain a r ealit y com par able t o t he r eal w or ld of an adult .

The case of t he canzone d'aut or e is differ ent : t he list ener m ust alw ay s r em em ber t hat t he song's pr ot agonist is anot her per son, and, if t her e is ident ificat ion, it is dir ect ly w it h t he singer , not w it h t he pr ot agonist of each song. The cant aut or e is a poet w it h w hom t he lis-t ener r elalis-t es: lis-t his w ill be show n lalis-t er lis-t o be a fair ly r ecenlis-t r ule.

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and r ock songs. I n r ock t her e is a big im per at iv e com ponent , w hilst polit ical song oft en has a r efer ent ial and em ot ional funct ion, and is ex em pt by r ule fr om aest het ic j udgem ent .

Since a song is a com plex sy st em of signs, t he v ar ious com m unicat iv e funct ions ar e sus-t ained in v ar ious degr ees by sus-t he com ponensus-t signs. I n sus-t he m usical ev ensus-t { 68- 69} consissus-t ing of one song only , aest het ic at t ent ion is concent r at ed m ainly on ly r ics in t he case of canzone d'aut or e, on t he v ocal int er pr et at ion of a t r adit ional song and on m usic in a sophist icat ed song ( w it h ot her cont r ibut ing elem ent s, of cour se) . Obv iously one can say t hat any one song is “ beaut iful” , but w hat I hav e been t r y ing t o under line is t hat in som e genr es a par -t icular au-t o- r eflex iv i-t y is essen-t ial befor e a cer -t ain song can becom e a par -t of -t ha-t genr e.

The iconogr aphic codes of r ecor d sleev es and phot os of singer s ar e also adapt ed t o t he afor em ent ioned com m unicat iv e funct ions.

Pr osem ic codes ar e closely bound t o t he spat ial st r uct ur e of t he places in w hich m usical ev ent s of v ar ious genr es ar e per for m ed. But t hat t hese ar e codes of space and not sim ple der iv at ions of t he econom y of a genr e can be seen by not ing t hat cer t ain t y pical dist ances ar e obser v ed ev en in places not usually associat ed w it h t hat genr e. So a t y pical t heat r ical set up w it h audience in seat s w ill be seen in a t r adit ional or sophist icat ed song concer t ev en w hen held in t he open air , w hilst t he fact t hat t he audience st ands or sit s on t he gr ound m ar k s a conv ent ional lim it bet w een a per for m ance of polit ical songs and one of canzone d'aut or e, t hus dem onst r at ing t hat t hese codes ar e not only link ed t o t he av er age age of t he audience.

Childr en's songs ex ist ex clusiv ely on r ecor ds or in t elev ision, w hilst a r ock concer t t ends t o offer a spat ial r elat ionship bet w een m usicians and audience of a dict at or ial nat ur e.

An int er est ing aspect of pr osem ic r ules in I t alian canzone is t he fact t hat t her e ar e v er y few places suit able for holding m usical show s in I t aly , so t hat t he v ar ious genr es ar e oft en per for m ed in t he sam e places. This does not st op v iolat ion of t he r ules fr om being not iced: t his show s t hat a r ule of genr e is not est ablished as a st at ist ical fact but t hr ough t he op-posit ion t o ot her r ules and t he r elat ionship w it h t he w hole sy st em .

For ex am ple, t he opinion shar ed by t he canzone d'aut or e com m unit y is t hat t he best place t o hold a r ecit al is in a t heat r e w it h low acoust ic r esonance, in w hich t he audience can be near t he st age, dom inat ing it fr om abov e r at her t han being dom inat ed, and w it hout t he audience being t oo spr ead out . Such a t heat r e pr obably does not ex ist in I t aly .

One of t he r easons w hy som e cant aut or i hav e st ar t ed using a for m of concer t sim ilar t o a r ock concer t in r ecent y ear s can be t r aced t o t he lack of suit able facilit ies. You cannot en-t er en-t ain y our audience been-t w een one song and en-t he nex en-t or counen-t on en-t he facen-t en-t haen-t ev er y one w ill see y our ex pr ession of suffer ing w hen y ou ar e r educed t o t he size of a pin' in t he m iddle of a st adium . I t can be seen fr om t his how t he spat ial codes ar e connect ed t o gest ur al, m im ic and facial codes. Due t o t he lack of det ailed st udy on t his subj ect , for w hich t he nu-m er ous phot ogr aphs ex ist ing should pr ov ide abundant nu-m at er ial, t his subj ect w ill be dealt w it h in t he nex t sect ion, dedicat ed t o codes of behav iour . { 69- 70}

2 . 2 . 3 . Be h a v i o u r r u l e s

The inst r um ent t hat r ev eals t hese codes in det ail is t he t elev ision cam er a, t hank s t o it s capacit y for ent er ing t he spher e of “ pr iv at e dist ance” of a singer .

Tr adit ional and sophist icat ed singer s ar e in t heir elem ent on t elev ision; t heir gest ur es ar e no differ ent t o t hose of t he pr esent er s ( w hom t hey oft en r eplace) . The pop singer is in his elem ent t oo, but t ends t o ov er do t he sm iles and r aised ey ebr ow s w hich r ev eal his under -ly ing anx iet y t o please.

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ap-pear s on t elev ision, and t he gest ur es associat ed w it h him ar e t hose of t he par t icipant in a polit ical m eet ing, t hough he is also per m it t ed a degr ee of t he “ pr iv acy ” of t he cant aut or e. Rules of conv er sat ion and codified et iquet t e ex ist for ev er y song genr e. For ex am ple, t her e ar e t hose r egulat ing t he behav iour of int er v iew er and int er v iew ee, t hose w hich say w hat should happen t o a singer aft er a concer t , t hose r efer r ing t o t he behav iour of t he audience and t hose r efer r ing t o t he r elat ionships bet w een cr it ics and or ganizer s w hen t hey m eet .

Cov er age of all t hese w ould t ak e m or e space t han t he w hole of t his st udy put t oget her : t her efor e I shall lim it m y self t o t he m or e obv ious cases of v iolat ion. The sem iologist Um -ber t o Eco has said t hat t he differ ence bet w een com edy and t r agedy is in t he fact t hat , w hilst bot h ar e cases of v iolat ion of r ules of behav iour , in a t r agedy t he br ok en r ule is m en-t ioned fr equenen-t ly , w hile in a com edy ien-t is nev er m enen-t ioned, en-t hus en-t ak ing ien-t for gr anen-t ed en-t haen-t ev er y body k now s ( ex cept of cour se t he one at w hom t he laught er is aim ed) . This, accor d-ing t o Eco, is t he r eason w hy Gr eek t r agedies st ill hav e an effect on us, w hilst for t he m ost par t t he com icalit y of com edies ( t hat w hich is not dependent on r ules w hich hav e sur v iv ed t he cent ur ies) is lost . I f t his t heor y is v alid, t hen laught er is a sign of t r ansgr ession fr om a r ule k now n by t he per son laughing, and t her efor e of t he r ule it self.

I n I t aly , for ex am ple, people laugh if, dur ing a cant aut or e's pr ess confer ence, som eone ask s him if he is going t o get m ar r ied, a per fect ly nor m al quest ion for t r adit ional or sophis-t icasophis-t ed singer s ( ev en if w isophis-t h differ ensophis-t m eaning fr om one sophis-t o sophis-t he osophis-t her ) , and absolusophis-t ely pr o-hibit ed for a r ock singer ( ev en if t he I t alian r ock singer is not as aggr essiv e as his Anglo-Am er ican m odels, and behav es lik e a “ good boy ” in { 70- 71} fr ont of t he j our nalist s, j ust lik e a pop singer , or is accessible, ir onic and m oder at ely int ellect ual, lik e a cant aut or e) . An ex am ple of how r ules of behav iour ar e link ed w it h t he ideology of a genr e, and w it h ot her r ules, com es fr om t he canzone d'aut or e. I n r eact ion t o a per iod dur ing w hich t he can-zone d'aut or e w as t he obj ect of at t ent ion by cr it ics in a v er y pedant ic, ideologised w ay , and in w hich t he cant aut or e had t o lear n t o act lik e a polit ician or a philosopher , t he opinion spr ead t hat in fact t hese w er e only songs aft er all. A cant aut or e's sent ence: “ I t 's a m at t er of canzonet t e ( light songs) ” , echoed in songs, int er v iew s, ar t icles and ev en in t he t it le of a r ecor d, has sanct ioned t he ex ist ence of a r ule w hich st at es t hat a cant aut or e should not m ak e ser ious declar at ions longer t han one phr ase, and t hen should m ak e fun of it ; accor d-ing t o t his sam e r ule, an int er v iew er w ho quot es Ador no w ill be laughed at in ex act ly t he sam e w ay as t he one w ho speak s of m ar r iage. But t he ideological char act er of t his r ule can be seen fr om t he fact t hat no cant aut or e w ould dr eam of not follow ing all t he ot her r ules t hat dist inguish him fr om t he t r ue pr oducer s and singer s of canzonet t e, t hose w ho w or k in t he fields of t r adit ional or pop songs.

Fir st and for em ost , no cant aut or e w ould decline fr om affir m ing his sincer it y . I n t r adit ional or pop song sincer it y is not a pr oblem : no one car es if t he singer suffer s or is happy in t he sam e w ay as t he song's pr ot agonist , as long as t he im it at ion is plausible and does not dis-t ur b dis-t he lisdis-t ener 's idendis-t ificadis-t ion w idis-t h dis-t he sdis-t andar d sidis-t uadis-t ion descr ibed. Budis-t no one w ould st and for a cant aut or e or a polit ical singer w ho show s false sent im ent s or ideas. The cases of r ock and sophist icat ed song ar e slight ly differ ent : in t hese t w o genr es t he sociological char act er of ident ificat ion is m or e m ar k ed, and t her efor e w e ask for , if not a soul- bar ing sincer it y , at least a higher gr ade of gener at ional or social cr edibilit y .

2 . 2 . 4 . So ci a l a n d i d e o l o g i ca l r u l e s

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Less easy t o collocat e is childr en's song: it is legit im at e t o assum e t hat a lar ge par t of t hese r ecor ds w hich ent er t he char t s ar e bought by adult s for ' childr en for w hom t hey consider t hem suit able, but t he success is so gr eat , const it ut ing a consider able slice of t he singles m ar k et , t hat one m ust believ e t hat childr en t hem selv es for m a consist ent par t of t he m ar -k et .

The canzone d'aut or e, how ev er , per haps confor m ing t o it s “ sincer it y ” , appear s t o hav e a social im age w hich cor r esponds t o it s act ual ar ea of consum pt ion: t hat is low er m iddle and m iddle- class int ellect uals, st udent s, t he I t aly of m ass secular isat ion, of t he univ er sit y open t o ev er y one and of int ellect ual unem ploy m ent .

At t he m usical com m unit y lev el, t he canzone d'aut or e can be dist inguished fr om t he ot her s by t he ident ificat ion bet w een singer and aut hor , bot h of t he ly r ics and of t he m usic. This it m ust be said - is in spit e of t he num er ous at t em pt s in it s hist or y t o qualify it sim ply as ar t song, or qualit y song. Pr obably t his r ule, t o w hich v er y few ex cept ions ar e t oler at ed, is due t o t he par t icular v aluat ion of sincer it y w hich I m ent ioned befor e: a singer cannot be consider ed sincer e if he is not singing m usic, or w or se st ill, ly r ics not w r it t en by him . To giv e an abst r act ex am ple, a song lik e You'v e got t o hide y our lov e aw ay, w hich accor ding t o a fam ous John Lennon int er v iew is t he div iding line of his t r ansfor m at ion fr om pop t o t hat w hich in I t aly is called canzone d'aut or e, could not hav e been consider ed a canzone d'aut or e if it had not been ascer t ained t hat Paul McCar t ney had not hing t o do w it h it . But of cour se Lennon should hav e sung it alone or w it h an accom pany ing gr oup, and not in t he Beat les: all t he Beat les becam e, in a w ay , cant aut or i only w hen t he gr oup split .

Tw o or t hr ee I t alian m usical gr oups w ho could be included in t he genr e of can- zone d'au-t or e, ar e bar ely accepd'au-t ed as such because of d'au-t his, and w hen d'au-t his happens id'au-t is usual d'au-t had'au-t one m em ber of t he gr oup is descr ibed as a cant aut or e, and t he ot her s his back ing gr oup, ev en if t his is clear ly not t r ue.

I n ot her aspect s, t he m usical com m unit ies of v ar ious genr es of canzone ar e fair ly hom o-geneous, if w e ex clude t he case of t he polit ical song, w her e t he singer is usually also his ow n m anager , pr oducer and discogr apher . This sy nt hesis of r oles, but w it h a m or e m ar k ed div ision of labour , can be found in ot her genr es as w ell, but not as a r ule.

2 . 2 . 5 . Eco n o m i ca l a n d j u r i d i ca l r u l e s

Wit h t he ex cept ion of t he polit ical singer , all singer s belong t o t he sam e econom ical sy s-t em , char acs-t er ized by s-t he pr esence of s-t he lar ger r ecor d com panies and m anagem ens-t agen-cies. But t her e ar e differ ences bet w een one genr e and anot her . The cant aut or e, t hank s t o his copy r ight s, can alm ost double t he sum ot her singer s r eceiv e fr om t he sale of t heir r ecor ds, and since in I t aly per for m ance r ight s ar e not { 72- 73} r ecognized he is t he only one t o ear n any t hing, or a lot , fr om diffusion by r adio or t elev ision

This has cr eat ed a sit uat ion w her eby t he cant aut or e is less econom ically dependent on liv e per for m ances; m or eov er , unt il a few y ear s ago it w as t he r ule for cant aut or i t o per for m alone. Their concer t s t her efor e had t he only ov er heads of adv er t ising, t heat r e and P.A. hir e, and copy r ight t ax es of w hich alm ost a half ar e r et ur ned t o t he cant aut or e him self) . Today a cant aut or e's t our is m or e cost ly and has assum ed a m or e pr om ot ional char act er . The sam e applies t o r ock singer s and gr oups, t hough t hese hav e m uch higher ov er heads, m ust div ide r oy alt ies and copy r ight s w it h far m or e people, and can count on a pr opor t ion-ally sm aller r ecor d m ar k et com par ed t o t he ex pense. When y ou k now t hat t he av er age pr ice of a t ick et t o a cant aut or e or r ock concer t in I t aly is less t han half t hat of ot her Eu-r opean count Eu-r ies, y ou can undeEu-r st and w hy t he Eu-r ock gEu-r oup phenom enon cannot Eu-r each Eu-r eally pr ofessional lev els in I t aly : ev en t he m ost fam ous gr oups on t he scene, fr equent ly pr esent in r ecor d char t s, do ot her j obs, pr incipally as session m en, in or der t o ear n t heir liv ing. The only r ock singer s able t o achiev e a cer t ain degr ee of pr osper it y t hr ough t heir w or k ar e, in fact , cant aut or i.

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t his or t hat song as t it le song of som e w ell- k now n Japanese car t oon.

Up unt il a few y ear s ago polit ical song concer t s w er e offer ed fr ee by t he v ar ious polit ical par t ies and ot her m ass or ganizat ions, and fr equent ly gr oups or singer s w er e com m is-sioned for a ser ies of per for m ances, som et im es w it h a fix ed salar y . Then polit ical song w as equalled t o t he canzone d'aut or e, w hich br ought about an ev ident econom ic cr isis ev en be-for e t he ar t ist ic- ideological one ar r iv ed since all t he ot her econom ic condit ions ar e differ ent and infer ior t o t hose of t he canzone d'aut or e. Also in t his case, t he fact or w hich seem s t o char act er ize t he I t alian sit uat ion w it h r egar d t o econom ic r ules is t he r igidit y w it h w hich concer t t ick et pr ices ar e est ablished. The v ar iat ion bet w een m inim um and m ax im um is t he sam e, 500 lir e, w it hin t he sam e gr oup of genr es: canzone d'aut or e, r ock , polit ical song on one side, t r adit ional, pop and sophist icat ed on t he ot her . I f an incr ease or decr ease on t his am ount is pr act ised, it can m ean a r isk of dist ur bances or deser t ion ( if it cost s t oo lit t le, it is pr obably w or t h lit t le) ; but ev en a m inim um incr ease is a r isk . Ther e is a pr ecise idea w it hin t he m usical com m unit y of w hat a concer t should cost : fr equent ly t he sam e per son m ay be w illing t o spend 7000 lir e in a discot heque and t hen { 73- 74} pr ot est if a r ock con-cer t t ick et cost s 4000 lir e. I nher it ed fr om som e com ponent s of t he polit ical m ov em ent be-t w een 1968 and 1977, be-t his econom ical, ideological r ule afflicbe-t s fir sbe-t and for em osbe-t be-t hose sam e m usical genr es ( as polit ical song) w hich ident ified t o a gr eat er ex t ent w it h t his m ov e-m ent .

And now t hat hist or y has once m or e m ade it s ent r ance in t his st udy , w e can t ak e a closer look at it .

3 . D e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e “

c a n z o n e d ' a u t o r e

The canzone d'aut or e m ade it s appear ance at t he end of t he fift ies, in a sy st em of canzone r adically differ ent fr om t hat in ex ist ence t oday . The pr incipal genr es in I t alian canzone at t hat t im e w er e: t he Neapolit an or dialect song, t he t r adit ional song, t he v ar iet y show song ( a genr e w hich is no longer pr esent ) and t he night - club song ( a genr e w hich has div ided and been t r ansfor m ed) . Resear ch in t he field of folk m usic began in t hese y ear s, and t her e w as no polit ical song as a genr e ( t he r ebir t h of t his genr e in I t aly is connect ed t o t he r e-discov er y of r esist ance songs w it hin t he st udies on folk lor e) . At t his t im e t her e w er e no childr en's song as a genr e, Am er ican r ock songs w er e consum ed in no specific cont ex t and a specific pr oduct ion of r ecor ds for sim ult aneous m ass consum pt ion could not y et be said t o ex ist . The canzone d'aut or e w as bor n int o t his sy st em , fr om an accum ulat ion of t r ans-gr essions of t he r ules of t he genr es w hich for m it .

Since t he st r ongest r ule of genr e in t he definit ion of t he canzone d'aut or e is, as w e hav e seen, t he j oining of t he r oles of aut hor and singer , it m ay be useful t o look at a few ex am -ples of cant aut or i ant e lit t er am, singer s and songw r it er s w ho had alr eady done a sim ilar w or k in t he y ear s im m ediat ely pr eceding t he bir t h of t he genr e, w it hout t heir belonging t o w ell- k now n genr es being quest ioned.

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Of differ ent or igins ar e Renat o Car osone and Fr ed Buscaglione. To be honest neit her of t hem w r it e t heir ow n songs ( t his is also t r ue of m any Modugno's songs) , neit her ar e t hey soloist s ( t hey ar e bot h leader s of sm all night - club gr oups) , and t heir per sonalit ies ar e m or e t hose of v ar iet y ent er t ainer s t han t he lit er ar y ones of cant aut or i.

That w hich br ings t hem closer t o t he daw ning canzone d'aut or e is t he fact t hat t hey r eal-ized t he det er ior at ion of ex ist ing genr es, and show ed t he w ill t o r enov at e t he t ir ed fr am e-w or k of I t alian canzone: Car osone and Buscaglione did t his by using sat ir e or par ody , bot h in t he ly r ics and in t he m usic. Ther e ar e not able differ ences bet w een t he t w o: Car osone m ix es Neapolit an and Am er ican elem ent s in a som e- t im es m or alist ic sat ir e of t he I t alians' dependence on for eign cult ur al m odels, or in t he par ody of t ear - j er k ing t r adit ional songs. Buscaglione play s t he r ole of a pr ov incial Hum phr ey Bogar t , dist or t ing t he Am er ican cliché in t he w ay he uses it and it alianises it for him self.

But in spit e of t heir gr eat success, in spit e of t he m oder nit y and r ealism of t heir songs, no new genr e is bor n aft er Car osone and Buscaglione. How ev er innov at iv e, t heir ideas ar e t ied t o m echanism s of consum pt ion w hich ar e becom ing decadent ( night clubs) , w hilst t he t im e in w hich t he m ost could be m ade of t heir v isual im pact is st ill far off.

I t is significant t hat t oday Car osone and Buscaglione r ecor ds hav e becom e a cult w it h cer -t ain audiences, w ho consider -t hem -t he unconscious an-t icipa-t or s no-t of -t he canzone d'au-t or e but of Fr ank Zappa and cabar et - r ock .

The canzone d'aut or e is bor n in a m om ent w hen t he v isual im age of a singer is giv en m ain-ly t hr ough m agazines, par t ain-ly t hr ough r ecor d sleev es ( m any singles ar e st ill sold in a st and-ar d sleev e w it h no phot o) , w hilst t he only t elev ision channel br oadcast ing populand-ar m usic is occupied w it h r ev iew show s or w it h alr eady fam ous guest s, t r adit ional or for eign. The m edia t hr ough w hich t he indust r y can r each t he audience pr om ot ionally ar e m ainly t w o: r adio and j uk ebox es. The r adio, fir m ly under t he cont r ol of t he Chr ist ian Dem ocr at s, has a “ list ener 's com m ission w hich ex er cises ( and w ill cont inue t o do so for m any y ear s) a t r ue censur e, pr incipally of ly r ics but also of m usic ( using t echnical pr et ex t s) . This m eans t hat t he only m eans for br inging new ideas t o t he public's at t ent ion, especially t he y oung au-dience's, is t hr ough j uk ebox or t hr ough t he r ecor d shops w her e t he pr opr iet or s ar e st ill in t he habit of let t ing cust om er s list en t o a w ide select ion of new r ecor ds w it hout any obliga-t ion obliga-t o buy .

This being t he sit uat ion, it is easier t o r each m ass diffusion for a pr oduct w hich { 75- 76} is not t oo far r em ov ed fr om ex ist ent st andar ds, is not t oo at t ached t o a definit e w ay of con-sum pt ion, and w hich, if it is differ ent , has elem ent s of differ ence w hich ar e easily ident ifi-able t hr ough t he m ost im por t ant m edia of t he m om ent .

The fir st song by a cant aut or e t o hav e success w as Ar r iv eder ci by Um ber t o Bindi, not t he com poser 's v er sion but t hat of Mar ino Bar r et o Jr ., a night - club singer of Br azilian or igins. Apar t fr om t he good m usical const r uct ion and t he high lev el of pr oduct ion com par ed t o t hat of light songs of t he day , t her e w er e t w o elem ent s w hich cont r ibut ed t o t he song's success and w hich cr eat ed t w o r ules of genr e: 1) t he ly r ics w hich do not ov er dr am at ise t he classical sit uat ion of t w o lov er s par t ing, subst it ut ing t he em blem at ic addio ( goodby e) w it h a m or e day - t o- day gr eet ing; 2) t he v oice: ev en if not t hat of t he songw r it er , t hank s t o cer t ain har dness in t he pr onunciat ion and t he aphonia of Bar r et o, it br eak s w it h t he t r a-dit ion of “ belcant o” t enor s, put t ing int o fir st place t he sincer it y of t he singer so t hat t he cor r ect v ocal per for m ance becam e a t hing of secondar y im por t ance. Whilst Car osone's par odies of I t alian dr am a ( in songs lik e E la bar ca t or no sola) only defined w hat could be done in a negat iv e w ay , and w hilst Modugno had only br ought up t o dat e t he classical beaut iful I t alian singing, t he success of Ar r iv eder ci on t he ot her hand dem onst r at ed t w o new posit iv e v ar iant s of t he song m odel, and abov e all w it hin t he m ost popular t hem e, t hat of lov e.

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