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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 t he com m on heading of “ light m usic” . I n 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 her efor 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. Refer ence t o t he r ealit y or possibilit y of m usical ev ent s m ay appear r edundant t oo: it does not r efer only t o t he peculiar char act er ist ic of a genr e t o collect ex ist - ant w or k s and at t he sam e t im e inv it e t he com posing of fut ur e w or k s, but , for ex am ple, t o t he quest ion of 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 t he lev els of ex pr ession and of cont ent . 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 t o t he im por t ance assum ed w it h r egar d t o t his by t he cont ex t , t he cir cum st 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 gen- r es non- w r it t en poet ics and abov e all genr es based on or al t r adit ion, and necessar y in or - 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

  I m ust point out t hat t he follow ing list , how ev er hopefully com plet e, cannot possibly giv e all t he t y pes of r ule t hat can be inv olv ed in t he definit ion of a genr e. I hav e not t r ied t o const r uct cat egor ies out side hist or y , but t o look for t hose w hich seem t o be effect iv ely op- er at ing t o- day : t his is not an at t em pt t o r esolv e t he pr oblem of analy sis of genr es once and for all, but t o indicat e it s com plex it y . What should em er ge fr om t his panor am a is t he necessit y for an int er disciplinar y appr oach, so t hat ev er y cust om , m usical or not , am ongst t hose for m ing a genr e, is ex am ined w it h t he m ost appr opr iat e t heor et ical t ools.

  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 w ould indicat e t he v alue of t he r ule i for t he genr e j .

  i 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 usi- cian'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 point of v iew of sight r eading and m em or y , but fr om t hat 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 at ion of a r hy t hm ical pat t er n of dot t ed quav er s and sem iquav er s w ill find t hem in disa- gr eem ent . The guit ar ist s in a punk 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 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. This is t he case of t he choice bet w een “ m usical sounds” and “ noise” , of not e sy st em s, of t he concept ion of m usical t im e, of t he im por t ance t o be giv en t o v ar ious elem ent s ( m elod- ic, har m onic, r hy t hm ic) , of t he lev el of com plex it y t hat an ent ir e m usical sy st em , or a sin- gle genr e is pr epar ed t o adm it . Ther e is a com m on elem ent t o t hese aspect s and it is t hat ev er y inst ant of an ev ent inv olv ing sound cont ains an enor m ous quant it y of infor m at ion com par ed t o t hat w hich it is hum anly possible t o m anage. The m usical codes r educe t his quant it y show ing w hat is significant and w hat is not , w hat is w or t h r elat ing t o ot her fact s and w hat should be consider ed back gr ound noise ( as in t he definit ion of silence) . The t y p- ical unease of t hose facing an unk now n m usical genr e or sy st em for t he fir st t im e consist s in t he fact t hat t hey “ don't k now w hat t o list en t o” ; t he har m done t o new m usic by bad int er pr et at ion can be t r aced t o t his r oot . When facing m usical genr es char act er ized by t he ex ist ence of a t ex t , t he for m al and t echnical r ules r efer r ing t o it should also be t ak en int o t ion of a m usical genr e no less t han t hey indiv idualize t he st y le of a single aut 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 does not alt er t he fact t hat cer t ain differ ences 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, poet ic. Jak obson holds t hat t hey ar e all m or e or less pr esent { 56- 57} sim ult 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 het ic poet ic fact or , in differ ent degr ees and w it h differ ent int ent ions, dist inguishes “ ar 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 t his char act er ist ic did not cont r ibut e t o t he definit ion of 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 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 ent s of singer s, inst r um ent play er s, conduct or s, t he list 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. But w it h fashion w e ar e m ov ing fr om t he confines of t he usual sem iot ic field t o t hose of

  t he sciences of behav iour and sociology .{ 57- 58}

  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 con- 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 icipant s is alm ost alw ay s of an ideological nat ur e, and t his, am ongst ot 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” .

  Nat ur ally t he opposit e can also happen: t his is t he case of cer t ain pseudo- sociological or pseudo- polit ical st udies in w hich t he im por t ance of t he econom ical st r uct ur e is blow n up 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 er ia? I t seem s obv ious t o m e t hat t he sociology of m usic cannot answ 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 t of t he r ules t hat define it ar e com m on t o ot 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.

  The nat ur e of t hese t r ansgr essions can be ex t r em ely v ar ied accor ding t o t he r ules in ques- 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. That w hich is m y st er ious, or bet t er st ill, t hat w hich is w or t h st udy ing, is not 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 at ed) but not analy t ical ex pect at ion, t he m usical ev ent w hich fulfils t hat ex pect at 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.

  How ev er , t his fact , t hough fam iliar t o all obser v er s of changes in m usical fashion in t he capit alist West , is not gener alized t o ot her cult ur es or hist or ical per iods. The phenom enon is com pr ehensible w hen w e consider t hat w hat w e hav e defined as success, or bet t er st ill t he opposit ion int er est / disint er est , is a cult ur al unit y w hich for m s par t of t he m ot iv at ion of m usical act iv it y in som e com m unit ies but not in ot her s; i.e. t hose for w hich t he com m uni- cat iv e aspect is of supr em e im por t ance, not t hose for w hich m usic is a r it ual ( for ex am ple) . This is a dem onst r at ion of t he fact t hat som e r ules of genr e ( for t his is w hat t hey ar e) con- dit ion not only t he use of ot her r ules but also t heir pr ocess of codificat ion and t he influence of analy t icAl com pet ence on t his. The lev el of int er dependence bet w een all t hese fact or s is incr eased by t he fact t hat t he lev el of com pet ence of genr e r ules is not alw ay s t he sam e

  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 ganizer s and so on. The pr oblem is how t o fit t oget her t hese differ 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 “ ca n z o n e

  A canzone is a m usical ev ent of shor t dur at ion ( an av er age of 3- 4 m inut es) w it h ly r ics. The sy st em of canzone accept s sound select ion, not at ional and st r uct ur al conv ent ions of t he sy st em of Eur opean w r it t en t r adit ion, including t hose v ar iat ions w hich ar e der iv ed fr om cont am inat ion w it h Afr o- Am er ican, Lat in- Am er ican and Eur opean folk m usic. Wit hin t his sy st em , t he pr incipal char act er ist ics of w hich w e { 63- 64} w ill t ak e as r ead, t he canzone can be consider ed a shor t st r ophic com posit ion ( int ending t his t er m in t he w ider sense of a r epet it ion of sim ilar par t s) consist ing of a m elody w hich is highly influenced by t he r hy t h- m ic scansion of t he spok en language, usually accom panied. The m elodic, har m onic, r hy t h- m ic and t im br ic char act er of t he canzone can v ar y fr eely w it hin t he descr ibed sy st em ( w it h differ ences fr om genr e t o genr e) but w it h t he ex clusion of poly phony and of t he t echniques of t he so called New Music of t he post w ar per iod. For m al and t echnical r ules alone ar e not sufficient t o isolat e t he sub- sy st em of canzone. I t is obv ious t hat w hat has been said up t o now can also be applied t o som e for m s and genr es of cult iv at ed m usic w it hin t he consid- er ed m usical sy st em w hich no- one w ould dr eam of list ing as canzoni, w hilst at t he sam e

  

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 “ ca 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 fr om t he num ber and r egular it y w it h w hich t he single elem ent s ar 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 icat ed songs ar e sy nt act ic, w hilst t he polit ical song and 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. Fr om t he m elodic and har m onic point of v iew , t he m odel for t r adit ional song is Puccini, w hilst all t he st y list ic v ar iat ions w hich em er ged aft er t he fift ies can be ex cluded. I n t his sense t he t r adit ional song, if only fr om a m usical point of v iew , is conser v at iv e and nat ion- alist ic. On t he ot her hand t he sophist icat ed song is cosm opolit an and adopt s as it s ow n t he m ost fashionable m usical st y les ev en if t hey belong t o ot her genr es, as does t he pop song. Com par ed t o t he pop song, how ev er , t he sophist icat ed song is decidedly r icher , especially fr om a har m onic point of v iew . The childr en's song and t he r ock song in t heir choice of m usical m at er ials r espect t heir int er nat ional r ules of genr e: in t he fir st case using t he el- em ent ar y t onal funct ions w it h m elodies based on ar peggios and fr agm ent s of t he m aj or scale, and in t he second using block s of chor ds t oget her w it h m odal m elodies w it h a clear blues influence. I t m ust be said t hat t hese for m al r ules r efer r ing t o t he r ock song, v ague in t hem selv es, ar e also w eak w hen com par ed t o t he fair ly r igid r ules of t he t r adit ional song.
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 t o t he m om ent of it s t r ansfor m at ion in an ex hibit 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 chest 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 r y t o put acr oss is t hat no ex pense has been spar 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 acoust ic guit ar , w hich is t he fav our it e inst r um ent of m ost of 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 om sy 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 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 . Com poser s of t r adit ional or sophist icat ed songs gener ally w or k using a piano, t he ot her s m or e oft en a guit ar ; for ot her genr es piano is not ex cluded, ex cept in t he p0lit ical song - w her e t he com poser is oft en t he per for m er as w ell - for obv ious hist or ical pr oblem s of av ailabilit y . I n each of t hese cases t he inst r um ent s connot e t he degr ee of k now ledge of t he t echniques of classical com posit ion.

  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.

  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 elat es: t his w ill be show n lat er t o be a fair ly r ecent r ule.

  To t his w e can connect t he aest het ic and m et alinguist ic funct ions w hich pr edom inat e t he

  

canzone d'aut or e. Tr adit ional and sophist icat ed songs ar e also obj ect s of aest het ic at t en- 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 t he com ponent signs. I n t he m usical ev ent { 68- 69} consist 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 aut o- r eflex iv it y is essent ial befor e a cer t ain song can becom e a par t of t hat 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 t ain y our audience bet w een one song and t he nex t or count on t he fact t hat 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 m at er ial, t his subj ect w ill be dealt

  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. The r ock singer and t he cant aut or e ar e uncom for t able on t elev ision: t he for m er because t elev ision is t oo bour geois, and is t oo sm all for his ex agger at ed gest ur es, and t he second because it is t oo st upid; any w ay t he cant aut or e m ust alw ay s giv e t he im pr ession of being uncom for t able in fr ont of his audience, because pr iv acy is his “ t r ue” dim ension. I n eit her case ner v ous t ics ar e accept able. The singer for childr en has no specific im age: in som e cases he is a cant aut or e w ho decides t o w r it e childr en's songs, but in m ost cases he is an anony m ous singer w ho r ecor ds t he t hem e song of an aft er noon t elev ision pr ogr am m e; but 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 equent ly , w hile in a com edy it is nev er m ent ioned, t hus t ak ing it for gr ant ed t hat 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 icat ed singer s ( ev en if w it h differ ent m eaning fr om one t o t he ot her ) , and absolut 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 t he list ener 's ident ificat ion w it h t he st andar d sit uat ion descr ibed. But 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

  As it has been said in t he fir st par t , t hese r ules, at a m acr o- social lev el, hav e not hing t o do w it h consum er st at ist ical dat a. The w or k ing class for ex am ple buy m ost ly pop songs, but in a st r ict connot at iv e sense t he t er m “ w or k ing- class song” gener ally m eant , unt il a few y ear s ago, polit ical song and t oday it pr obably m eans, if any t hing, t r adit ional song. Consum pt ion of r ock m usic connot es t he social ar ea of unem ploy ed and m ar ginalised y oung people, ev en if t he m aj or par t of t hose at t ending r ock concer t s ar e st udent s fr om t he low er m iddle and bour geois classes ( since y oung people in I t aly w er e m uch m or e and longer dependent on t heir fam ilies, r ock nev er had an audience com par able t o t hose of it s or iginal count r ies) . Sophist icat ed song is also ideological in t his sense, as it alw ay s t r ies, t hr ough it s ly r ics, ar r angem ent s, r ecor d sleev es, et c. t o connot e a social posit ion super ior

  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 accept ed as such because of t his, and w hen t his happens it is usual t hat 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 act er ized by t he pr esence of t he lar ger r ecor d com panies and m anagem ent 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 r ies, y ou can under st and w hy t he r ock gr oup phenom enon cannot r each 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. Pop, t r adit ional and sophist icat ed singer s r ely abov e all on per for m ances in dance halls, w hich can pay pr et t y high fees all y ear , t hank s t o t he fact t hat t her e ar e no par t icular lim it s t o t he pr ice of t ick et s. For t hese singer s t he r ecor d is t heir m ain pr om ot ional v ehicle. Chil- dr en's song, as has been said, is ex clusiv ely a r ecor ded pr oduct : it s econom ical r ule con- 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, t his econom ical, ideological r ule afflict s fir st and for em ost 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. Of t hese t he m ost fam ous, out side I t aly t oo, is Dom enico Modugno. Modugno's car eer is m ar k ed fr om t he beginning by t he sear ch for a char act er ist ic w hich w ill becom e a r ule of genr e for t he canzone d'aut or e, t hat is being a “ per sonalit y ” ident ifiable w it h t he song's pr ot agonist . Modugno car r ied on t his sear ch fir st as a dialect singer ( bor n in Puglia, his fir st song w as Sicilian, and t hen Neapolit an) , w it h a st r ong v ocal char act er izat ion, v er y par t ic- ular em ission of v ow els lik e “ o” and “ e” , w hich accent uat es t he popular char act er of ly r ics and m usic; t hen, aft er a spell in cabar et in Rom e, he ent er ed t he ar ea of pr oduct ion and consum pt ion of 't he t r adit ional song, play ing t he r ole of an ex t r av er t innov at or . The t ex t of his song Vecchio fr ac, in 1955, can seem t oday t o be a bar ely disguised m et aphor of a goodby e t o t he old w ay s of consider ing show - business and song. Par adox ically , how ev er , t he success of Modugno's “ per sonalit y ” decr eed by t he w or ld- w ide t r ium ph of Volar e ( Nel

  

blu dipint o di blu) put s in second place his char act er ist ics as an aut onom ous cr eat or : Vol-

  ar e, inst ead of becom ing t he fir st song of a new genr e, becom es { 74- 75} t he last w or ld- w ide success of t he t r adit ional song, a m oder n v er sion of 0 sole m io. Modugno's per sonal- it y , fr om t hat t im e on, w ill be m or e useful t o t elev ision, cinem a and t heat r e ( Mackie Messer w it h St r ehier ) t han t o t he canzone d'aut or e.

  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 ant icipat or s not 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 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 popular 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 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.

  

Ar r iv eder ci w as follow ed by I I nost r o concer t o, sung by Bindi him self, w hich accent uat es

  anot her char act er ist ic of t he canzone d'aut or e, but in t his case only of t he ear ly per iod un- der ex am inat ion: t he sear ch for good m usical qualit y , and at least for a consider able dif- fer ence fr om ot her genr es in pr oduct ion.

  Ther e is, in t he ideology of t he daw ning genr e, an aw ar eness of t he t ask of sav ing t he I t al- ian canzone fr om t he st upidit y and st andar dizat ion t o w hich t he r ecor d publisher s' r out ine had br ought it . Not by chance ar e m en of let t er s inv olv ed in t his fer m ent - lik e I t alo Calv ino w ho w r ot e ly r ics for t he gr oup Cant acr onache - or songw r it er s w illing t o sing t heir ow n songs, as t he cant aut or i do, t o pr ov e t o t he cow ar dly publisher s t hat t hey could be a suc- cess.

  The bir t h of t he canzone d'aut or e t ak es place in a m om ent of gr eat t r ansfor m at ion for t he m usic indust r y : t he publisher s, w ho, unt il a few y ear s befor e w ant ed only t o hav e songs sung by as m any singer s as possible, hav ing m or e success accor ding t o t he num ber of v er - sions m ade of t he sam e song, t end t o int egr at e w it h t he r ecor d indust r y . This is pr oof t hat t he success of a song depends m or e and m or e on t her e being one and one only per for m er , and one v er sion only , follow ing t he r ecor d's diffusion, and of elect r onic m edia, com par ed t o t he liv e per for m ance. Wit hin a few y ear s publisher s assum ed t he aspect w e k now t oday : t he m eans by w hich r ecor d indust r y is indem nified, if possible w it h a pr ofit , for it s pr om o- t ional cost s, for and t hr ough r adio and t elev ision. { 76- 78} The fact t hat w it h t he canzone d'aut or e songw r it er and singer becom e an int egr at ed w hole ( and t he sam e t hing w ill happen w it h t he Beat les a few y ear s lat er ) cannot be consider ed sim ply a coincidence.

  The cant aut or e, w ho m ay be sings out of t une, but w ho has a good song and ar r angem ent , is w or t h m or e t o t he r ecor d indust r y t han a m usical scor e w hich could sell only t o a few hundr ed sm all dance or chest r as. The failur e of t he hy pot hesis of r adical innov at ion put for w ar d by t he Cant acr onache is un- der st andable since it w as st ill at t ached t o t he old concept ion of song as a t ex t , independent fr om it s m usical per for m ance, and t her efor e docum ent ed on cheaply pr oduced r ecor ds: it is also under st andable t hat t he m ain r esult of t he Cant acr onache w as t he r e- est ablishm ent of polit ical song. How ev er , t he capit alist indust r y w as no m or e far sight ed. I n t he beginning t he r ecor ding com pany Ricor d, w ho had signed t he fir st cant aut or i fr om Genoa ( Bindi, Paoli, Tenco) and fr om Milan ( Jannacci, Gaber ) , does not seem t o hav e had t oo m uch fait h in t he phenom e- non, consider ing it lim it ed t o a bour geois int ellect ual audience, for t he m ost par t cabar et fans. I t is t r ue t hat t he cult ur al hor izon of t he indiv idual cant aut or e is lit er ar y , w it h Fr ench ex ist ent ialist influences - gained fr om t he chansonnier s - or j azz and r ock influences ( bot h w er e r eser v ed in I t aly t o a few connoisseur s, and t her efor e int ellect ualized) , but it is also t r ue t hat t her e alr eady ex ist ed a v ast st udent audience, r eady t o r ecognize in t hese im - por t ed v alues an alt er nat iv e t o t he t hen cur r ent pr oduct ion. This audience did not liv e in gar r et s, did not fall in lov e because t hey hav e not hing bet t er t o do, did not go t o dubious bar s ( all sit uat ions descr ibed in songs of t hat per iod) but t hey w er e nev er t heless m or e w ill- ing t o r elat e t o t his t y pe of life, in r ealit y liv ed by few , t han w it h t he m am m as or br ok en hear t s of t r adit ional songs. The im por t ant t hing is not a par t icular concept ion of life, but a gener al non- confor m ism connect ed w it h som e m usical r enov at ion. A new gener at ion of consum er s, y oung consum - er s, w as being bor n in I t aly t oo, and t heir m ain char act er ist ic w as t hat t hey opposed all t he m odels of m usical consum pt ion of ot her gener at ions.

  I t w as not j ust by chance, t her efor e, t hat t he r eal push t ow ar ds t he diffusion of t he can-

  

zone d'aut or e, along w it h t he inv ent ion of t he nam e cant aut or e ( in 1960) , cam e fr om t he

m ult inat ional com pany RCA.

  The fir st cant aut or i of t he I t alian RCA ( Meccia, Vianello, Fidenco, all fr om Rom e) w er e m uch m or e j uv enile t han t heir colleagues fr om Genoa or Milan, and t heir ant i- confor m ism w as m uch less lit er ally ( one song is t it led I Hat e All Old Wom en) . The m usic t oo w as new , t hank s m or e t o t he use of special ar r angem ent s and r ecor ding t echniques t han for r easons of com posit ional st r uct ur e; and it w as far closer t o Am er ican st y les t han t he Genoese or Milanese w er e. I f Neil Sedak a did not hav e { 77- 78} such at r o- cious pr onunciat ion his I t alian r ecor ds, w hich w er e v er y successful, could easily be con- fused w it h t hose of t he fir st Rom an cant aut or i. I n fact aft er a shor t t im e t hose for w hom

  I t alian pop song: fashionable, easy t o list en t o and r ealist ic. But t he genr e canzone d'au-

  

t or e w as alr eady est ablished, and RCA cov er ed t he sit uat ion by signing som e of t he best

  Genoese cant aut or i, using t he best ar r anger s and launching t hem on a v ast scale, dur ing a per iod w hen t his Am er ican com pany has t he m onopoly of t he I t alian m ar k et . Fr om a t ir ed m usical sy st em , in need of r enov at ion, t he bir t h of new genr es w as so achiev ed: one w as t he pop song, under Am er ican influence, w hich unit ed in t he sam e gen- r e t he anom alies cr eat ed in t he pr eceding y ear s by Adr iano Celent ano's r ock or by t he so called ur lat or i ( shout er s) ; and t he canzone d'aut or e, w hich at t hat t im e could also be called “ qualit y song” : t he int er pr et er s of t hat w hich w e t oday call sophist icat ed song began t o em er ge fr om t he sea of light songs, canzonet t e, by singing songs of t he cant aut or i. How ev er m uch t he m usical j our nalist of t he t im e t alk about t he “ difficult ” nat ur e of t he can-

  

zone d'aut or e, com par ing it w it h t he “ escapist ” one of ot her genr es, t he cant aut or e is st ill

  r egar ded as a songw r it er r at her t han a poet . This obser v at ion is v alid bot h fr om t he point of v iew of ideology of genr e and fr om t hat of t he obj ect iv e im por t ance of ly r ics com par ed t o m usic. But m any new t hings happen: t he w or ld- w ide success of t he Beat les m ov ed t he at t ent ion for innov at ion in anot her dir ect ion, w hilst t he pr ofessional songw r it er s seem t o hav e un- der st ood t hat a song of qualit y can be m ade w it hout using t he old m odels, and using new int er pr et er s.

  The cant aut or i found t hat a consider able par t of t he y oung audience, and of t he bour geois audience t oo, had been t ak en aw ay fr om t hem . The cant aut or e found him self w it h lim it ed aut onom y w it h r espect t o his genr e, hav ing t o com pet e w it h beat m usic on one hand and t he m or e com m er cial song genr es on t he ot her , in t heir sam e t er r it or y . The suicide of Luigi Tenco at t he 1967 San Rem o Fest iv al, w hen his song failed t o r each t he final, is em blem - at ic, w hilst t he w or ld- w ide success of Bob Dy lan alr eady indicat ed a new r oad: a song near - er t o t r adit ional folk ballad t han t o t he m elodr am at ic m odel, poor er in m elody but m et r ically fr eer , r icher in sy llables, t hank s t o t he possibilit y of r epeat ing not es and ev en of r ecit ing. The fir st t o follow t his m odel is Fr ancesco Guccini. His fir st r ecor d w as r eleased in 1967, but som e of his songs had alr eady been successful in t he pr eceding y ear s w hen sung by r ock gr oups. Guccini t r anslat ed t he t ones of Dy lan's pr ot est and apocaly pse as w ell as t hose of t he beat gener at ion poet s int o I t alian; t he anar chic, v isionar y nat ur e of his ear ly ly r ics br ought him t o t he for e in t he clim at e of t he r igor ous pr ot est of t he r ebor n polit ical song, and of t he dom est icat ed pr ot est of ot her { 78- 79} genr es ( all I t alian songs at t hat t im e w er e pr ot est ing against or for som et hing) . The canzone d'aut or e's st udent audience had t heir at t ent ion fix ed on social and polit ical m ot iv es, and t his m ade t hem concent r at e m or e and m or e on ly r ics, consider ing t hem t he only able t o qualify t he song fr om a polit ical point of v iew . pr ogr essiv e r ock m odels - ly r ics ar e an ex cuse t o hav e a v oice par t icipat ing or at t he m ost an illust r at ion of t he m usic, in t he canzone d'aut or e and in polit ical song t he m usic is a back gr ound only occasionally illust r at ing t he ly r ics. Dur ing t he ear ly sev ent ies, w hilst polit ical song appear s t o hav e cov er ed t he w hole ar ea of t he canzone d'aut or e, one of t he fir st gener at ion cant aut or i, Gior gio Gaber , m ade his debut in t he t heat r e w it h a show consist ing of songs and m onologues, show ing t he desir e t o m aint ain an aut onom y of his genr e, and pr ov ing t he im por t ance assum ed by t he v er bal t ex t . I t is by put t ing t he accent decidedly on ly r ics and on t heir poet ical funct ion r at her t han t he m ainly r efer ent ial one of t he polit ical song, t hat t he canzone d'aut or e achiev es it s final com eback . For a br ief per iod t he new cant aut or i, Fr ancesco De Gr egor i and Ant onello Ven- dit t i am ong t he fir st , ar e pr esent ed as r epr esent at iv es of t he “ new song” ( by an associat ion w it h t he “ nuev a canción chilena" of t he Unidad Popular per iod) , but t his polit ical connot a- t ion is soon ov er com e, and, especially w it h r egar d t o De Gr egor i, t he new singer s/ song- w r it er s ar e spok en of as “ poet s” .

  I t is in 1974 t hat t he genr e r eceiv es it s fir st official const it ut ion, w it h t he fir st m eet ing of t he canzone d'aut or e ( Rassegna della canzone d'aut or e) or ganized by t he Tenco Club at San Rem o, a m eet ing w hich is st ill in ex ist ence and t hat has been flank ed unt il 1980 by four “ new song” congr esses.

  The r ebor n aut onom y of t he genr e m et w it h som e difficult y : a big im pr ession w as m ade by t he “ polit ical t r ial” conduct ed by t he audience against Fr ancesco De Gr egor i dur ing a concer t at t he Palalido in Milan, a t r ial w hich ended w it h som e people inv it ing De Gr egor i “ t o com m it suicide lik e May ak ov sk y ” . The t r ue accusat ion is subst ant ially t hat a singer w ho had been consider ed a polit ical singer w as not follow ing t he r ules of t hat genr e, and not t hat he w as a non- polit ical cant aut or e. But t he equat ion cant aut or e = poet is quick ly est ablished ( t he for m ula of t he condem na- t ion j ust im plied it ) , show ing it self in t he m ost v ar ious w ay s, fr om t he poet ic cont ent claim ed by am at eur im it at or s, t o t he collabor at ion bet w een a cant aut or e, Lucio Dalla, and a “ r eal” poet , Roy er si; nat ur ally t his affir m at ion is not a st r anger t o t he falling t ide of t he polit ical ex per iences of t he ear ly sev ent ies, because t he av er age I t alian's cult ur e collocat es poet r y in a pur ely pr iv at e, subj ect iv e life.

  I n t his concent r at ion of aest het ic at t ent ion, t he im pov er ishm ent of t he m usical cont ent is soon not iced: t he answ er - also t o for eign com pet it ion - is ent r ust ed t o { 79- 80} r icher ar - r angem ent s. I t is t he per iod of t he t r ium ph of disco- m usic, and m any r ock gr oups ar e in difficult y as a r esult . Fabr izio De Andr é, one of t he cant aut or i of t he Six t ies, goes on t our w it h PFM, one of t he best k now n r ock gr oups, and has gr eat success. “ At last ” ev er y one is say ing " t he canzone d'aut or e has it s ow n m usical dim ension” . But t his t our dem onst r at ed som et hing else besides: t hat , in spit e of t he fact t hat big r ock concer t s in I t aly had been t he scene of dist ur bances for y ear s, t o t he point w her e for eign singer s and gr oups av oided t his count r y unt il 1979, t he cant aut or i could fill t his gap, st ill m aint ain- ing som et hing of t he polit ical m eet ing and int egr at ing it w it h t he r it uals of a r ock concer t . The height of t he cant aut or i success w as r eached in 1979 w it h t he colossal Dalla- De Gr e- gor i t our , w her e t hese t w o appear ed in st adium s lik e r ock st ar s do, and lik e r ock st ar s w er e gr eet ed by t he light ing of t housands of m at ches. The fir st for eign r ock st ar t o r et ur n t o I t aly w as Pat t i Sm it h, w ho w as pr esent ed as a cant aut r ice, “ poet ess of r ock ” . The follow ing y ear , in spit e of t he successful t our s of Edoar do Bennat o and Angelo Br anduar di, is a y ear of cr isis for t he canzone d'aut or e, at least accor ding t o t he Club Tenco m em ber s, w ho en- t it le t he discussion at t heir congr ess: “ Rock Ver sus Canzone” . The canzone d'aut or e has been pushed so close t o r ock ( as it w as y ear s befor e t o polit ical song) t hat in econom ical t er m s it has felt t he consequences of it s com pet it ion ( dur ing t he y ear of a w or ld com eback of r ock ) and in t echnical t er m s feels t he need t o r edefine t he confines and ideology of t he genr e. I t is a quest ion w hich inv olv es not only t he cr it ics but also t he w hole canzone d'au-

  

t or e com m unit y , so t hat , w hilst t he specialist s in t he field ar e discussing a m usical r ev alu-

  at ion w hich ex cludes t he r ock aspect s and easy solut ions in t er m s of ar r angem ent , t he and Paolo Cont e. The for m er is, am ong t he cant aut or i of t he fir st gener at ion, t he one de- cidedly less lit er ar y , t ending m or e t ow ar ds com edy , t hank s also t o t he collabor at ion w it h Dar io Fo, w hilst t he lat t er , aft er w r it ing successful pop songs, st ar t ed r ecor ding by him self only in 1975. Jannacci is a doct or , Cont e a law y er ; bot h ar e ov er 40, bot h sing in an unt idy w ay w it h a cer t ain gest ur al em bar r assm ent , bot h hav e a solid m usical pr epar at ion ev en if t hey ar e self4aught . Bot h use a par t icular ly r ich v ocabular y , w hich is char act er ized by social ex t r ac- t ion or geogr aphical locat ion ( Jannacci liv es in Milan, Cont e in Ast i, a sm all t ow n in Pied- m ont ) , t hey k now ledgeably m ix poet ic and pr osaic t ones, t hey use r hy m ed v er se w it hout r ecour se t o banal w or ds accent ed on t he last sy llable. I f t heir songs ar e m usically fair ly w ell char act er ized ( w it h fr equent st y list ic quot at ions fr om v ar ious genr es or per iods) , ar - r angem ent s appear deliber at ely anony m ous and out of fashion. I n ot her w or ds t hese t w o accum ulat e a ser ies of v iolat ions of t he cur r ent r ules of t he can-

  

zone d'aut or e, par t ly by r et ur ning t o t he char act er of t he or igins, and par t ly by show ing

  t hat t hey r espect t he hope for r enew al, w hilst st ill r espect ing m any of t he fundam ent al per iod t hose w hich t oday appear as indiv idual char act er ist ics of t hese t w o cant aut or i.

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