Fascinated by Neapolitan music

pulcinella orchestra

Above: A Pulcinella orchestra. Image via ho visto nina volare.

Gearing up for my friend and client Tony Vallone’s sold-out Neapolitan event this week, I’ve been studying Neapolitan music and writing my own compositions.

It’s become a bit of a rabbit hole: once I started listening carefully to traditional songs from Naples, I became fascinated with the melodies and rhythms. But the thing that really grabbed me was how the arrangements always surprise the listener.

Just when you’ve settled into one phrase, the song leaps to another, unexpected place.

Here are some songs I’ve been working on at Baby P studios… Tracie P, who lived between Ischia and Naples for nearly five years, has been teasing me that my Neapolitan songs “still sound Jewish.” But I’ve been having fun with it.

One could spend a lifetime studying Italian culture, art, and history and never satiate her/his curiosity…

7 Responses to Fascinated by Neapolitan music

  1. joshiemac says:

    I remember loving the music coming out of Napoli when I lived in Italy. Besides the traditional stuff (which I’ve always has a soft spot in my heart for) I really liked the music coming out of the centro sociale scene: 99 Posse, Bisca, and Almamegretta were just a few of the bands I enjoyed back then (and still do). I’ve always liked trying to make out what they are saying in Napoletano.

    There must be something about that city that brings out the music in people…

    • Do Bianchi says:

      Neapolitan musicians just have a special groove that you don’t often find in Italian pop or traditional music. When I lived there, I was playing a lot of music professionally… and man, the Neapolitan guitar players just smoke it! Thanks for being here and listening, man! :)

  2. TWG says:

    Between Ischia and Naples?

    Did you ever check out the John Tutorro (sp) film?

  3. i liked Femminucce – it reminded me of a variation on “Never on Sunday”

  4. Do Bianchi says:

    thanks so much for listening! :)

    “Femminucce” is the most Fellinian, no? The melody is inspired in part by songs from Rota’s Strada score…

    Songs are like children… thanks for the kind words… :)

  5. tracie p says:

    2B, there’s so much to love about napoli! just wait until we visit. now are you gonna let me and the girls hear some of this music sometime…?

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