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Thread: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

  1. #126

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandophile View Post
    I've already heard some tracks! They have resuscitated the Italian dance tradition. This is a turning point for renewed interest in learning these ballo liscio dances and for more mandolin players to learn how to read notation, not tab!
    Federica Calvino Prina, Beppe Gambetta's wife, published Traditional Italian Dances, a fine book with CD of audio examples as well (performed by the likes of—conveniently enough—Beppe Gambetta, Carlo Aonzo, the Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure, etc.) back in 2000. My own copy is still in a box after my last move, or I'd offer a more formal citation. (I'm not likely to feel compelled to formally engage in dance or need written references to do so authentically.) I'm sure the curious can easily Google it up. It's worth having for the CD alone.
    Last edited by Eugene; Aug-03-2021 at 5:53pm.

  2. #127

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Well, I just did a little Googling. I found an affiliated Amazon vendor is offering a still-new copy for $902.81. I like the book–CD, but maybe not quite that much. Guess I'm glad I bought mine in person during the single digits of the current millennium.

  3. #128
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    On the cover, that's my 1900 Antonio Grauso mandolin with iridescent (abalone shell) butterfly! When Guggino told me about the title track, composed by him, I knew he had to see this image. I was thrilled when he happily used it to personify the fluttering tremolos of a true Italian mandolinist.
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  5. #129
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    Federica Calvino Prina, Beppe Gambetta's wife, published Traditional Italian Dances, a fine book with CD of audio examples as well (performed by the likes of—conveniently enough—Beppe Gambetta, Carlo Aonzo, the Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure, etc.) back in 2000. My own copy is still in a box after my last move, or I'd offer a more formal citation. (I'm not likely to feel compelled to formally engage in dance or need written references to do so authentically.) I'm sure the curious can easily Google it up. It's worth having for the CD alone.
    I may be due for some clarification here, Eug.

    I've got Federica's book as well, and if I'm not mistaken her expertise is in traditional Italian dances, which I understand differently from how ballo liscio is described through the frame of the music Sheri is compiling.

    Smooth dancing. There's a lot of two steps, paso dobles, tangos, fox trots, beguines, etc. We enjoy going to the village sagras around our place in Liguria and that's the kind of dancing folks still do which I take as begin 'modern' in a way.
    Any well raised Texan (of a certain age) can smoothly ease his way onto the dance floor.

    There are folks doing folkloric dances, of course, but that collection of tunes from Carlo, Beppe, et al really aren't folkloric tunes by and large, in my estimate.

    Maybe I've got this all mixed up but thought to jump in and see what clarity I can come out with.

    Mick
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  7. #130
    Registered User Jordan Ramsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Calace is in the shop, so the Ellis will have to suffice. Trying not to forget over here.

    2016 Ellis F5
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  9. #131

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    I may be due for some clarification here, Eug.

    I've got Federica's book as well, and if I'm not mistaken her expertise is in traditional Italian dances, which I understand differently from how ballo liscio is described through the frame of the music Sheri is compiling.

    Smooth dancing. There's a lot of two steps, paso dobles, tangos, fox trots, beguines, etc. We enjoy going to the village sagras around our place in Liguria and that's the kind of dancing folks still do which I take as begin 'modern' in a way.
    Yes, I also understand these to be somewhat discretely distinct traditions, but united in being examples of (1) music as accompaniment to dance and (2) an effort to not forget Italian mandolin music. Sorry to have offered some unintended mud to these waters.

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  11. #132

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    I definitely think so, if you look at big mandolin channels on YouTube you can barely find anything other than Bluegrass. It bothers me too, probably as I'm half-Italian.

  12. #133
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    Yes, I also understand these to be somewhat discretely distinct traditions, but united in being examples of (1) music as accompaniment to dance and (2) an effort to not forget Italian mandolin music. Sorry to have offered some unintended mud to these waters.
    No worries, Eug.

    You made me laugh though, remembering being at one of these vilalge Sagras, when I was asked to dance by a slightly regal nonna which had me feeling pretty good.

    She might have been old enough to know some of the local folkloric dances, but this was a cha-cha.

    I thought I was doing pretty well, dancing abbastanza liscio when she whispered discretely in my ear:
    "Ti aiuta davvero dire 'cha cha cha' ad ogni passo?"

    Which I guess I was. Liscio e nel cuore.

    Mick
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    Eugene 

  14. #134

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Ha! Every bit as gainly as you'd expect of a bookwormy fisheries biologist, I'm rather deliberate in not dancing, while vocalizing or otherwise.

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  16. #135
    Registered User rodarbal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    He does a heck of Bach. Not Italian, but not blue or Irish

  17. Aug-24-2021, 6:46am


  18. #136
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Roman Koval, thank you for that input. I feel you hit on one of those sensitive (irritating) aspects in defining what is Italian in Italian music and who gets to be classified as composing "Italian music." In addition, there is the other challenge of defining "Italian American" music in a movie. Coppola's father Carmine Coppola did compose a tarantella (included in my Mandolin Melodies book) but I don't recall it being used unless it was what mandolinist-composer Giovanni Vicari played in the wedding scence. Don't feel like rewatching that scene as I type this. Help! That said, I offer no answers. I simply wish to address this need to gunnysack all music heard in a Hollywood movie as "Italian." Is Carmine Coppola's wedding tarantella quinessential Italian? Yes. Is Nino Rota a great Italian composer? Yes. Is his Godfather theme quinessential Italian? Maybe. Ok, did I stir the pot?
    Last edited by Mandophile; Aug-24-2021 at 11:42am. Reason: corrected familial conx
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  20. #137
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandophile View Post
    Roman Koval, thank you for that input. I feel you hit on one of those sensitive (irritating) aspects in defining what is Italian in Italian music and who gets to be classified as composing "Italian music." In addition, there is the other challenge of defining "Italian American" music in a movie. Coppola's brother/flutist Carmine Coppola did compose a tarantella (included in my Mandolin Melodies book) but I don't recall it being used unless it was what mandolinist-composer Giovanni Vicari played in the wedding scence. Don't feel like rewatching that scene as I type this. Help! That said, I offer no answers. I simply wish to address this need to gunnysack all music heard in a Hollywood movie as "Italian." Is Carmine Coppola's wedding tarantella quinessential Italian? Yes. Is Nino Rota a great Italian composer? Yes. Is his Godfather theme quinessential Italian? Maybe. Ok, did I stir the pot?
    In a way, Italian music in America can be any folkloric Italian regional style, ballo liscio, Neapolitan songs, pop music by Italian-American singers, Italian and other movie music, and so on!

    Some folks I played for wanted to hear folklore...others want "Mambo Italiano"!

    Pot still stirring....

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  22. #138
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Responding to Sheri, the Coppola Godfather Tarentella & Godfather Mazurka are used in the film & on the sound track. They are performed by the Wedding band w Mr. Vicari, although difficult to hear the Mandolin. In the movie, they are in the background & when there are dancing shots. The soundtrack has snippets of both pieced together. I wish there were full takes of each & with Vicari’s Mandolin a bit more prominent. Alas. Also, I thought Carmine Coppola was Francis’ father. I’ll stand corrected.
    Quintessential Italian? I’d play them on an Italian gig.
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  24. #139

    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Carmine Coppola is absolutely Francis Ford's father.
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  26. #140
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    yes, August, the older brother of Francis, was Dean, school of humanities/music at SFSU. Carmine was their father. A talented family.
    Sheri Mignano Crawford

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  28. #141
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    I admit to having the good fortune of being Irish, and being raised by my Italian padroni while my mother insisted we Texan pups learn Spanish.

    The cultural overlaps and blurring have always been a source of fascination and good humor for me, but I do understand Sher's point about the need for clarity and the understanding and appreciation of original sources when it comes to her scholarship with Italian and Italian-American music.

    These cultures (eg Irish, American, Mexican, Italian, Cajun) are melting pots in their own right. But there is great value in knowing the deeper roots of music and not to get lost only in the popular hybridized manifestations.

    All those musical traditions suffer from the abuse of pastiche both at home and abroad.

    There was (and still is) a whole genre of Italian music that riffs off '50s American cocktail jazz, ur-rock and roll, salsa, etc. The Conte fratelli and Nino Rota (and other cinema score composers) mined this deeply.

    I think it is pretty amazing music. All the better for having an overlay from a deeply lyrical musical culture in its own right. I wouldn't quibble with them about this being American-Italian music or somehow lesser because of its accessibility or lack of authenticity.

    The value in learning the depth and roots of music is inarguable to me. I think that such powerful musical cultures (such as jazz and the Italian / Italian American music Sheri is nurturing) are strong enough to withstand the occasional Dean Martin or Fred Buscaglione.

    Around our house, Pedro Infante (or Caruso) wasn't Mexican-or Italian-music. It was just music.

    Then when nighttime came and we could tune in the X that gumbo we're stirring got even tastier.

    Mick
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  30. #142
    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Mandolin music being forgotten ???

    Mickís post has triggered some memories of my mother. Iím half Italian, my motherís side. Her parents came over on the boat & have their names on the wall on Ellis Island. Remember we still honor immigrants. I still identify more with my Italian side because my grandmother, we always called her Nonni, lived with us as I grew up.
    Food & Music were important. My motherís taste in music was typical of her generation, Big Bands, Nat Cole Trio 78ís were records in our home. She loved Judy Garland, I think she played the Live at Carnegie Hall record my whole life. She also loved Dinah Washington & out of character loved Patsy Cline. She called her the Judy Garland of Country Music. High praise from my Mom. She would play Opera records, too. She called it Italian Soul Music. I didnít appreciate it until later. She loved the Italian crooners like Sinatra, Bennet, etc, but hated Dean Martin. I mean really. She would imitate a low croony type voice ala Dino & say thatís Not Singing. (Funny that years later I saw Jerry Lewis live, I had been a Clown & liked to see old style comics).
    Eventually I picked up Mandolin & appreciate the Italian side, as well as Blues, Jazz, Bluegrass. After some lessons with Jethro I asked him if he could teach me an Italian tune or 2 to play for my mother. He did so gladly without hesitation. I still play his chord melody version of Sorrento to this day. I remember playing it for my Mom, she smiled & looked a little bewildered. Hereís her funky Blues loving Clown son playing Italian music on a Mandolin.
    Sharing some memories. Italian Mandolin not forgotten.
    Joe B
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