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The Neapolitan Song as Musical Form


Get to know the Canzone Napoletana, internationally known as Neapolitan Song, is a form of traditional music born in Napoli.

Originally, the Canzone Napoletana was for male voice only, even if it is represented by female voices as well. Think of the most famous Neapolitan songs, such as “O sole mio”, and “Funiculì, Funiculà”. Formally, the Neapolitan song has been recognized as a musical form on the occasion of the Festival of Piedigrotta, a song-writing competition dedicated to the Madonna of Piedigrotta, an area that you can go to. The singer who won the first festival was “The voglio bene assaie”, traditionally attributed to Gaetano Donizzetti.

The Festival of Piedigrotta took place until 1950. Even if the festival stopped, Neapolitan songs did not. Since 1950 there have been so many successes as Malafemmena by Totò, Maruzzella by Renato Carosone, and Carmela by Sergio Bruno. Even if these Neapolitan songs are different from the ones of the beginning, they are part of Neapolitan song history anyway.

Neapolitan songs are famous all over the world because they were taken abroad by emigrants from Southern Italy. Between 1880 and 1920, many Italian people went to America to change their lives. Enrico Caruso was one of the singers who exported Neapolitan Music. He even performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York!


Neapolitan songs artists

If you would like to listen to the Canzone Napoletana, you can choose to listen to selected CDs or artists. “Italia ti amo” by Placido Domingo is a collection of Neapolitan and Italian songs, both traditional and more modern ones. Romantica, by Pavarotti, is one of his 3 albums of Neapolitan and Italian songs.

oberto Murolo, Bruno Venturini, Mario Trevi, Mario Abbate, Mario Merola, Giulietta Sacco, Franco Ricci, Sergio Bruni, Renato Carosone, and Mario Maglione are just some of the names of the main charachters who made the Neapolitan song a musical form.


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