Instruments of the Parthenopean Folklore
by Vincenzo Schisano
(Translated by Marianna Mastro)
Granted that the “percussion instruments” are also part of the “Parthenopean folklore”, in this section will be described the typical instruments and the folk instruments, which are so both for their origin than for their use.
Used for the execution and/or accompaniment of songs and dances, their origin are extremely remote, for which it is almost impossible to establish the place and date of birth.
Some of these are surely derived from equivalent Arabian or anyhow oriental, such as: the “Cialamello” (the “Zampogna” Bagpipe), the “Cornamusa”, the “Tric-ballac”, the “Sisco” and the “Tamburello”, others are derived from characteristic Spanish instruments such as: “Nacchere” and “ Castagnette” (the castanets).
In fact the “Trofa”, the marine trumpet, has been used by the population of the entire world since ancient epochs, the “Tammorra” consists of a “Tamburello” (a drum) made bigger and the “Tromma” (scacciapensieri Jew’s harp, probably of oriental origin) which was imported in Italy by the nomad population.
All that has been said above does not subtract anything from the charm that these instruments create when they are used by folk and/or Neapolitan musicians, to execute and accompany songs and dances that, as mentioned in a famous song, “Sulo a Napule sanno fa” (only in Naples are able to do).
Copyright © 2003, Vincenzo Schisano. All rights reserved.