SIEF2013 11th Congress.
Alessandro Portelli: "Roma Forestiera": migrant music and social change in Rome

Klipi teostus: UTTV 03.07.2013 6420 vaatamist Kultuuriteadus ja kunstid


A hit song of the 1940s, "Roma Forestiera" (Rome the foreigner, Rome, the stranger, Rome the estranged) complained that music had disappeared from the streets and neighborhoods of Rome, replaced by the newfangled American music promoted by the radio. Over the last twenty years or so, music has come back to the urban space of Rome, brought back precisely by the "foreigners" and the "foreigners" that are turning Italy, historically a country of emigrants, into a country of immigrants as well. A project by the Circolo Gianni Bosio has been collecting, archiving and promoting this "new urban folk music", focusing on specific spaces: the street (and the subway and the buses); the home (family traditions, lullabies, etc.); the school (where migrant music has often been adopted as part of the educational project); the community (including celebrations and churches). The paper will discuss several examples of changes in the traditional music that migrants brought with them; composition of new music by migrants; adoption of Italian traditions; lived experiences of non-professional musicians and traditional singers. In conclusion, I will suggest that music is a useful point of view for an understanding of the new multicultural reality of the contemporary metropolis as well as of the meanings and forms of the migration experience.