December 10, 2017

Lyre Lyre Dance on Fire

La lira or lyre the instrument equated with ancient gods and cherubs is also common in a folk music formation, particularly in the tradition of the Calabrese tarantella. It is a bow shaped, string instrument with three strings that is played upright (typically supported on the knee). It is crafted […]
December 10, 2017

Signore Tamburello: Mr. Tambourine Man’s Italian Cousin

As an Italian folk musician, I can’t help but wonder if Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” was inspired by being part of a Tarantella? The jingle-jangle that casts a dancing spell does sound an awful lot like what happens in one of these musical circles. The tambourine or tamburello is […]
December 10, 2017

The Organetto: It’s Not an Accordion

Juliet may have once argued that a rose is a rose but when it comes to Italian folk music there is in fact a distinction when it comes to the organetto which is often confused with the accordion. While the two instruments are both well-known musical elements in this genre, […]