The Tammurriata from Campania: Adaptations and Revivals of a Folk Tradition

Jennifer Caputo, Wesleyan University

Italy experienced its first folk music revival in the 1970s, when field recordings of the tammurriata or ballo sul tamburo (dance with the tambourine) were published as part of Roberto De Simone’s book Canti e Tradizioni Popolari in Campania.  During that period, De Simone founded the musical group Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, whose commercial recordings brought the tammurriata and other folk songs to Italian radio stations and record stores. Over the past decade, the tammurriata has undergone another revival.  It is performed in various forms at folk festivals and concerts, and has been adapted to musical styles such as rock, hip-hop, and reggae.  Jennifer Caputo,  doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, discusses the revivals, new interpretations of the tammurriata, and explains how they have both positively and negatively impacted the local religious festivals in Campania.