Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Cosa succede in città: Storia sociale della musica popolare in Italia dal Dopoguerra ai giorni nostri

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will explore the history of Italian pop music from the postwar period to the present day within its sociohistorical and political framework. Such a study-unit will cover more than sixty years of musical industry and will survey the impact on the collective imagination of a number of prominent singer-songwriters (the so-called “cantautori”, who may include among others Giorgio Gaber, Fabrizio De André, Lucio Dalla, Francesco De Gregori, Vinicio Capossela), famous interpreters (with a particular focus on female performers, such as Mina, Patty Pravo, Fiorella Mannoia, Elisa), as well as bands (from Enrico Ruggeri’s Decibel to Offlaga Disco Pax) and musical projects. The key role of the emergence of social phenomena such as discos, “radio libere” (independent radio stations), and countercultural movements will also be taken into consideration. Very importantly, the unit will also focus on modes of expression and stylistic features of some of the singers and composers in question through an in-depth analysis of their lyrics.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To introduce the students to the contemporary social and political history of Italy through the analysis of Italian songs and the musical industry;
- To discuss the role of musical trends, styles and events in the sociocultural developments of Italy over the last sixty years;
- To survey Italian pop music in connection with its artistic and literary aspects;
- To examine modes of expression and stylistic features of some of the performers and songwriters in question through an in-depth analysis of their lyrics.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:

- Be able to discuss Italian pop music as a cultural phenomenon but also in relationship with broader historical and political events;
- Be able to critically appraise songs and singers/bands and their social roles;
- Have an in-depth knowledge of the tools and techniques of the language used in pop music.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Develop the skills which are necessary for the analysis of songs and music-related phenomena;
- Enhance his or her skills in social and historical analysis via an understanding of the key elements of Italian contemporary pop music;
- Transfer the ability of analysing the cultural and ideological ramifications in songs and music production to the analysis of language and style in literature in general.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Stefano Pivato, La storia leggera. L’uso pubblico della storia nella canzone italiana, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2002.
- Edmondo Berselli, Canzoni. Storia dell’Italia leggera, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007.
- Giuseppe Antonelli, Ma cosa vuoi che sia una canzone. Mezzo secolo di italiano cantato, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010.
- Edoardo Tabasso e Marco Bracci, Da Modugno a X Factor. Musica e società italiana dal dopoguerra a oggi, Roma, Carocci, 2010.
- Stefano Nobile, Mezzo secolo di canzoni italiane. Una prospettiva sociologica (1960-2010), Roma, Carocci, 2012.
- Leonardo Campus, Non solo canzonette. L’Italia della ricostruzione e del miracolo attraverso il Festival di Sanremo, Firenze, Le Monnier Università – Mondadori Education, 2015.
- Andrea Ciccarelli, Mary Migliozzi e Marianna Orsi (a cura di), Musica pop e testi in Italia dal 1960 a oggi, Ravenna, Longo, 2015.

Recommended Texts:

- Centro Studi Fabrizio De André (a cura di), Il suono e l’inchiostro. Cantautori, saggisti, poeti a confronto, Milano, Chiarelettere, 2009.
- Paolo Prato, La musica italiana. Una storia sociale dall’Unità a oggi, Roma, Donzelli, 2010.
- Felice Liperi, Storia della canzone italiana, Roma, Rai-Eri, 2011.
- Marilisa Merolla, Rock’n’roll Italian way. Propaganda americana e modernizzazione nell’Italia che cambia al ritmo del rock 1954-1964, Roma, Coniglio, 2011.
- Alessandro Alfieri, Musica dei tempi bui. Nuove band italiane dinanzi alla catastrofe, Napoli, Orthotes, 2015.
- Lucio Salvini, Non erano solo canzonette. L’epoca d’oro della canzone italiana, Milano, Skira, 2015.
- Daniele Biacchessi, Storie di rock italiano. Dal boom economico alla crisi internazionale, Milano, Jaca Book, 2016.

A reading pack with a selection of leading articles as well as a series of theoretical and critical readings will be made available. A list of relevant songs, albums and music videos will be also provided.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: At least an Intermediate Level in Italian or permission from lecturer holding the study-unit.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Irene Incarico

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.