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Voices of Dissent

Interdisciplinary Approaches to New Italian Popular and Political Music

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Giovanni Pietro Vitali

This book is an interdisciplinary analysis of an art form that is crucial to the understanding of Italian contemporary society: political music from the 1960s to today. The musical activities of left-wing and right-wing bands and singer-songwriters reveal deep rifts in a country which, even today, has not yet come to terms with fascism, the political hatred of the Years of Lead, nor the social division of the 2000s, which climaxed in the Genoa Group of Eight summit in 2001.

This book aims to describe Italian political music, highlighting its relationship with important international genres like American folk music revival, the French chansonniers, punk, ska, reggae and alterlatino as well as traditional music from all over the world. These musical influences shed light on a connection to linguistic dynamics that particularly binds the Italian, Spanish, French and English languages.

A case study based on a corpus of forty-one bands and singer-songwriters uses cultural, digital humanities and literary techniques to provide insights into the sociolinguistic aspects of Italian and reveal the linguistic patterns that are typical of politics and gender discourse. The book also presents a comparative study of the relationship between the lyrics of new popular musicians and literature across the globe.

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Appendix: Corpus Band Profiles

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This book mentions a very high number of singer-songwriters and bands of which forty-two were selected for the ‘quantitative’ corpus that has been used for digital analysis in Chapter 2. This appendix contains all the biographies of these artists. These biographies are placed in this part of the work in order to help readers to find more information about the quoted musicians. As in the rest of the book, I have divided their bios into three groups: singer-songwriter, left-wing bands and right-wing bands. I have presented them in chronological order and at the end of each section a graph shows the activity of each singer-songwriter or group according to the albums they released. The aim is to show which artists were or are active at the same time.

Singer-songwriters



Figure 25: Timeline of the singer-songwriters of the corpus

ivan della mea was born in Lucca in 1940 and was a singer-songwriter, a writer, a journalist and a political activist. He moved to Milan during his childhood and this city strongly influenced the artist who used to sing the history of Milan working class using its dialect. Ivan was one of the protagonists of the Nuova canzone politica [New Italian Political Song] and was extremely active in Italian traditional and political music research. He wrote some of the most important and famous political ballads of the music of the 1970s such as O cara moglie [O dear wife] in 1966. He...

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