Sicilian folk music is joyful, upbeat, playful and fun.
I was recently enchanted by a group I saw performing at a festival in the town of Cesaro'. The colorful costumes, simple instruments, agile musicians and pairs of dancers were so lively and fun.
|Sicilian folk music and dance at Cesaro'|
The high-pitched simple, flute, called the friscalettu is what caught my attention first. I was amazed by the quick moving fingers of the musician who played it and the intense, sing-song sounds being produced by this little instrument (have a listen!).
|The little flute: the friscalettu|
The tambourine, or tamburello in Italian, is also a fundamental part of Sicilian folk music that is very familiar. Any tourist shop you visit here will have a rack of brightly painted tambourines for sale, dangling with with colorful ribbons and pompoms. Their drum-like, jangly beat is what kept the rhythm for the dancers, inviting us to bounce along with them. Have a listen!
|Tambuourines, or tamburello in Italian, keep the beat|
The accordion, no surprise, is a must for any Sicilian music group (have a listen!).
But what really got my attention was the little thing the youngest member of the group was plucking in his mouth. All I could see was a little strip of metal sticking out from between his lips. A little research and I had the answer - that is the marranzano. Have a listen to this totally unique sound!
|The accordion and the marranzano|
In my research on these traditional Sicilian instruments I was inspired to draw. It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose one to learn to play, I think I would probably chose the friscalettu.
|'Sounds of Sicily' travel sketch inspired by the musicians playing at Cesaro'. |
You can check out more of my work here.