A Generational Change in Italian Music - Italy Segreta (2023)

Rings a bell? No matter where you grew up, you’ve probably mumbled along to one of Domenico Modugno or Mina’s songs, gotten goosebumps while listening to the vibrant opera tenors Pavarotti and Bocelli, danced along to a Neapolitan song and were moved by the music of Morricone, Nino Rota and Nicola Piovani while watching a great movie.

In the past few years, this summer in particular – a fantastic summer to be Italian, thanks to the athletic triumphs in football (soccer in the U.S.) and the Olympics – we can include to this list the rock band Måneskin. Although they don’t represent a typical Italian sound, they are undoubtedly original in their music.

I’ve always been passionate about music. For a while I worked in the cultural industry of the most underground festivals in Italy, always grieving over the irrelevance of Italian music. But today things are changing: Måneskin are only the point of arrival, or departure (depending on points of view), of a rebirth, of a generational change opening up Italian music – perhaps infrequently listened to abroad also due to the language. Music that is not only new, but also representative of a changing Italy: many leaders of this emerging music scene are Italians, children of immigrants, women, representatives of the queer community. Through their music, these artists are bringing attention to issues that have always been taboo or cause for political tensions in Italy. But not only that: thanks to their commitment and ability to raise awareness among younger generations, their music is contributing to overcoming certain stereotypes. Who could have imagined that a 26-year-old young man, the son of an interracial couple (Egyptian father and Italian mother), openly gay, would win the Sanremo Festival – an event that most embodies the Italian musical tradition – with a contemporary piece and that, in fact, also reached listeners abroad? That person is Mahmood, perhaps the best representative of the scene I want to introduce to you, but mostly to invite you to listen. In a way, his victory was truly the point of “no return” for Italian music. From that moment on, Italy showed it was ready for a new sound.

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Today I want to let you listen to some of what is playing in the ears of young Italians, going beyond the smash hits of summer that we remember for three months and are soon after forgotten… To do this, I asked Lucrezia Savino, A&R Manager of Universal Publishing Italy (in other words, a talent scout) for a hand. She is also, by pure chance, a very dear friend of mine since high school. We often talk about this topic, exchanging names of artists to listen to before they become famous. Lucrezia has compiled a playlist with 10 songs illustrating Italian new wave. “This list is everything in Italy today that deserves at least one listen, from the most mainstream to the most experimental. To dance or to just take a break from life. A set of different sounds and colors in a fervent and constantly growing music scene.”

Let’s start with the first one, one of my favorites: Supreme has created an iconic and recognizable sound in the Italian trap scene. But not only that: by mixing Italian with the trapper lingo, he has created a sort of “new language”, straddling the two, which for me is a fantastic example of the spirit of the time. In uNa DiReZioNe giUsTa, Davide Mattei duets with one of the “fathers” of Italian hip hop, Neffa, creating a beautiful dialogue between present and past.

Then comes one of the artists closest to Lucrezia’s heart: BLANCO, who you can now hear even in the supermarket (Lucrezia had me listen to him when he was still an unknown). She defines his style as “a mix between slowthai and Gino Paoli, between punk and blatantly Italian melodies” which I find to be an incredibly creative definition. In “LA CANZONE NOSTRA”, Blanco alternates with Salmo, a popular Italian rapper, accompanied by notes created by MACE, a producer capable of climbing the charts with a sound that is definitely still relevant.

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And then we come to Madame, defined as the new star of contemporary Italian pop who came on the scene at age 16 with the hit “Sciccherie”. Now at only 19 years old she has graduated to performing at Sanremo, the most important music festival in Italy, with the beautiful “Voce”, an emotional song dedicated – in fact – to her voice. For Lucrezia, “Madame bodes well for the future of women in Italian music”.

We continue on to mainstream territory, quality mainstream which in Italy is quite rare, I assure you. Here Lucrezia brings us an artist who has already graced the pages of Italy Segreta, the aforementioned Mahmood, winner of the Sanremo Festival in 2019 with “Soldi”, runner-up at Eurovision, and certainly the brightest example of Italian urban pop. While listening to the song, I happen to remember singing with him, (before he was famous) for one of Lucrezia’s birthdays, in a karaoke bar at via Paolo Sarpi in Milan, noticing his very distinctive voice. Lucrezia tells me that “since day one, we have invested in his talent. He is one of the few Italian projects that can play abroad, we have a lot of faith in him”. You should listen to his album to truly understand why.

We can’t conclude the “pop” genre without mentioning Sangiovanni, product of the talent show “Amici” by Maria De Filippi, a show host who could be defined as an Italian Oprah. “Malibu” is practically ubiquitous on Italian radios. Perhaps it was this song that was the definitive summer hit, but at least it wasn’t reggaeton, thankfully.

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Moving forward, we explore deeper waters, in lesser known but interesting realms. Here Lucrezia takes us on an instrumental detour, with “Canone Infinito” by Lorenzo Senni, a trance artist well known in international electronic circles, and Iosonouncane, who recently released his beautiful album IRA, consisting of background sounds which are at times unsettling. “Iosonouncane and Lorenzo Senni show how varied the Italian scene is today, in addition to the pop and urban charts. Both artists are very attentive to experimentation”.

After this deep dive in the underground, we return to pop with a trio of interesting artists. We start with Frah Quintale, “one of the best examples of Italian R&B”, then Venerus, with the splendid “Sei acqua” arranged with Calibro 35 (one of the most interesting bands in Italy; I highly recommend giving them a listen). Venerus is a multidimensional project from a musical and visual standpoint: the album “Magica Musica” is a journey between introspection and joy expressed through the beautiful voice of the Milanese singer.

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And finally, the hit of “my” summer, “Marechià” by Nu Genea, a Neapolitan DJ duo who are reintroducing the sound of Neapolitan 70s funk in a contemporary style (for reference, listen to the records of Pino Daniele and Napoli Centrale from that era). “Marechià” is amazing and fun, sung a little in French and a little in the Neapolitan dialect. A perfect representation of the essence of the times.

To condense all this great music into 10 pieces is practically impossible, so here are just a few additional names from Lucrezia: bnkr44, ARIETE, Tropico, Franco126.

Great, now you know what to listen to in the upcoming months – we hope you enjoy the new era of Italian music.

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How has music changed over time in Italy? ›

In the 20th century classical music changed greatly, not only in Italy, but also at European level. New music abandoned much of the historical, nationally developed schools of harmony and melody in favor of experimental music, atonality, minimalism and electronic music.

What is Italian style music called? ›

Opera has remained the musical form most closely linked with Italian music and Italian identity. This was most obvious in the 19th century through the works of Giuseppe Verdi, an icon of Italian culture and pan-Italian unity.

What influenced Italian music? ›

Italy has a lively tradition of music and dance stemming from folk traditions, many of which are based on older forms adopted from neighboring (or invading) countries. Again, regional differences create a lot of variety, so you can find Italian folk music with Celtic, Spanish and even Arabic influences.

Why is music important to Italian culture? ›

In Italy, music has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and holds an important position in society and in politics.

How did the music change over time? ›

With time, more and more musical instruments have been developed and people started to play them with one another. This resulted in even more sophisticated and even complex sounds being made. The rhythms, the tempo, the beat and more all changed along with the culture.

What is Italy known for? ›

Italy is famous for the Renaissance and the incredible artists it produced. Italy is famous for its tourism, its art cities and unique scenery. Italy is also known for its language, its opera, its fashion and its luxury brands. It is also known for its football team!

What defines Italian style? ›

Bold prints, loud hues and statement dressing. Sometimes, Italians just do it better. Take a break from minimalism, the Milanese way. Quality over Quantity. The Italian style philosophy is very much quality over quantity.

When did music start in Italy? ›

The modern state of Italy did not come into being until 1861, though the roots of music on the Italian Peninsula can be traced back to the music of ancient Rome. However, the underpinnings of much modern Italian music come from the Middle Ages.

Who was Italy influenced by? ›

Italy were settled by Ten-tens, Gauls, Etruscans and Asians. of Greek culture, rather than Roman. Italy was deeply influenced by, Moslem culture; Moslems actually occupied Sicily for several centuries and their influence reached to the gates of Rome.

Is Italy known for music? ›

Italian music has been one of the supreme expressions of that art in Europe: the Gregorian chant, the innovation of modern musical notation in the 11th century, the troubadour song, the madrigal, and the work of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi all form part of Italy's proud musical heritage, as ...

Who inspired the Italian Renaissance? ›

The movement advanced in the middle of the 14th century through the work of two men, eminent both as humanists and for their roles in Italian and European literature: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch; 1304–74) and Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75).

What does music mean in Italian? ›

The Italian word for music is the similar sounding musica (feminine, plural: musiche). Both words can be traced back to the Greek mousikē (tekhnē) which means (art) of the Muses.

Why is music so important to culture? ›

Music is a way for one to visualize life and instigate profound memories. In a cultural context, music is an intrinsic part of gatherings, festivals, and belief systems. Sound and rhythm patterns give a particular perspective into an individual's opinions of the culture, subcultures and social issues of the times.

How does music shape a generation? ›

Music has shaped cultures and societies around the world, passed down from generation to generation. It has the power to alter one's mood, change perceptions, and inspire change. While everyone has a personal relationship with music, its effects on the culture around us may not be immediately apparent.

What are 3 facts about music? ›

Americans spend more than four hours a day listening to music. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem is the first rap song to win an Oscar. The most expensive musical instrument in the world is a Stradivarius violin, with one being sold for $15.9 million. A person's heartbeat mimics the beat of the music he or she is listening to.

What is Italy's real name? ›

It's proper name Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic), Nickname: “Bel Paese” which means beautiful country. Rome its capital city was founded in 753BC. More than 98% of Italian's can read and write. The official language is Italian as well as German and in some regions in Northern Italy.

What was Italy called before? ›

The process of unification took some time and was started in 1815. Whilst the lower peninsula of what is now known as Italy was known is the Peninsula Italia as long ago as the first Romans (people from the City of Rome) as long about as 1,000 BCE the name only referred to the land mass not the people.

What makes Italians so special? ›

Foods like pasta and pizza, artwork like Michelangelo's Statue of David, landmarks like the Colosseum are amongst the most famous things Italy is known for. But Italy's culture has also worked its way into an abundance of modern movies, art and fashion, too.

Why do people love Italy? ›

Italy is filled with riches. It offers you spectacular cities, ancient ruins, wonderful museums, soaring mountains, great beaches, and beautiful natural scenery – all packed in one. No wonder, it features in the bucket lists of a lot of people.

Does Italy speak Italian? ›

Italian language, Italian Italiano, Romance language spoken by some 66,000,000 persons, the vast majority of whom live in Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, and (together with Latin) Vatican City.

Is Italy friendly? ›

If tourists are ready to embrace Italian culture, the Italians love to teach it and that's how their friendly nature shines brightly.

What are 3 characteristics of Italian culture? ›

The Italian culture is commonly associated with art, music and food. It is the homeland of the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church and the main center of the Renaissance, which flourished through Europe for centuries.

What is the most Italian name? ›

The most common names are: For males: Marco, Alessandro, Giuseppe, Flavio, Luca, Giovanni, Roberto, Andrea, Stefano, Angelo, Francesco, Mario, Luigi. For females: Anna, Maria, Sara, Laura, Aurora, Valentina, Giulia, Rosa, Gianna, Giuseppina, Angela, Giovanna, Sofia, Stella.

What is the best way to describe Italy? ›

Italy, country of south-central Europe, occupying a peninsula that juts deep into the Mediterranean Sea. Italy comprises some of the most varied and scenic landscapes on Earth and is often described as a country shaped like a boot. At its broad top stand the Alps, which are among the world's most rugged mountains.

Who created Italian music? ›

Italian folk music was born from the mastermind Guido of Arezzo. Guido of Arezzo used the initial syllables of the first six lines of John the Baptist's hymn before the scale was invented. The Benedictine Monk invented the scale at the end of the 10th century.

Why is music all in Italian? ›

Italian composers were the first to adopt music notation, and then the first to add annotations (language to indicate expression) to their scores. The practice became accepted in Italy, and then was adapted and formalized into one language through the rest of Europe, so that all musicians could understand.

What city in Italy is known for music? ›

The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the development of the music of Italy.

Why is Italy called Italy? ›

Italy Quick Facts:

- The name for Italy comes from the Greek "Italos", a legendary king - The official name of Italy is the Italian Republic. - Italy is the fifth most populous country in Europe. - Rome, the capital of Italy, is almost 3,000 years old.

What influenced Italian culture? ›

Italian culture is the amalgamation of thousands of years of heritage and tradition, tracing its roots back to the Ancient Roman Empire and beyond. Italian culture is steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music and food.

How old is Italian language? ›

The language that came to be thought of as Italian developed in central Tuscany and was first formalized in the early 14th century through the works of Tuscan writer Dante Alighieri, written in his native Florentine.

Why is most music in Italian? ›

Many musical terms are in Italian, because in Europe, the vast majority of the most important early composers from the Renaissance to the Baroque period were Italian. That period is when numerous musical indications were used extensively for the first time.

What song is special in Italy? ›

Let's dive into the music.
  • #1 Funiculì funiculà (Funicular up, funicular down) – 1880. ...
  • #2 O sole mio (My own sunshine) – 1898. ...
  • #3 Tu vuò fa' l'Americano (You Want to Be American) – 1956. ...
  • #4 Volare, nel blu dipinto di blu (To fly, in the blue-painted blue [sky]) – 1958. ...
  • #7 Gloria – 1979.

Why Italy is called Renaissance? ›

We call this period the Renaissance, meaning “rebirth”, because at its core was a revival of ancient classical Roman ideas. Beginning in Italy, the Renaissance later spread throughout Europe, influencing centuries of culture to come.

What was the Italian Renaissance known for? ›

The Italian Renaissance has a reputation for its achievements in painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, philosophy, science, technology, and exploration.

How did the Italian Renaissance impact the world? ›

Some of the greatest thinkers, authors, statesmen, scientists and artists in human history thrived during this era, while global exploration opened up new lands and cultures to European commerce. The Renaissance is credited with bridging the gap between the Middle Ages and modern-day civilization.

What are the Italian symbol in music? ›

2. Dynamics
pianissimoppvery soft
mezzo pianompmoderately soft
mezzo fortemfmoderately loud
4 more rows

What is the Italian word for song? ›

One of the most enjoyable and effective ways of learning new words and expressions in Italian is to familiarise yourself with all the best canzoni (feminine, singular: canzone). The word canzone (song) comes from the verb cantare which means to sing.

What is the Italian word for happy in music? ›

giocoso. A piece of fun, happy music is known as giocoso [ juh–koh-soh ], meaning “merry; playful.” It can also be used occasionally to describe a particular tempo.

How does music affect our culture? ›

Music is an expressive language of culture. It often tells a story, expresses emotion, or shares ideas with a society. Before written word music was used as a form of historic record. For example a tribe would use music to tell a story, teach a lesson, or celebrate a successful hunt.

How music plays a role in your culture or in your own life? ›

Music can raise someone's mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Music also - and this is important - allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. The possibilities are endless.

Can music connect people? ›

Music is a powerful tool that can bring individuals together and promote trust, empathy, and relief from stress (Harvey, 2017). When we dance and sing together, there is a sense of community, where everyone moves together with shared intentions and a mutual goal.

How music changed during the Renaissance? ›

The Renaissance era of classical music saw the growth of polyphonic music, the rise of new instruments, and a burst of new ideas regarding harmony, rhythm, and music notation.

What changes music during the Renaissance? ›

Which change shaped the music of the Renaissance? The rise of humanism inspired many people to study music seriously and musicians could get a degree in music from a university or enroll in a conservatory.

Has country music changed over time? ›

Country music is a great example of how music has evolved since it was created, and it has changed significantly since the first country artists took out their guitar and started what would become one of the most popular genres of music.

What music is popular in Italy right now? ›

*The source used for this statistic is an Italian extract of a global report.
Favorite music genres in Italy in 2019.
CharacteristicShare of respondents
Italian pop61%
2 more rows
20 May 2021

What are 3 facts about the Renaissance music? ›

Renaissance music facts for kids
  • Renaissance music is European music written from about the year 1400 to 1600. ...
  • Putting music into time sections does not mean that there were quick changes of type. ...
  • Composers wrote many masses and motets. ...
  • An important development during the Renaissance was music notation.
23 Sept 2022

How important was music in the Renaissance? ›

Music was an essential part of civic, religious, and courtly life in the Renaissance.

Why was music important in the Renaissance? ›

Art music in the Renaissance served three basic purposes: (1) worship in both the Catholic and burgeoning Protestant Churches, (2) music for the entertainment and edification of the courts and courtly life, and (3) dance music.

How would you describe the Renaissance music? ›

Music based on modes. Richer texture, with four or more independent melodic parts being performed simultaneously. These interweaving melodic lines, a style called polyphony, is one of the defining features of Renaissance music. Blending, rather than contrasting, melodic lines in the musical texture.

What is the style of music during Renaissance? ›

The Latin Mass is perhaps the most important type of music from the Renaissance, particularly that of Josquin des Prez. Most music written during this period is intended to be sung, either as large choral pieces in church or as songs or madrigals.

What is the style of music during that time Renaissance? ›

Religious choral music was dominant at the beginning of the Renaissance period, with much of it building upon the polyphony (music which has two or more simultaneous independent melodic parts) that developed at the end of the Medieval period.

What is the difference between old and new country music? ›

Modern country music is superior to classic country music because it is more diversified in terms of who is making it, what it sounds like, and what singers are singing about. The great thing about new country music is that it envelopes older, more traditional styles while embracing fresh, new faces and sounds.

What year changed music forever? ›

From funk to punk, pop to power ballads, Boy George to breakdancing, the year 1984 is largely regarded as the golden era of music. This week, I welcome Michaelangelo Matos, author of Can't Slow Down, to talk about what made 1984 such an important year in the industry.

What decade did music change the most? ›

The 1990s is the decade when music most diversified. This is when hip hop was first becoming mainstream and rock was splitting into many different genres including grunge with nirvana and metal with Metallica.

What is the most beautiful Italian song? ›

7 Italian Songs You Should Listen!
  • 1) Storia d'Amore (Love Story) ...
  • 2) La Canzone del Sole (The Song of the Sun) ...
  • 3) La Cura (The Cure) ...
  • 4) Banane e Lampone (Bananas and Raspberry) ...
  • 5) Il Cielo in una Stanza (The Sky in a Room) ...
  • 6) La Guerra di Piero (Piero's War) ...
  • 7) L'Italiano (The Italian man)
29 Dec 2019


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