It was released for Il Saggiatore “Cosa nostra social club”. Mafia underworld and music in Italy”. The author is Goffredo Plastino, Reader in Ethnomusicology at Newcastle University and president of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Among his other publications I would like to remember – always for the types of Il Saggiatore – “The happiest year of my life. A trip to Italy 1954-1955”, the book, published in 2008, in which Plastino has retraced the search experience by Alan Lomax in Italy. The volume on the music of the Mafia, however, is framed in the context of reflection “on the representations of individual violence and organized crime in the popular song, opera and popular music”. As you can read the back cover, “since the nineties scholars, journalists, politicians, judges, writers and moralists claim that the songs “criminals” tuned in Campania and Calabria are able to affect the listener, especially young, and then to banish and forget. In Italy, therefore, exist to mafia music education imparted through melodies and lyrics that describe violent behavior, justify or lead to violence: an automatic yet unproven. Despite the cultural censorship fed by the media, however, those ballads continue to be heard. The trilogy dedicated to the music of the mafia phenomenon represented a significant record both in Italy and abroad; authors and performers as Mimmo Siclari and Tommy Riccio have a large following of diehard fans. Whether it’s called or sold in the streets of videos on YouTube, of neomelodici or songs in prison, the “criminal” music intercepts a portion of the public not insignificant… Through references to authors such as Roberto Saviano and Leonardo Sciascia, singers and musicians as Fabrizio De André, I Giganti, Mina and Ornella Vanoni, Cosa Nostra Social Club for the first time describes the emergence and spread of a ‘marginalization music’ still in full force.
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