Magrini ballads: Endnotes

last updated 2 June 1995 by Karl Signell
1. There are some exceptions. For example, in some versions of "Donna lombarda," an infant informs the father that there is poison in the wine (Nigra 1974:7-14).

2. In Nigra 53, the girl feigns death to avoid rape.

3. Mistreating may come also from the mother-in-law (Nigra 55).

4. In Nigra 23, the contrast is between the girl and her mother.

5. For the English translation of this ballad see Del Giudice 1989:44-48.

6. About the meaning assigned by an interpreter to a single ballad, with reference to the events of her own life, see Porter 1988.

7. For a further type (similar to type 4) see Sorce Keller 1983:172.

8. Conati suggests a modal interpretation of this ballad (1973-75:74) but I cannot agree with him.

9. Nigra mentions a mixed group only once (Nigra 1974: 403). He does mention some (male) street players as informants (Nigra 1974:58, 552, 632, 658), but in only one case is the song a traditional ballad. Carlo Tenca (1816-83) mentions male singers in his papers, which include some ballads (Bermani 1985).

10. Some cases of mixed singing have been recently documented (see for example Morelli et al. 1983:182), but it is often difficult to judge if they were performed for the purpose of recording or according to traditional performance practice. Sometimes these performances are uncertain and seem simply collective attempts to recollect memories. Recent documentation may have scarce value with regard to the performance practice of the past, given the disintegration of the multiple family household model, the deep transformation of the social and economic conditions of the country, and the change of the relationships among men and women, within and outside the family.

11. Associative practices of singing also can be found, though rarely, in other regions of Italy, mainly in male liturgical confraternities, whose purpose is to perform religious songs. In Sardinia, secular polyphonic practices can be found, but they are performed by small groups of soloists, not by the large choruses of the North.

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