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The Enchanting Island: Alberto Favara Transcribing Sicily

Alberto Favara (1863–1923) is generally regarded as the first scholar to study Sicilian folk song in its entire cultural context, rather than simply through the transcription of its melodies and texts. While his collection of transcribed songs has been acknowledged as foundational for the study of Sicilian folk music, his musicological writings have generally escaped scholarly attention.1 This is unfortunate since they shed considerable light on his attitudes towards the purpose and nature of transcription itself. This paper considers Favara’s biography and his musicological essays to demonstrate how his understanding of Sicilian folk song results from a collision of different streams of influence: artistic aspiration, conservatory education, late-nineteenth-century musical nationalism, and Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy.

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Updated: 10-02-2016 15:08 - Size: 2.57 MB