Musica Lucana
project name

Musica Lucana

Musical Aspects in the Lucania of the 2000


The Basilicata, current name of the ancient region of Lucania, in Southern Italy, is a place of special significance for the Italian folk music. According to Diego Carpitella, this region represented the cradle of ethnomusicology in Italy.

50 years after the ladmark investigations of anthropologist Ernesto De Martino and ethnomusicologist Diego Carpitella (with the collaboration of photographs like Franco Pinna), the activities of the LEAV leads to several publication related to this area. ​​

Particularly, the research conducted by ethnomusicologist Nicola Scaldaferri and photograph Stefano Vaja, and partly merged in the volume Nel paese dei cupa cupa. Suoni e immagini della tradizione lucana [In the Cupa Cupa’s Land. Sounds and Images from Lucanian Tradition], actually is a re-studying of the areas documented in the ’50s.


Photographs by Stefano Vaja, published in Nel paese dei cupa cupa (Squilibri, Roma 2006).


Slideshow: materials from  Nel paese dei cupa cupa. Suoni e immagini della tradizione lucana

Among the most significant villages, in the central areas of the region, there is Aliano: it was the the place of confinement of the writer Carlo Levi during the fascism. His famous book Cristo si è fermato a Eboli [Christ Stopped at Eboli], published in 1945 and describing his live in Aliano, was a starting point for the discovery of the rural Italy, and a stimoulus for ethnographic research.

Nel paese dei cupa cupa,track 18, voice G, Verzica, cupa cupa A. Larato, Aliano (MT), August 28th, 2002 – Recording by Elisa Piria.

Tradizioni musicali del materano, vocie A. Arcieri, Stigliano (MT), August 27th, 2002 – Recording Elisa Piria.

Tradizioni musicali del materano, vocie A. Arcieri, Stigliano (MT), August 27th, 2002 – Recording Elisa Piria.

V. De Rosa (voice), C. Urgo (diatonic accordion), G. Abbondanza (frame drum), A. Vetere (frame drum), Gorgoglione (MT), August 30th, 2002 – Recording Elisa Piria.

The area of Pollino  

The area of Mount Pollino, on the border between Basilicata and Calabria, is one of the most interesting of southern Italy for musical practices .

This also for the presence of the sanctuary of the Madonna del Pollino, with a pilgrimage characterized by intense presence of musicians.

In this area should be noted also an important presence of bagpipes (surdulina and zampogna a chiave), the presence of rituals as the dances with wheat and those of the statues of the saints .

 San Giorgio Lucano (MT), S. Rocco, August 17th 2004; Cersosimo (PZ), S. Vincenzo Ferreri, August 11th, 2002; shooting by Nicola Scaldaferri