Father Bartolomeo Di Salvo and his transcription of the Byzantine chants among the Albanians in Sicily

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The Byzantine chant is a fundamental element of the cultural identity of the Albanians of Sicily (the Arbëresh). The origin of this musical tradition dates back to the period after the fall of Constantinople (1453), when many exodus of Albanian and Greek populations occurred from Albania and Morea towards Sicily and other southern Italian regions. Since that time the Arbëresh Byzantine chant has been handed down only orally. In the Eparchy of the Arbëresh of Sicily this ancient and traditional musical repertoire is well preserved and accompanies the Liturgies and the Offices (Matins, Vespers, Hours) of the whole liturgical year.In the years 1950-1960 Father Bartolomeo Di Salvo, monk of the Greek Abbey “San Nilo” of Grottaferrata, assembled a wide collection of transcriptions concerning the Canti ecclesiastici della tradizione Siculo-Albanese [‘Ecclesiastical chants of the Italian-Albanian tradition in Sicily’]. This collection was supposed to be published in the Serie Subsidia of the Monumenta Musica Byzantinae. Unfortunately, an illness of Father Di Salvo, and later his death, stopped this plan.The collection of Father Bartolomeo Di Salvo consist of 259 pages, containing transcription of 356 chants. The second draft of this collection exists in the archive of MMB nearly ready for the print. Unfortunately it consists only in a series of transcriptions (without any introduction, critical notes, and musicological observations). Few years ago Girolamo Garofalo has been invited by the Monumenta Musica Byzantinae to edit the posthumous publication. In this paper (submitted at the International Conference “Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae 75th anniversary”: The current state of Byzantine musical studies after 75 years of Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae held in Copenaghen in June 2006) the author informs about the contents of Father Bartolomeo Di Salvo’s collection and illustrates the methodological questions of this editorial project.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2006


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