A Virtual Tarantella

The Tarantella of Montemarano is not just a symbol of the town itself– it is a symbol of Irpinia in all of its glory.

Now, a group from the Ministero di Tarantella of Montemarano has decided to bring the Tarantella’s beloved rhythms online in order to uplift anyone who chooses to listen.

Battista Salvio, Roberto D’Agnese, and a group of musicians decided to record the rhythms of the Tarantella of Montemarano while in quarantine via a special track composed by Salvio himself. In the same spirit of many group musical performances done while on lockdown, the musicians each recorded their individual segments via Whatsapp video while Gabriele, the group’s accordion player, joined the segments together to create the video.

“We just wanted to bring some of our music to people’s houses, to let them know that everything will be fine during this time,” Salvio said.

The Tarantella is a group of various folk dances, characterized by a fast, upbeat tempo, usually in a time or accompanied by tambourines. It is the among the most recognized forms of traditional Southern Italian music.

The Tarantella of Montemarano is characterized by lively instruments, improvisation, singing and response, the use of a clarinet, and its unique “Y” formation.  In a previous Irpinia Stories post, we talked about Montemarano’s Scuola di Tarantella, which D’Agnese founded in 2009.

“The Tarantella of Montemarano, like every kind of folkloristic music, is meant to be curated,” D’Agnese said. “I believe in a wide promotion of this energy; we are always trying to promote Montemarano and Irpinia to give them both the recognition they deserve.”

Salvio, D’Agnese, and the rest of the group will continue to share new tracks and performances on social media throughout Italy’s lockdown due to COVID-19. Click here to watch.


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