Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Italian music, getting started

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    5

    Default Italian music, getting started

    A few months ago I became interested in the Mandolin, so I bought an inexpensive beginner model. I have no previous musical background.

    I'm trying to teach myself using Greg Horne's Beginning Mandolin book and the Mando Lessons site. However, they're both geared towards Bluegrass and fiddle tunes. I'm not very interested in either. What got me interested is Italian music and the music of Paris Perisinakis. How can I start going in that direction? Should I finish the book I'm using now before attempting Italian music?

    Thanks in advance

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tom-89 For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    near Boston, MA
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    I'm not familiar with the book you reference but it should be fine for getting started. As far as learning Italian music I would suggest finding and listening to as much as you can find then choose a tune you may already have in your memory somewhere and work on trying to emulate that. Pay close attention to the phrasing and the overall "feeling" and familiarity of well played Italian mandolin. Enjoy the journey and learning some of the most beautiful music ever on the mandolin. That's why the mandolin was invented. IMHO

  4. The following members say thank you to Frankdolin for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Check out the thread on Ballo Liscio music - you can download traditional Italian mandolin music.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...ighlight=ballo

    I grew up in the Italian tradition of mandolin playing, and the other thing you need to do is learn the standard Italian restaurant repertoire.

    I highly suggest listening to as much Italian and Sicilian music as possible to get the style.

    If you are really serious, there are the Calace and Munier series of method books which are definitely based on Italian and classical styles, not bluegrass.

    http://www.free-scores.com/download-....php?pdf=68035

    http://www.federmandolino.it/htm/spartiti_calace.htm

    Calace

    http://www.mandoisland.de/bilder/sch...l#.WxfbdFMvw8Y

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Scuola_del_Man...nier%2C_Carlo)

    Munier

    Also, the music of "The Silent Fountain" is a good place to learn Italian style:

    http://brucezweig.com/music/matteo/index.html

    You can download the mp3's of the tunes and a tiff file of the music.

    Finally, if you are not using a sharp pointed pick, get one for Italian playing. You need to get the right tremolo and tone, and a poker-chip pick does not sound very Italian.

    buona fotuna

  6. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Essex UK
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Thanks David, I have downloaded "The Silent Fountain"
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

  8. The following members say thank you to derbex for this post:


  9. #5
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    I can highly recommend watching the Soda Rock Ramblers playing O Detto al Sole, a Matteo Casserino cover. True to the original and shows how dynamic and beautiful this music can be:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S9XkqMrASY
    rudy44

  10. The following members say thank you to rudy44 for this post:


  11. #6
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by rudy44 View Post
    I can highly recommend watching the Soda Rock Ramblers playing O Detto al Sole, a Matteo Casserino cover. True to the original and shows how dynamic and beautiful this music can be:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S9XkqMrASY
    Nice version!

    re: "True to the original"

    In the overall picture, yes.

    However, compared to the original, the Soda Rock Ramblers play the tune a bit faster and yet play the tremolo a bit slower, almost as if it were a measured part of the tune. This is an "American" accent to my ears, and differs greatly from the original in that detail - and why study of the original masters' versions is essential. It's almost as if they had learned the tune from Kenny Hall.

    Otherwise thanks for posting.

  12. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  13. #7
    Registered User dj coffey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    If you get a chance, attend a workshop by Carlo Aonzo. He typically hosts them in connection with the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra.

    You can't get more Italian and more classical than Carlo.

    Another great player who played often in Italian restaurants is Evan Marshall. He does online classes. His "duo technique" will blow you away!
    Dotty

  14. The following members say thank you to dj coffey for this post:


  15. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    "A few months ago I became interested in the Mandolin, so I bought an inexpensive beginner model. I have no previous musical background.

    I'm trying to teach myself using Greg Horne's Beginning Mandolin book and the Mando Lessons site. However, they're both geared towards Bluegrass and fiddle tunes. I'm not very interested in either. What got me interested is Italian music and the music of Paris Perisinakis. How can I start going in that direction? Should I finish the book I'm using now before attempting Italian music?

    Thanks in advance"

    Your profile indicates that you are in Tokyo. Other than Germany, Japan has the largest classical mandolin community in the world and, unlike Germany, contemporary Japanese mandolin largely derives from Italian early 20th century traditions. Rather than rely on the 'Cafe, I suggest you take the subway to visit Ikegaku, which is the principal mandolin store in Tokyo and a central hub for mandolin activity in Tokyo (and more generally the country). It's website, which has the street address and other pertinent information (e.g. hours of operation), is https://www.ikegaku.co.jp/. The Ikegaku staff should be able to set you up with a proper teacher, and they have all the accessories, music, instruments, etc. right at hand. You might also contact the Japan Mandolin Union, which is the major organization in Japan, for advice; their website is https://japanmandolinunion.jimdo.com/.
    Robert A. Margo

  16. The following members say thank you to margora for this post:


  17. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Nice version!

    re: "True to the original"

    In the overall picture, yes.

    However, compared to the original, the Soda Rock Ramblers play the tune a bit faster and yet play the tremolo a bit slower, almost as if it were a measured part of the tune. This is an "American" accent to my ears, and differs greatly from the original in that detail - and why study of the original masters' versions is essential. It's almost as if they had learned the tune from Kenny Hall.

    Otherwise thanks for posting.
    I understand what you are saying and I do agree with you on some aspects, David. However, I can attest that Scott Mathis and at least some of those folks have been playing their brand of Italian music for decades in NM. I know because I got together with them over twenty years ago out there. Of course, they also play New Mexican music and old time, etc. Perhaps some of the rhythmic changes has to do with the guitarrón.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  18. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  19. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by dj coffey View Post
    If you get a chance, attend a workshop by Carlo Aonzo. He typically hosts them in connection with the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra.

    You can't get more Italian and more classical than Carlo.
    Carlo is wonderful and he is very Italian. I had taken his workshop for many years when it was in New York City and highly recommend it. However, do bear in mind that he really does not cover Italian ballo liscio music in the workshop. His workshop is classical-oriented and you do play the music of Italian composers but is not really the Italian cafe music that the OP is interested in (I assume).
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  20. #11
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I understand what you are saying and I do agree with you on some aspects, David. However, I can attest that Scott Mathis and at least some of those folks have been playing their brand of Italian music for decades in NM. I know because I got together with them over twenty years ago out there. Of course, they also play New Mexican music and old time, etc. Perhaps some of the rhythmic changes has to do with the guitarrón.
    It has nothing to do with the guitarrón!

    My complaint is very subtle...

    " their brand of Italian music"

    I love that they play Italian tunes....even their own version.

    It just is somewhat less Italian sounding to me than the versions we all learned from.

    I love New Mexican food - and can tell when the recipes have been slightly altered.

    I'm saying that if the tune "O Detto al Sole" was a Italian recipe, the SRR version would be the Americanized "Olive Garden" version, the original would be just that - the original.

    The use of the tremolo is very important to sounding "Italian" and their version with the faster tempo and slower tremolo proves what I mean to anyone that can hear it.

  21. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:


  22. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Finally, if you are not using a sharp pointed pick, get one for Italian playing. You need to get the right tremolo and tone, and a poker-chip pick does not sound very Italian.

    buona fotuna
    Thanks for the links. What thickness pick would you suggest?

  23. The following members say thank you to Tom-89 for this post:


  24. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Yes, I do live in Tokyo. As it turns out I live not too far from Ikegaku.

  25. The following members say thank you to Tom-89 for this post:


  26. #14
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-89 View Post
    Thanks for the links. What thickness pick would you suggest?
    That depends on you and your mandolin, but I use .72-3 or so Ultex or Ultem:





    I have used other picks but these are stiff enough but not too thick.

    Japan's Pickboy makes a nice mandolin pick too:


  27. #15
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,590
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Welcome to the world of the mandolin.
    It is a side effect of the size of the US mandolin market by comparison with other aspects of the mandolin world, that the majority of teaching materials tend to focus on fiddle tunes as the basis of their method. Availability of materials tends to follow the market.
    One side effect that you have noticed can be that you can spend a big chunk of your learning time working on pieces that do little to engage your musical sensibilities if you are not pursuing that style. There is a danger of losing motivation as a result. Depending on how motivated you are you may manage to push through that initial hurdle until you get enough skills to explore your preferred styles through available tune collections.

    There are some good non-bluegrass alternatives for starting out, including the free on-line PDFs of older methods listed by David. However these too tended to use the music popular at their time, so whether they’ll grab your attention nowadays is a very individual thing. Modern specifically Italian music based methods for learning the instrument are not something I have come across. The older methods can be very dense in the complexity and volume of information they present in a very short space of print. When self-teaching you can easily miss the importance of the concepts being presented if it is not explored thoroughly with a teacher who can keep working things until they know the student has really internalised the concept. I have found myself often having to loop back through a teaching method, in order to grasp an earlier concept more fully. Sometimes I have had to jump from the current method to other books or resources to gain a better insight of what is being presented. Having a good creative teacher can avoid these bumps in the road. The result of having to really go over & over those early very dense basic concept explanations, can be that you cover very little physical space of a book for quite a while. So you can end up thinking you’re not making much progress for the effort you are putting in. This is where supplementing a method book such as Pettine with a song and tune collection can be very welcome relief.

    Some collections I have used are; in the order that I encountered them (click the photo link for info)


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4D4C7AEF-B572-40E2-8C33-5651954DBB75.jpeg 
Views:	30 
Size:	175.1 KB 
ID:	168303

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	C8D083DF-8889-4E28-BD8B-36297DF93CD5.jpeg 
Views:	36 
Size:	171.5 KB 
ID:	168304

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	04EF486C-982C-45D4-8D67-A92FE08B6C77.jpeg 
Views:	37 
Size:	130.1 KB 
ID:	168306


    The first one has some basic information which could be useful in your situation as a novice starting out.

    As for Carlo Aonzo, he has become a classical maestro, but his background and upbringing are thoroughly traditional. Though that shouldn’t be confused with our often happy go lucky ‘anything that works will do’ folky approaches elsewhere (especially here in the UK). There is a real tradition of handing on the skills and correct methology in the Italian tradition, something that we might consider a classical approach is embedded in the Italian traditional method. He emphasised this to us in a recent class he gave in London, regailing us with stories of his musical family and their approaches. The class took us in detail through Vulcano by Mario Cavalllari and Intermezzo by S Falbo as an excellent illustration of this dual faceted background.


    Last edited by Beanzy; Jun-07-2018 at 3:35am. Reason: Formatting was weird
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  28. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Beanzy For This Useful Post:


  29. #16
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,590
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  30. The following members say thank you to Beanzy for this post:


  31. #17
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    It is a side effect of the size of the US mandolin market by comparison with other aspects of the mandolin world, that the majority of teaching materials tend to focus on fiddle tunes as the basis of their method.

    ..... The older methods can be very dense in the complexity and volume of information they present in a very short space of print. When self-teaching you can easily miss the importance of the concepts being presented if it is not explored thoroughly with a teacher who can keep working things until they know the student has really internalised the concept.
    .....
    Some collections I have used are; in the order that I encountered them (click the photo link for info)


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4D4C7AEF-B572-40E2-8C33-5651954DBB75.jpeg 
Views:	30 
Size:	175.1 KB 
ID:	168303

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	C8D083DF-8889-4E28-BD8B-36297DF93CD5.jpeg 
Views:	36 
Size:	171.5 KB 
ID:	168304

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	04EF486C-982C-45D4-8D67-A92FE08B6C77.jpeg 
Views:	37 
Size:	130.1 KB 
ID:	168306


    The first one has some basic information which could be useful in your situation as a novice starting out.

    As for Carlo Aonzo, he has become a classical maestro, but his background and upbringing are thoroughly traditional. Though that shouldn’t be confused with our often happy go lucky ‘anything that works will do’ folky approaches elsewhere (especially here in the UK). There is a real tradition of handing on the skills and correct methodology in the Italian tradition, something that we might consider a classical approach is embedded in the Italian traditional method. He emphasised this to us in a recent class he gave in London, regaling us with stories of his musical family and their approaches.
    Thanks.

    All the Italian music books you mentioned are quite good, particularly La Barbera's..

    As for the traditional classical methods being dense and complex...well, good!

    I appreciate the Carlo Aonzo stories and the connection between Italian mandolin style and classical style.

  32. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    As for Carlo Aonzo, he has become a classical maestro, but his background and upbringing are thoroughly traditional. Though that shouldn’t be confused with our often happy go lucky ‘anything that works will do’ folky approaches elsewhere (especially here in the UK). There is a real tradition of handing on the skills and correct methology in the Italian tradition, something that we might consider a classical approach is embedded in the Italian traditional method. He emphasised this to us in a recent class he gave in London, regailing us with stories of his musical family and their approaches. The class took us in detail through Vulcano by Mario Cavalllari and Intermezzo by S Falbo as an excellent illustration of this dual faceted background.
    When I first met Carlo he was primarily playing Italian music with Beppe Gambetta. Over the years Carlo decided to concentrate in the workshop and his official performances on classical method and mandolin orchestra music. However, I have also heard him play in other genres in his current band and one of his favorite composers from way back was Jethro Burns.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  33. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  34. #19
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,590
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    It really highlights the importance of a solid grounding.
    I think his appetite for exploration was one of the things that first made me enthusiastic about him as as musician, not just as a mandolinist.
    His willingness to dive in depth into areas that spark his imagination is infectious.
    I think he is a great example of how being rock solid in the foundations allows you the confidence to explore anywhere.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  35. The following members say thank you to Beanzy for this post:


  36. #20
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Just a reminder - Italian mandolin folk styles and classical mandolin have their roots in the same soil.

    Again, please refer to the "Ballo Liscio" thread.

  37. #21
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boyes Hot Springs, California
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    David invited me to chime in re "Americanized" ballo liscio. The RSS interpretation makes good use of a melodic descant (sounds like a third above) but that is not typical in Italian performance style. (That's fine with me for a variation but I prefer a 6th above). A typical polka tempo should be 120 but this seemed quite a bit fast. The guitar's cross-bass is solid but usually it provides more ascending and descending step-wise links to introduce a new phrase or for a turn around. At one point, it almost sounded as though they were going to play "Napoli Chi'Na Femmene" polka. That's another great polka where the guitar takes the lead in the B section.
    I would say that no matter how well you play, it still falls short of sounding Italian if there is a weak or non-existent classical tremolo. It is a learned art and without it I'm afraid that Italian music as interpreted by flat-back pickers leaves me unsatisfied. That's probably just me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Front Cover MM.pdf  

  38. The following members say thank you to Mandophile for this post:


  39. #22
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,096

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    I can certainly see your points on this subject. Thanks for noting the subtle distinctions.

    I like this waltz that Antonio Calsolaro plays here, though I realized that it is a French Musette, Indifference (I recall another video he made that liked... let me see if I can find it):



    Let's get him over here for a party.
    Furthermore he's available for live music concerts, exhibitions, shows, Italian party around the world, please contact us for your requirements
    This mazurka sounds more like it:
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  40. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  41. #23
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    though I realized that it is a French Musette, Indifference ]
    The French Bal-Musette style has a lot of Italian influence! so it's not a big stretch.

    From Jo Privat's website

    http://www.swingjo.com/articles.php?id=6

    "Le style musette est issu de la rencontre de ces immigrés auvergnats avec les immigrés italiens......

    Les italiens commencent à collaborer avec les joueurs de musette dès 1880. Jouant tout d'abord de l'accordéon diatonique, la découverte de l'italien Paolo Soprani avec son accordéon chromatique, renverse les données."

  42. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    Thanks for all the advice everybody! I didn't expect this much feedback. I really appreciate all of the input. This should keep me occupied for a while.

  43. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tom-89 For This Useful Post:


  44. #25

    Default Re: Italian music, getting started

    I also play Italian style, but haven't yet chimed in because everyone else said it already, but do let us know how you make out at Ikegaku. I also play traditional Japanese music (shakuhachi, shinobue, a little shamisen), but my Shakuhachi sensei's first instrument was mandolin. He's way up in Sapporo, though! Have fun!

  45. The following members say thank you to Christopher Stetson for this post:


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •