“’O sole mio” e l’habanera: napoletanità e cosmopolitismo nella prima era della popular music

Jacopo Tomatis

Abstract


“’O sole mio” is considered the quintessential Neapolitan song, a widely popular musical
icon of ‘Neapolitanness’. And yet, the song also raises questions about the nature of
‘Neapolitanness’ in music, as it is based on a habanera pattern, a rhythm originated in
Cuba which became very popular in Europe in the late XIX century. The article reflects
on how music could sound ‘Neapolitan’ (and thus ‘Italian’), and how these features are
established, observing the case of “’O sole mio” from a cultural historical perspective.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15203/ATeM_2019_2.02

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