Ninin

A traditional ballad from the area defined “delle Quattro province”, a culturally homogeneous area divided administratively into four provinces of four different regions in Northern Italy: Alessandria (Piedmont), Genoa (Liguria), Pavia (Lombardy), Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna). Original voice: Eva Tagliani This song has been freely arranged by Giovanni Sarani “Historical sources of the second half of the nineteenth century and later show that women in northern Italy commonly sang ballads. In the countryside, women lived in multiple family households and sources often describe singing as connected to women’s collective work. Singing ballads or listening to ballads seems to have been one of the principal means for women to perform in a group. Historical photographs Italian ballads mainly tell stories of women. They tell of danger from men, of terrible consequences which arise from conflict with family or authority over love or lawlessness, and of virtuous female behavior. Ballads represent and interpret events which happen or may happen, and point out what seemed the principal dangers and faults in women’s lives in peasant society. Ballads taught women their role in society and consequences of their actions. Historical photograph” ( excerpt from: Tullia Magrini “Ballad and gender: reconsidering narrative singing in Northern Italy”) www.umbc.edu/eol/magrini/magrini.html    

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