78049 - History of Light Music (1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Paolo Somigli

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Jan 28, 2019 to Mar 06, 2019

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will:

- know the major formal aspects and constructive and communicative strategies of 20th century popular music, and how to analyze songs and albums considering the interaction between word and music;

- understand and evaluate connections, sometimes complex and contradictory, between songs, societies and social groups;

- know the major musical movements that characterized the history of the twentieth-century song and critically analyze authors, songs and albums;

- be able to describe and comment the above aspects using a proper language combining scientific rigor and communicative effectiveness.

Course contents

This course will deal with some of the stages in the history of the song from the late 19th century onwards, examining in a historical its textual, payhing special attention to Italian music between the Thirties and the Seventies.


1. P. Somigli, La canzone in Italia: strumenti per l'indagine e prospettive di ricerca, Roma, Aracne, 2011

2. Id. L'arrangiamento come produttore di senso: due esempi e una riflessione in prospettiva didattica, in Ciccarelli A., Migliozzi M., Orsi M. (a cura di), Musica pop e testi in Italia dal 1960 a oggi, Ravenna, Angelo Longo Editore, 2015, pp. 29-40.

3. Id. Musicologia storica e musica di consumo: punti critici di un rapporto necessario, in «Il Saggiatore musicale», X, 2003, pp. 317-323.

4. L. Izzo, Da “yazz” a “gezz”: una ricezione intermittente con interferenze di regime, in La musica alla radio: 1924-1954, a c. di A. I. De Benedictis, Roma, Bulzoni, 2015, pp. 207-223

5. W. Mellers, Musica nel nuovo mondo, Torino, Einaudi, 1975, pp. 244-251.

6. S. Facci e P. Soddu, Il festival di Sanremo. Parole e suoni raccontano la canzone, Roma, Carocci 2011, pp. 15-84.

7. E. Berselli, Canzoni. Storie dell'Italia leggera, Bologna, Il mulino, 1999, in part. pp. 1-128 (si legga anche, di Paolo Somigli, la recensione a questo volume e a due ulteriori in «Il Saggiatore musicale», VIII, 2001, pp. 350-358)

Students will find texts 2-5 at the Copisteria Harpo (Via Barberia)

NB. Please, always consult the "Avvisi" section on the teacher's web page in order to find links and materials for the individual study: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/paolo.somigli3/avvisi

Teaching methods

Lectures with listening and audio-video projections

Assessment methods

Oral examination: interview on course contents and related bibliography with questions to verify if students have achieved the knowledge and skills required. It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, originality of reflection and familiarity with analyzing tools history of popular music. It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, disarticulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, or a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of history of popular music. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the tools of history of popular music. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyze the history of popular music.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Somigli