If you’re a fan of Italian music, there’s good news for you: approximately 200,000 Italian songs from the 20th century have been made available online, on a new website launched Monday, www.canzoneitaliana.it (to coincide with Italy’s biggest music festival of the year, Sanremo, which airs this week on Rai Uno TV channel).
The songs come from the archives of Italy's Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage and include historic songs, rock and pop tunes, Sanremo hits, opera, popular and protest music, war and liberation songs, regional music, and more, making the online catalog one of the largest sound archives in Europe.
The goal is to bring “this important part of Italian culture to a multigenerational audience,” states the website.
The catalog, which spans a century of Italian music, from 1900 to 2000, is divided chronologically, geographically and thematically, and includes playlists selected by experts and music critics.
The website is the result of “two years of extraordinary and silent work,” as Italy’s Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, put it. To provide the streaming service, the Culture Ministry has made partnerships with Spotify (main partner), Google Music, Apple Music and Tim Music.
The website is available in several languages, including English.
Whether you’re a fan of Mina or Lucio Dalla, Andrea Bocelli or Laura Pausini, Neapolitan songs or dance music, there’s something to suit every taste.
Playlists we like:
“The Great Performers”: it features the classic ‘voices’ of Italian music, from the 1960s to the 1990s, offering great variety, from the first generation (Mina, Adriano Celentano, Ornella Vanoni, Milva) to teen idols who emerged towards the end of the century and went on to become international stars (Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini).
“Tormentoni”: As explained on the website, “The Italian word 'tormentone' describes a tune that has acquired such popularity that it becomes over-hyped and ultimately invasive because of its ubiquitous presence on the radio, television, and in public places.” This playlist includes timeless hits such as Abbronzatissima, L’estate sta finendo, Parole Parole.
“Vasco”: because “Italian rock owes its coming of age to Vasco Rossi,” as the website puts it. This is a collection of some of the most famous hits by Italy’s most beloved rocker.