Music of Corsica

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Outside of France, the island of Corsica is perhaps best known musically for its polyphonic choral tradition. The rebirth of this genre was linked with the rise of Corsican nationalism in the 1970s. The anthem of Corsica is "Dio vi Salve Regina".

Every June, Calvi is home to an International Jazz Festival and in September there are the annual Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques.

Folk music


There are two dances of ancient origin found in Corsica: the caracollu, a women's funeral dance, and the moresca, illustrating the struggle between Moors and Christians. The granitula, a spiral procession, is still performed by the confraternities on Good Friday.

Monophonic song

The oldest vocal forms include voceri (sing. voceru) laments for the dead usually improvised by women; bandits' laments; laments for animals; lullabies; songs of departure; tribbiere (sing. tribbiera) or threshing songs); songs of mule-drivers; chjam' è rispondi (‘call and response’); the currente (e.g. greeting guests; these have a distinctive fiddle accompaniment) and the cuntrastu (an exchange between a young man and woman).

Polyphonic song

Polyphonic songs (pulifunie) in Corsica are a cappella, and can be either spiritual or secular. Hymns, motets, and funereal songs (lamentu) are an example of the former, while nanna (lullabies) and the paghjella are examples of the latter. Traditionally, 4 to 6-voice improvised polyphony was sung only by men, with the exception of the cuntrastu...
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