There are not many folk musicians in the area still performing traditional melodies and songs. The most prominent are Tandarandan. Examples of their work are as follows
Worth having a look at is a YouTube documentary – Bugelli, the minstrel of Lunigiana – which combines local history, folk music and a description of traditional contadini culture from an intensely personal point of view. Helpfully, English subtitles are provided.
Ballo liscio (ballroom dancing) is popular in the Lunigiana, dances often being held outside bar/restaurants during local festas.
The Tresconeto is a fast dance in 6/8 time with origins in the Lunigiana. It resembles the Saltarello, is undertaken either by a solitary dancer or a couple, and is performed especially on the first Sunday in Lent. The continually increasing tempo of the dance is meant to test the endurance of the dancers.
Traditional early 20th century everyday wear for country dwellers was as follows:
Women: Plain, belted mid-length dress with quarter to three quarter sleeves. Often with V-neck. Girls had hem lines just above the knee. Hats not usually worn. Substantial leather shoes. Knitted wool socks/stockings in winter.
Men: Plain or checked long sleeved shirts and plain work trousers held up by leather belts. Hats worn in summer – fair hair and baldness common. Footwear – clogs a regular sight.
Clothing for special occasions was colourful, eccentric and often highly embroidered.
There was once a strong oral tradition in the Lunigiana but depopulation by migration since WWII coupled with a general lack of interest has meant that many of the stories have been lost. A small selection of those recorded in writing is given below:
- The devil and the farmer
- Pipetta and the merchant
- The magic quails
- The girl at the dance
- Ammazzacento (The Murderer of 100)
There are a number of nursey rhymes associated with the Lunigiana. Translation is problematic – the use of dialect is common, words are foreshortened and there are substantial nonsense elements.