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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Italian

Undergraduate Course: Italian by Heart: Love Songs from Dante to De André (ELCI10035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThrough a comparative study of love songs from Dante to contemporary singer-songwriter Fabrizio De André, this course offers an introduction to the major poetic forms for music (canzone, sonnet, ballata, madrigal, canzonetta).

Please note that assessment includes the performance of a poem learned by heart.
Course description Love was the exclusive subject of poetry at the beginning of Italian literature, and the Italian language has long been considered a 'language that sings'. The study of Italian love songs will highlight the connections and question the divide between high and popular culture, also showing the ways in which love as a subject is historically constructed, codified, and conveyed through poetry and music. Literary texts will be studied in a broader interdisciplinary framework to address a series of key issues in cultural history, such as genre and gender representation, tradition and translation across time and media. The performance of a poem learned by heart and the close-reading of song lyrics will also contribute to improving language skills.

The course is taught in two weekly hours that combine lectures and seminars, and it is divided in three parts. In Part I, 'Forms and features', some of the major Italian poetic forms for music will be introduced and discussed in class, from medieval songs to opera and 20th-century popular music. Part II, 'Intermedi', will present some thematic clusters in love songs across genres and media, from popular music to cinema. In Part III, 'Presentations and Performances', students will learn by heart, present and perform one poem from a given selection. Presentations and performances will receive formative feedback in class and a summative mark. The final week will be devoted to the discussion of the essays.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Italian Language 2 (ELCI08004) AND Italian Literature: Texts in Context 2 (ELCI08005)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have completed two years of Italian Language at a University level.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  22
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Presentation and performance of a poem: 30% (overall) of the final mark.
Essay: 2,000 words, 70% of the final mark.
Please note: this course includes an assessed performative component.
Feedback Performances and presentations will receive formative feedback and will be marked as part of the coursework.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the primary literature related to this course.
  2. Apply analytical skills to course materials and use research skills associated with the discipline.
  3. Engage with the primary literature and support arguments with critical close reading.
  4. Exercise autonomy in research-related activities and initiative in working with others.
  5. Present and perform texts related to this course.
Reading List
Essential reading:
Anonymous, 'Oi lassa 'namorata'.
Dante Alighieri, 'Donne c'avete intelletto d'amore'.
--- , 'Così nel mio parlar voglio esser aspro'.
--- , 'A ciascun'alma presa e gentil core'.
--- , 'Se Lippo amico se' tu che mi leggi' .
--- , 'Per una ghirlandetta'.
Giacomo da Lentini, 'Amore è un desio che ven da' core'.
--- , 'Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio servire'.
Giovanni Boccaccio, 'Tancredi e Ghismonda'.
--- , 'Il fior, che 'l valor perde'.
Francesco Landini, 'Amor mi fa cantar'.
Lorenzo de' Medici, 'Canzona di Bacco e Arianna'.
Francesco Petrarca, 'Chiare fresche et dolci acque'.
--- , 'Voi ch'ascoltate in rime sparse il suono'.
--- , 'Non al suo amante più Dïana piacque'.
Poliziano, 'Ballata delle rose'.
Gaspara Stampa, 'Voi, ch'ascoltate in queste meste rime'.

Essential listening:
Anonymous, 'La Rosetta'.
--- , 'Bella ciao'.
Laura Betti, 'Nel '22 sognavo già l'amore'.
Cesare A. Bixio and Bixio Cherubini, 'Solo per te Lucia'.
Fred Buscaglione, 'Bambole d'Italia'.
Francesca Caccini, 'Ch'amor sia nudo'.Giulio Caccini, 'Amarilli, mia bella'.
CCCP Fedeli alla Linea, 'Annarella'.
Giovanna Daffini, 'Ama chi ti ama'.
Fabrizio De André, 'La canzone di Marinella'.
--- , 'Via del campo'.
--- , 'Valzer per un amore'.
--- , 'Bocca di rosa¿.
--- , 'Volta la carta'.
--- , 'Al ballo mascherato'.
--- , 'Andrea'.
--- , Un malato di cuore.
--- , Verranno a chiederti del nostro amore.
Francesco Guccini, 'Canzone quasi d'amore'.
Margot (Margherita Galante Garrone), 'Canzone triste'.
--- , 'Poesia e prosa'.
--- , 'Se tu sapessi'.
Giovanna Marini, 'Amòur me amòur'.
Metastasio, 'Ch'io mai vi possa lasciar d'amare'.
Mina and Alberto Lupo, 'Parole parole'.
Domenico Modugno, 'Cosa sono le nuvole?'
Claudio Monteverdi, 'Cruda Amarilli'.
--- , 'Lamento della ninfa'.
Maria Monti, 'In un anno e più d'amore'.
Wolfgang A. Mozart, 'Voi che sapete che cosa è amor'.
Gino Paoli, 'Il cielo in una stanza'.
Giuseppe Verdi, 'Dal labbro il canto'.

Further reading:
P.G. Beltrami, Gli strumenti della poesia (2012).
I. Bonomi, Il docile idioma. L'italiano lingua per musica (1998).
C. Cosi and F. Ivaldi (eds), Fabrizio De André. Cantastorie fra parole e musicai (2011)
V. Cox, Women's Writing in Italy 1400-1650 (2008).
A. Einstein, The Italian Madrigal (1949).
P. Fabbri, Metro e canto nell'opera italiana (2007).
N. Gardini, Com'è fatta una poesia? (2007).
G. Guastella and Ma. Marrucci (eds), La canzone dal Medioevo a De André (2011).
J. Haar, Essays on Italian Poetry and Music in the Renaissance, 1350-1600 (1986).
S. La Via, Poesia per musica e musica per poesia (2006).
I. Marc and S. Green (eds), The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place (2016)
L. McGuire Jennings, Senza Vestimenta: The Literary Tradition of Trecento Song (2014).
L. Tibaldi, La poesia per musica di Fabrizio De André (2005)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop graduate skills in all four clusters of ability: a) research and inquiry; b) personal and intellectual autonomy; c) communication d) personal effectiveness. In particular students will:

A) be able to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding of the topic; be ready to discuss and ask key questions; be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge; search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding; recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style;

B) be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking; be creative and imaginative thinkers; be independent learners; be able to make decisions; be intellectually curious;

C) make effective use of oral and written means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding; seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness;

D) have the confidence to make presentations based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy; be able to work effectively with others.
KeywordsItalian Poetry,Canzone,Dante,De André,Opera,Popular Music
Course organiserProf Davide Messina
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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