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Tenores di Bitti "Mialinu Pira"      foto di Renato Brotzu






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The a cantu a tenore was proclaimed by the UNESCO  in 2005  "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity"





The Tenores di Bitti "Mialinu Pira"

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The Tenores singing (cantu a tenore) is one of the more ancient ways of singing in the world and it was proclaimed by the Unesco “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage” in 2005. The singing is made a cappella by four male voices (oche, mesu oche, bassu and contra), the main feature of this multipart singing is represented by bassu and contra  because of their guttural and ancestral sound. The origins of a tenore song is one of the most difficult and uncertain subjects among the experts. A folk belief tells that the a tenore song originated a long time ago among the Sardinian shepherds in the lonely countryside; su bassu may reproduce, by imitation, the lowing of the ox, sa contra, the bleating of the sheep, and sa mesu oche the sound of the wind.

Directly from the heartland of Sardinia (the city of Bitti in the region of Barbagia, known for its polyphonic singing, which many experts find one of the most expressive forms of singing) comeTenores di Bitti "Mialinu Pira", which is the nickname and the surname of the famous anthropologist Michelangelo Pira. When one hears the songs for the first time they might seem primitive and hard, like a voyage in the prehistoric age, when people imitated the sounds of nature. However, four man voices one of which chants the main melody and the other three accompany it in rhythmic pronunciation of syllables, together with the guttural emission of the voice which remind us of the primitive vocal music from of faraway lands and cultures, one achieves an unusual harmony and a pleasant singing .The Tenores di Bitti “Mialinu Pira” have a special place amongst the many groups in Sardinia. Their frequent performances on so many national television programs are to be remembered. In the last few years they've been touring extensively Europe (France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, the Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Poland, Ireland, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, Serbia, Albania, Switzerland, and in Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Japan) at prestigious festivals and musical institutions ( Sala Nervi in the Vatican, Auditorium Agnelli in Tokyo, Sesc São Paulo, Brazil, Sava Centar in Belgrade...). It is also remarkable their participation in the Christmas Concert in the Vatican for the Pope Giovanni Paolo II, the concerts at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Numerous appearances in documentaries and broadcasts of the most important radio and television networks (Rai, Canale5, RTS Serbia, Arte tv, NHK, France2, ORF1, Radio Poland, Deutschlandfunk, WDR Fernsehen, SRF1, and others).

The group works carefully for the preservation of this tradition by keeping courses in the schools and  trying to merge this traditional singing with other genres of music.



Foto di Renato Brotzu














Udienza Papale 13 Dicembre 2001. Concerto di Natale in Vaticano




Omar Bandinu

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