Italian curiosities. Why is Italian the language of music?

Sep 08, 2021 229

If you are a musician or an opera fanatic, you are bound to know some Italian, as our beautiful language is regarded as the  language of music across the world. You only need to pick up any score to understand it: piano, pianissimo and forte, allegro, andante and maestoso are only some of the indications every musician and singer follows every day, while practicing and performing.

Then, of course, there is opera, whose librettithe “lyrics” of the musical score itself, have always been very much an all-Italian affair: from Mozart to Handel, they all relied on Italian when it came to their operas, even if Mozart did often opt for his own language, German, as well. Notable exception to the trend was Wagner, for whom the use of his own native idiom was a signifier of national pride and patriotism.

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