From the Piazza to the Screen - Observations on the Spread of YouTube and its Use among the Madonna dell’Arco Battenti in Naples

Claudio Rizzoni


In this paper I analyze some of the effects of the recent spread of YouTube among the battenti devoted to the cult of the Madonna dell’Arco, in Naples. The music performed during the battenti’s rites (devotional songs and brass band music) is linked to devotional and identity symbolic horizons, whose manipulation is used by different groups of devotees to legitimize themselves as ritual mediators representing their local neighbourhood. One of the most relevant effects deriving from the spread of YouTube can be recognized in the exaltation of some already existent social dynamics, connected to imitation and distinction strategies. As a result of the spread of YouTube, changes in the musical phenomena connected to the rites – one of the effects of the mentioned strategies – are now happening faster than in the past, leading to radical innovations in brass band music, and to the introduction of new musical genres, such as the neomelodica pop song.

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Registrazione presso la Cancelleria del Tribunale di Pavia n. 552 del 14 luglio 2000 – ISSN elettronico 1826-9001 | Università degli Studi di Pavia Dipartimento di Musicologia | Pavia University Press

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