La funzione rituale del suono. L’universo sonoro nella festa di San Zopito a Loreto Aprutino

Spitilli, Gianfranco (Articol)

“The feast of San Zopito in Loreto Aprutino, in Abruzzo, is composed by a plethora of intertwined elements, in which the formalization of sounds acquires a central, determinant role. The whole ceremonial is defined by a particular soundscape. This system of sounds is the product of long elaboration across the whole history of the feast, encoded by the community in response to culturally relevant, precise, identifiable, ritual requirements, acknowledged and structured within the Loretian society. This musicological approach of the feast of San Zopito sheds light on the prophylactic valence of sounds against the tempest, as well as on their exorcist aspect, throughout the enactment of these processions. Sounds stand in direct relationship with the articulated functions attributed to the saint, and circulate by the ritual complex as a whole. During the days of the feast, while pursuing processions on the locality’s streets and squares, one dives in a peculiar acoustic environment, resulted from melting numerous elements: from the deafening shots, to the hypnotic melody of the bagpipe, from the toll of the ox’s bells, to that of the church bells, from the playing band on the road, to rattling applauses following the kneeling of the animal, the sounds of the feast are being organized in a language structured on the basis of tight hierarchy and spatial-temporal order, which arranges those moments symbolically and socially more relevant – the kneeling in front of St Peter’s church, and the kneeling in the main square at the passage of the saint – with the dense-most concentration of sound events. The ritual function of the sound is being realized outside the effective festive dimension as well, by means of re-investing partially even everyday practices; this subsequent significance extension is being followed through the sound formalizations accompanying the training and the preparatory kneeling of the ox, necessary for the periodical actualization of the miracle at the core of the feast: the bagpipe and the three bells of the ox, main characters in the practices of apprenticehood, voice the Loretian community’s best coherent emic definitions of its main musical objects in action.”

Cuvinte cheie: bagpipe, bells, Central Italy, ceremonial, domestication/taming, feast, noises, ox, processions, ritual, San Zopito, small bells, sounds, soundscape, and training

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2012, nr. 1-2