Ignazio Macchiarella

Curriculum Vitae

(last update: July 2017)

Ignazio Macchiarella is an Associated Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Cagliari (Italy)

He was born in Palermo in 1961 and studied at the University of Bologna, where he graduated in 1985 (specialization in Music and Performing Arts) and obtained a Ph.D. [Dottorato di Ricerca] in Musicology in 1991 (specialization in the History of Music in Italy and Ethnomusicology; thesis: Il falsobordone fra tradizione orale e tradizione scritta, published by LIM (Libreria Musicale Italiana), Lucca 1995, ISBN 88-7096-124-9).

Initially he collaborated with the Istituto di Storia della Musica of the University of Palermo, the Folkstudio-Palermo and the Dipartimento di Musica e Spettacolo of the University of Bologna. In 1996 he was appointed as a post-doc research fellow by the Dipartimento di Scienze Filologiche e Storiche of the University of Trento to organize and be in charge of a Laboratory of Ethnomusicology, mainly devoted to research on multipart music in the Italian Alpine regions.

In 2004 he moved his base to Cagliari, where at the moment he is working as an Associate Professor. He teaches Ethnomusicology (graduate and undergraduate courses) and Popular Music studies. He is an active researcher at the Department of History, Cultural and Territorial Heritage of the University of Cagliari.

He is also a member of the Doctoral School Board of the Research Doctorate in “Musica e Spettacolo” at the University of Roma La Sapienza.

At present he is:

- Vice-chair of the Study Group on Multipart Singing of the ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) (http://www.multipartmusic.eu)

- Director of the LABIMUS (LABoratorio Interdisciplinare sulla MUSica – Interdisciplinary laboratory on music) of  Cagliari University (http://sites.unica.it/labimus/ )  

His main interests are: multipart music as a mode of musical thinking, expressive behaviour and sound; the relationships between music and ritual and between music and religion; the analysis of oral music patterns; and improvisation in vocal music.  Recently he has been working on the relationship between scholars and music-makers, and also trying to develop an approach focused on a systematic dialogism. Basically, this dialogical approach aims to build up a systematic collaboration with music-makers which, moving from a negotiated description of performance acts, seeks to deepen both the formal and technical features of these acts and the shared meanings conveyed by the sounds, their representations, the cognitive elements of music production and so on.

He has carried out fieldwork in Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and other Mediterranean regions. He has worked at other Italian universities, and has collaborated with both Italian and European ethnomusicological research institutions.

He has published more than one hundred works, including books, essays, articles and reviews in specialized national and international journals.



(Ed.) 2012. Multipart music: a specific mode of musical thinking, expressive behaviour and sound. Udine: Nota.

2011. Tre voci per pensare il mondo. Pratiche polifoniche confraternali in Corsica. Udine: Nota.

2009. Cantare a cuncordu. Uno studio a più voci. Udine: Nota.

2006. Giovanna Marini. Il canto necessario. Arles-Paris: Actes Sud.

(Ed.) 2000. L'analisi nell'etnomusicologia. Bollettino di Analisi e Teoria Musicale Ð Monografie G.A.T.M., VII/1, 2000.

1999. Voix d'Italie. Paris, Cité de la musique: Actes Sud (CD included). The book was translated in Spanish (2003: Voces de Italia. Madrid: Akal).

1995. Il falsobordone fra tradizione orale e tradizione scritta. Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana.



2014. “Su trazzu e su Te Deum : créativité musicale contemporaine dans un village sarde. ” In Les Corpus de l’oralité. Sous la direction de Mondher AYARI, Antonio LAI, Delatour. Collection Culture et Cognition musicales. Paris: Delatour 155-165.

2013. “Secondary Orality and Creativity Processes in Multipart Singing.” In Local and Global Understandings of Creativities:Multipart Music Making and the Construction of Ideas, Contexts and Contents. Ardian Ahmedaja (ed.): Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 24- 41.

2012. “Un approccio dialogico alla ricerca.” In L'etnomusicologia italiana a sessanta anni dalla nascita del CNSMP  (1948-2008). Atti del Convegno (Roma, 13-15 Novembre 2008). A cura di Francesco Giannattasio e Giorgio Adamo. Roma: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. 31-48.

2011. “Sauvegarder l’oralité ? Le cas du canto a tenore.” In Le patrimoine culturel immatériel. Enjeux d'une nouvelle catégorie. Sous la direction de Chiara Bortolotto. Paris: Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme. 167-186.

2008. “Harmonizing in the Islands: Overview of the multipart singing by chording in Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily”. In European voices I. Multipart singing in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. Ardian Ahmedaja and Gerlinde Haid (eds.). Schriften zur Volksmusik. Band 22. Vienna: Böhlau Verlag. 103-157.

2010. “Pratiques musicales dans les confréries de Sardaigne.” In Les confréries Corse. Une Société idéale en Méditerranée. Arène: Albiana. 334-349.

2009. “Il canto a tenore e la costruzione di identità locali: una ricerca ad Oliena (Nuoro).” In Antropologia della musica nelle culture mediterranee. Interpretazione, performance, identità / Musical Anthropology in Mediterranean Cultures. Interpretation, Performance, Identity. Philip V. Bohlman and Marcello Sorce Keller (eds.). Bologna: Clueb.

2007. „Le faux-bourdon entre oralité et écriture. “ In Musiques: Une encyclopédie pour le xxi e siècle. Tome V: L’unité de la musique. Jean-Jacques Nattiez, ed. Arles: Actes Sud. 528-550

2006. „Das Neue suchen, die Tradition bewahren: neue Misik in den italianischen Alpen auf der Grundlage des Traditionellen.“ In Volksmusik in der Alpen: Interkulturelle Horizonte und Crossovers. Thomas Nussbaumer (ed.) Anif/Salzburg: Verlag Mueller-Speisr. 279-292.

1996. „Le Falsobordone entre tradition orale et écrite.“ In Le chant religieux corse. état, comparaison, perspectives. Sous la direction de Marcel Péres. Paris: Creaphis. 69-82.

2003. „Le manifestazioni musicali della devozione cristiana in Italia.“ In Enciclopedia della Musica. Jean-Jacques Nattiez, ed. vol. III. Torino: Einaudi. 340-371.



2014. “Exploring micro-worlds of music meanings.” El oìdo pensante, anno 2, n. 11-16.

2013. “Dove il tocco di re Mida non arriva. A proposito di proclamazioni Unesco e musica.” La Ricerca folklorica, n . 64. 71-81.

2012. “Current Creativities in Multipart Singing Practice.” Trans.Transcultural Music Review n. 16. 1-20.

2012. “Note sullo Stabat Mater nelle pratiche dell’oralità musicale in Sardegna.” Rivista Internazionale di Musica Sacra n. 33, 2012/1-2. 445-458.


He has been invited as a lecturer to conferences and courses at both local and foreign universities, and has presented papers at the meetings of the most important world ethnomusicological societies (SEM, ICTM, ESEM). Among others, he has presented papers at: V ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Nanning, China, IV ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Singapore 2016; ICTM Study Group Mediterranean Music Studies and International Musicological Society, First Joint Symposium “Musicians in the Mediterranean: Narratives of Movement” Naples, 2016; XX International Seminary in Ethnomusicology, IISMC, Fondazione Cini, Venice 2015; the international meeting on Listening to Early Modern Catholicism, Boston College, Boston 2014; 30th ESEM Meeting, Praha 2014; First Seminary of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Tallinn 2014; European Voices III. The Instrumentation and Instrumentalization of Sound. Local Multipart Music Cultures and Politics in Europe, Vienna 2013; 42nd World ICTM Conference in Shangai; 3rd Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Budapest; 2nd Symposium of the Study Group ICTM on Multipart Music, Tirana 2012; Colloque international (IRCAM Centre Pompidou et Université de Strasbourg) Les corpus de l’oralité. L’acte créateur entre cultures de l’oralité et cognition musicale en Méditerranée, Paris; Meeting of the ICTM Study Group for Mediterranean Studies: Pan-Mediterranean Poetic Competitions and their Music, Portel 2011, First Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Cagliari 2010; 15th International Seminar in Ethomusicology of the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies (IISMC- Fondazione Cini), Venezia 2010; Laboratoire d’anthropologie et d’histoire de l’institution de la culture (LAHIC) – EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Paris 2009; 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA, 2008; National Meeting L’etnomusicologia italiana a Sessanta anni dalla nascita del CNSMP, Roma 2008; International Meeting on Multipart Singing in Europe: Historical Trajectories and Current Perspectives, Portel  (Portugal), 2007; 13th International Seminar in Ethnomusicology of the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies (IISMC- Fondazione Cini), Venezia 2007; International Symposium on Multipart Singing in the Balkans and the Mediterranean, Vienna, 2005; 38th World Conference of the ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music), Sheffield, UK, 2005; 6th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Anthropology in Mediterranean Cultures, Venice 2004; 19th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM), Vienna, Austria 2003.

Furthermore, he has been chair of the XXXII ESEM Seminar (“Musics/Music Makers/Musicologists’ Transhumance”, Cagliari-Santu Lussurgiu 20-25 settembre 2016 (http://esem-music.eu/?p=1417 ) and of the First Symposium of ICTM Study Group on Multipart Music, Cagliari 15-21 settembre 2010 (www.multipartmusic.eu ).


Personal websites:




macchiarella.jpg Ignazio Macchiarella