In Taggia (Imperia region) this term evokes the polyphonic liturgy. The term might even derive from the ancient “discanto”, a medieval polyphonic technique. It is likely to be an enlargement of the verb “to sing” as if singing were doubled.
Chitära (guitar): in the trallalero it is the voice which performs a part without text which is based on “nonsenses” such as “don” or “don-do-do-don”. It has a baritonal, very vibrating tone. From the point of view of the gesture, it is easily recognizable from the back of the singer’s hand overturned at the level of his mouth. He can perform long sounds in parts of free “tempo”, but traditionally, he counterpoints the parts of the other voices while singing solo parts in particular interlaces, also in the final measures.
The term is used in relation to the team’s singing, typical of Genoa and the surrounding area, with some traces to be found in the Apennine area of Piedmont and Lombardy. It may have three different meanings:
- a well-defined multipart style of singing with strong timbre contrasts and voices which imitate the instruments. The sound prevails on the text, at least in the most ancient repertoire (see below).
- the ensemble of the traditional repertoire defined as trallaleri, which is characterized by a short text with a lyrical or satirical content, whose intonation is always followed by a section sung on nonsense (see below) syllables. We do not know the authors’ names: all the pieces connected to the genre trallalero are defined as “traditional”.
- the section of the songs of the ancient repertoire without a text, tuned up on nonsense syllables, often “tra-la-le-ro”, from which the genre derives. Usually, there is a link between the melodic line and the harmony of the section containing the text: originally, it may have been an unforeseen part, which is afterwards fixed in rather stiff schemes with slight changes noticed in the single voices, and not in the whole of the singing.