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A Special Way of Singing

Excerpt from A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World

Sardinia is home to a unique style of singing and music, called cantu a tenore [KAN-too ah ten-OR-eh]. It is one of the oldest forms of vocal polyphony [pol-IF-an-ee], which means to sing more than one melody at a time. As you know, we have mentioned many UNESCO World Heritage sites in this book. Well, a song cannot be a site, but UNESCO has classified this beautiful and unique singing style a world heritage intangible. Intangible means that you cannot see it or touch it, but it is still there. Thanks to UNESCO, this style of music will be protected and preserved for future generations.

Several groups of musicians are resurrecting this irresistible musical sound. The most well known is the music group known as Tenores di Bitti, because they hail from the small town of Bitti in the central mountainous region of Sardinia. You can listen to them at the following link. Listen, in particular to the low guttural sounds that are produced deep in the throat.

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