Bibliografia/discografia selezionata sul canto polifonico in Sardegna

  a cura di Ignazio Macchiarella e Sebastiano Pilosu  

There is no feast in Sardinia without at least one, but usually more, music-stall selling cassettes and CDs. In those, besides hits of international pop music, you can find mainly "musiche sarde". This expression has several meanings: it is used both for a great variety of genres and repertories of popular music sung in Sardinian language (including a sort of typical Italian pop song in "Sanremo style", but also musics in rock, reggae, hip-hop, or funky styles) and for a large production of recordings of the most important repertories of oral tradition of the Island, performed by traditional musicians or arranged (better: "fossilized") by folkloristic and modern groups working for the world music market.
The production of traditional music performed by own traditional musician has a special importance. It has a very selling success and is spread among buyers of all ages. Almost all the traditional singers and musicians of the Island have recorded at least one cassette, giving the retail trade right to specialized labels.
Within this production, the cassettes and CDs containing recordings of canto a tenore [the male four part polyphony that consists of a soloist song accompanied by three voices arranged as syllabic formulas with a particular vocal timbre - see Lortat Jacob 1992] has a prominent relevance: dozens of titles, recorded by traditional quartets coming from all over the centre-nord of the Island where this tradition is spread (including also groups from villages where the canto a tenore is a novelty of recent times). All the genres of the tradition are included in the cassettes and CDs: from the a sa seria (or boghe notte) song (the most difficult genre with complex and serious texts performed in a slow tempo) to the various lively ballos (dillu, passu torrau etc. - dancing song in fast tempo), from the gozzos (religious songs) to the muttos (light love texts).

The birth of a Sardinian commercial production devoted to the internal market (and to the Sardian emigrants all over the world) is very old. After some attempts by the Sardinian scholar Gavino Gabriel between 1922-1928 that produced 10 sketchy recordings (however with ethnographic relevance), the first label that realized some commercial recording in the Island was probably the Odeon. In 1929 it recorded four songs performed by Peppino Ruggio accompanied at the guitar by the great Adolfo Merella. In the following years several international labels (Columbia, Parlophone, His Master's Voice and so on) realized hundreds of recording, above all of launeddas (the typical triple reed clarinet) and boghe a chiterra (song with guitar) (see Vernon 1998). Until the II World War, this production didn't include quite any polyphonic recording and in particular a tenore song, probably because of the technical difficulties in recording and reproducting on discos this kind of music - the only exception is a recording of a tenore group of Dorgali in the '30s (see Gualerzi 1982 for a complete discography and Leydi 1997).

After the II World War and the difficulties of the reconstruction, the 60s saw a revival of the commercial production of Sardinian music. Within this context, in 1964 the first 45" of canto a tenore were recorded: the performances of 4-voices group of Orgosolo (called "coro di Orgosolo") published by the label Italmusica of Milan. Some of those records were distributed also in "Stereo 8" cassettes and in long playings.
But it is in the 70s that we witnessed the boom of a tenore recording production, due to the spread of compact cassettes that allowed a wide mass diffusion and lower production costs. In quite all the villages, several groups of canto a tenore recorded their repertories, aiming at a local market. In Cagliari and Sassari we find new specialized labels such as Tirsu (later named "Sardinia dischi", located in via San Sperate 20, Decimomannu - Cagliari), Aedo (via Milano 9/A Cagliari) and Tekno record (via Magellano 22, Sassari). The invention of CD didn't dramatically change the situation, while it was the spread of recording and reproduction low costs that fostered the birth of several selfproductions and the increase of commercial micro-labels in different villages of the Island.

Nowadays the most important label specialized in Sardinian traditional music is Frorias (via Solmi 1, 09126 Cagliari; Directed by Franco Madau (both scholar and composer and performer of musics rooted in Sardinian folk music), the Frorias edition has a very large production that includes both new production of CDs and cassettes by various present tenore groups and the reprint on CD of the most relevant a tenore cassettes by Tirsu and Vox Folk editions of the 60-70s. Almost all the new CDs have a booklet with the lyrics and some information notes in Sardinian language and Italian (and often also in English).
Some a tenore groups that are known in the international world music market (like the very famous "Tenore di Bitti", or "Tenore de Oniferi" or "Tenore de Orosei"), print their CDs with Italian or European specialized labels (Robi Droli, CNI, Real World): these CDs have also a booklet with introduction notes in English, French or German (see further). At the same time, the local self-productions are still spread.

The catalogue of the a tenore commercial recordings is actually immense and - considering the self-productions - it is almost impossible to try to define a complete list.
Waiting for a future deep ethnomusicological study on this interesting production (it will be in a book on a tenore tradition that is in course of realization by ourselves) we propose a basic catalogue, organized by villages: in practice, it is the list of our private collections. Being a work in progress, all the contributions are welcome!!!
Ignazio Macchiarella (
Sebastiano Pilosu (


Manuela Gualerzi
1982 Discografia della musica popolare sarda a 78 rpm (1922-1959), In "Culture musicali" 2: 167-192.

Roberto Leydi
1997 Discografia della musica popolare italiana - Sardegna. Fonti musicali italiane 2: 249-280.

Lortat Jacob (edited by)
1992 Polyphonies de Sardaigne, compact disc, Le chant du Monde, LDX 274760, Paris.

Paul Vernon

List of villages:

Abbasanta - Arzara - Bitti - Bolotana - Bono - Bultei - Burgos - Busacchi - Dorgali - Fonni - Gavoi - Illorai - Irgoli - Lanusei - Lodè - Lula - Mamoiada - Neoneli - Nuoro - Oliena - Ollolai - Olzai - Oniferi - Orani - Orgosolo - Orotelli - Orune - Ottana - Ovodda - Sarule - Scanu Montiferru - Seneghe - Silanus - Sindia - Siniscola - Torpè




Gruppo a tenores "su cuntzertu abbasantesu". Laudes a sa tuva, AEDO MK 7139, Cagliari, n.d.



Tenore di Arzara, production by themselves, n.d.


Tenores di Bitti, cassette, Tirsu, ST8 168, Cagliari 1985.
Tenores di Bitti - Remundu e loccu. Ammentos, cassette, Tekno record, Tek 075, Sassari 1986.
Contonanne. Tenores di Bitti - Gruppo Diego Mele, cassette, Aedo Studio, MK 7101, Cagliari 1987.
Remunnu de locu. Tenores pro loco. Bitti, Tirsu Sardinia dischi, Trc 428, Decimomannu (Cagliari) 1991 (reprint in compact disc 2003).
Gruppo tenores pro-loco Bitti, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 267, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Tenores di Bitti - Romanzesu, compact disc, Amori, AM 002, Losanna (Svizzera - Suisse) 1993 (english text).
Tenores di Bitti - Intonos, compact disc, Robi Droli, nt. 6727, San Germano (Alessandria- Piemonte) 1994 (english text).
Tenores di Bitti S'amore 'e mama, compact disc, Real World, 1996 (english text).
Tenores Mialinu Pira Bitti Su monte 'e mesus, compact disc, Production by themselves, Bitti 2000.
Tenores di Bitti, gruppo Tenores pro loco di Bitti, cassette, AEDO, MK 3306, Cagliari, n.d.



Su cuncordu bolotanesu, cassette, Tecko record, Sassari 1986.



Su tenore antigu de Bono. Gruppo costera, cassette, Vox folk record, MC 113, Milano 1980.



Gruppo Tenores 4G Bultei ... a bidda mia, compact disc, Gio Leonardi per Gente nuova, Sassari 2002 (GN 019C).


Tenore e ballos de Burgos, cassette, Production by themselves Virde Paola Orotelli (NU), n.d. (VIS-PA N.16)



Tenores Sant'Antoni Busachi - Cantidos & traggiu, cassette, Production by themselves, Busachi 2002. (Asr 003)



Tenores di Dorgali, cassette, Tekno Record, TEK 0088, Sassari 1986.
Tenores Noriolo Dorgali, cassette, Tekno Record, Sassari 1989.
Tenores Noriolo Dorgali - vol. 3, cassette, Aedo, Mk 7123, Cagliari 1990.
Tenore Milia di Dorgali, cassette, 1993.
Tenores di Dorgali; Rosa in su Riu, cassette, Micromedia, Nota 1.20, Udine 1994.
Tenores Noriolo Dorgali Sos Canticos de s'ae, cassette, Il discolo, Nuoro 1997.
Tenore Milia; Jocos de Canticos, cassette e compact disc, Frorias, cd 7149, Cagliari 2000.



5 voci dal Gennargentu concordu fonnesu gruppo Enal, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 160, Decimomannu (Cagliari) 1966. (reprint compact disc, Frorias, Cagliari 1998)
Tenores di Fonni - Sos batoros moros, cassette, Tekno Record, Tek 090, Sassari 1989
Cuncordu di Fonni; Gruppo Pietrino Puddu, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 323, Decimomannu (Cagliari), 1980.
Cuncordu Fonnesu. Gruppo Pietrino Puddu Gruppo Battor moros, Sardinia dischi, Mk 3330 Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Cuncordu fonnesu. 5 voci dal Gernagentu, Tirsu/ Sardinia dischi, Trc 323, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.


Istrepitos Balli e tenore di Gavoi - Sardegna, compact disc, Production by themselves, Gavoi 1996 (cd/a1).



Tenores di Illorai. Sa mama e su nie, cassette, Frorias, Mk 0394, Cagliari 1994.



Irgoli Cantigos a cuncordu e ballu, cassette, Tekno record, Tek 041, Sassari 1984.



Tenore Ogliastra di Lanusei, cassette, 1990.



Tenores di Lodè Sant'Antonio Su campu chi fioriti, production by themselves, F.I. 2533, n.d.,
Coro di Lodè, cassette, Aedo, Mk 3320, Cagliari n.d.
Tenores di Lodè Gruppo S. Anna, Tekno record , Tek 083, Sassari 1987.
Tenores S. Lucia di Lodè
Tenores Sant'Antonio di Lodè Ballate voisi, compact disc, Gio Leonardi per Gente nuova, Sassari 2002 (GN025c).
Coro di Lodè, cassette, TIRSU, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d. (TRC 228)



Tenore Montalbo Lula, cassette, Abbacurrente Record-Tecko record, FI 2514, Sassari 1992.



Tenores de Mamoiada, cassette, Frorias, Mck 703, Cagliari n.d.
Tenores de Mamoiada, cassette, AEDO MK 3303, Cagliari n.d.
Su usserthu (Mamojada), cassette, AEDO-Fonit Cetra, MK 767, Cagliari-Roma n.d.
Su' Ussertu de Mamoiada, cassette, Frorias, Mck 7122, Cagliari n.d..


Coro a tenores cultura popolare Neoneli; Istorias, Tekno Record, Sassari 1985 (TEK 051)
Coro di Neoneli Cultura Popolare, cassette, AEDO (MK 3319)
Coro di Neoneli Cultura Popolare vol.2? - cassette, AEDO (MK 738)
Coro Cultura Popolare di Neoneli, cantos de paghe, Tekno Record, Sassari, (TEK MR 0028)
Tenores di Neoneli ...Epuru andat - CD ROM omaggio per le scuole sarde - TRONOS 2003



Tenore Santu Predu - Nuoro Sas Trattas de su tempus Le orme del tempo
Tenore Santu Predu - Coro Sos Nuraghes, cassette, Tirsu Trc 395, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Cuncordu Nugoresu, cassette, Production by themselves Virde Paola, RGAPA 155, Oro-telli (Nuoro), '70th.
Tenore Santu Caralu, Bolos d'amistade, cassette, Production by themselves, Nuoro 2002



Tenores Corrasi di Oliena, cassette, Tekno Record/Abbacurrente record, Tkr 2512, Sassari 1992
Tenores de Oliena, cassette, produzioni di Gino Farina e Tea Porcedda 55, n.d;



Su tenore de Ollolai; gruppo Barbagia, cassette, Vox folk record, Milano 1981 (MC 138)



Tenores di Olzai E li pensan una voche, Abbacurrente (FI 2528)


Tenore s. Gavino di Oniferi, cassette, Tecko record, Tek 082, Sassari 1987.
Coro d'Oniferi, cassette, Tirsu, TR 167, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Coro d'Oniferi vol. 3?,cassette, Sardinia dischi, TRC 342, Decimomannu (Cagliari), s.d.
Tenores de Oniferi. S'omine, compact disc, Ideas, ID001-2, Oniferi 1994 (english text)
Tenores de Oniferi A S'andira, compact disc, Ideas, ID 002-2, Oniferi 1997 (english text).
Tenore S. Gavino Oniferi. Su banzigu, Ass. cult. Kunzertu, Sassari 2000 (english text).
Tenore Amistade Oniferi, cassette - Frorias, MK 7181, Cagliari 2002.



Su cuncordu de Orane; gruppo 'sa 'e mastio, Vox folk record, Milano 1981 (Mc 124)



Coro di Orgosolo Ninna nanna/ Gosos de viva Maria, Italmusica Corso Genova 22 Milano
Coro di Orgosolo Songs from Orgosolo, compact disc, Frorias, Cagliari 2002 (reprint of some cassettes of the '70th)
Coro di Orgosolo, compact disc, Frorias, Cagliari 2002 (reprint of some cassettes of the '70th)
Coro di Orgosolo, "cassette Stereo 8", Tirsu S8 162, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.
Coro di Orgosolo Gruppo Mesina, "cassette Stereo 8", Tirsu S8 166, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.
Coro d'Orgosolo del Supramonte, "cassette Stereo 8", Tirsu S8 165, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.
Coro Supramonte Orgosolo Tancas serradas a muru, disco Cetra lpp 244 / reprint in cd Frorias, Cagliari 2002.
Tenore Antonia Mesina Orgosolo, Sardinia dischi, TRCD 1005, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.
Tenore Antonia Mesina Orgosolo vol. 3 / Boghes de Barbagia, cassette, Tirsu / Sardinia dischi di Medinas, TRC 1039, Decimomannu (Cagliari) 1996.
Tenore Antonia Mesina Orgosolo; Sos mazores vol. 4, cassette, Tirsu, Trc 1059, Decimumannu (Cagliari), 2000
Tenore di Orgosolo Untana vona a sa mamma, cassette, Tirsu, Trc 1058, Decimoman-nu (Cagliari) n.d 2000 (original edition Tekno Record, Sassari 1996)
Tenore Supramonte Orgosolo Sa vena manna, compact disc, Frorias cd 7162, Cagliari, n.d.
Tenore Antonia Mesina vol. 1
Coro d'Orgosolo, gruppo Mesina, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 234, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Coro d'Orgosolo, sa cumpanzia, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 305, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Coro Supramonte, Pratobello, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 88, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.


Tenore de Orosei A su primu ispuntare, compact disc, CNI, QNDL967, Roma, n.d.



Cuncordu de Oroteddi Bostianu Pintus, Frorias, Cagliari, n.d., (Mck 7161)



Tenore del gruppo 'Folk Studio' di Orune Moda a San Leonardo (per i dispersi dell'ultima guerra) (di Raimondo Piras) Moda per il Cristo di Galtellì (di Bernado Zizi), cassette, production by themselves, NUC 308, Olbia, 1976.
Orune Canta gruppo tenore Folk Studio de Orune, cassette, Frorias, Cagliari
Gruppo Tenores S. Lulla - Orune, Tirsu / Sardinia dischi, Trc 329, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Orune nei canti e nei balli a tenores, gruppo Folk Studio Nuraghe, NUC 313, Olbia n.d.
Tenores S. Lulla - Orune, cassette, Tirsu, TRC 1032, Decimomannu (Cagliari), 1996.
Tenore Santa Lulla Chei su bentu, compact disc, Frorias, Cagliari
Tenores de [sic] Orune, Production Gino Farina - Porcedda, 57, n.d.
Boches de Orune, compact disc, production G. Murgia, GaMur 002, Nuoro 2002.



Tenore ricerche popolari di Ottana, Frorias, Mk 7115,Cagliari 1997.
Tenores S'a fuente, Aedo


Coro di Ovodda, cassette, Sardinia dischi, TRC 227, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.



Tenore Montegonare, Sarule, cassette, Abbacurrente, FI 2516, 1992.

Scanu Montiferru


Tenores Scanu
Bisiones; su cuncordu iscanesu, Aedo - Frorias, Mk 775, Cagliari 1992.
Su cuncordu iscanesu, Bisiones, cassette, Production by themselves, AM 001



Su cuntrattu seneghesu cuntos e cantos
Coro di Seneghe Boriccheddu, cassette, Tirso TRC 277, Decimomannu (Cagliari), n.d.
Su cuntrattu de Seneghe, cassette, Effe Record Studio, Sassari, n.d. (SER 00106)



Tenore de Silanus Santu Larettu Dies, Production by themselves TAS 1
Tenores di Silanus S. Barbana Battista Morittu. S'amigu, Frorias, MCK 7121, Cagliari, n.d.
Tenore de Silanos Sa Madalena
Tenores Santa Sarbana Vidas
, compact disc, Frorias, Cagliari
Tenores Montarbu Silanus, Festa paesana, prod. Musica è... recording, (001)
Coro di Silanus, cassette, TIRSU TRC 248


Dies de 'eranu Tenore de Sindia, Frorias, MK 7175, Cagliari 2001.



Tenore Luisu Ozzanu Onzi oke unu cantu, Production by themselves, LO 001, Siniscola 1998.



Tenore Selema; Torpè, Production by themselves, Mato Studio, A.C.S.001, Olbia 1996.
Su cessertu de Torpè- pro chie cantas, Production by themselves, Torpè 1996
Tenore Selema Torpè Amigu canta, Production by themselves, reg. Mato Studio, Olbia, 2001
Cussertu Selema Torpè, So sardu ma, compact disc, Frorias, CD 7184, Cagliari 2003.



Tenori diversi - Oniferi, Bono, Oliena, Lodè, cassette, prod. Virde Paola, VIS-PA N.5, Orotelli (Nuoro) n.d.
Sos tenores cantende sa paghe Bitti, Lodè, Oniferi, Neoneli, cassette, n.d.
Tenores pratobello Orgosolo; Tenore Ollolai, Su Usserthu de Mamoiada, cassette, Tirsu, Trc 324, Decimomannu (Cagliari) n.d.



[Chi siamo] [Attività]