The Popularisation of Musical Culture in the RAI TV Channels between the Sixties and the Nineties

By: Anna Scalfaro  

In its first thirty years of activity, RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) popularised art music by designing and producing pedagogical and educational programmes. In 'Specchio sonoro'(1964), musicologist Roman Vlad illustrates the life and works of great composers from the twentieth century (Bartók, Stravinskij etc.), setting them in their historical and cultural context and explaining their style by playing their pieces on the piano. In the following decade, programmes with explicit educational goals, led by expert-lecturers, give way to programmes that are more related to the genre of “investigation”, where in-depth news analysis and the investigation of current dimension prevailed. In 'Tutto è musica' (1980), composer Vittorio Gelmetti attempts an analysis of the ‘musical phaenomenon’ under several perspectives, avoiding qualitative distinctions between genres, periods of time and civilisations. Starting from this latter decade, broadcastings with educational goals tend to use a lesser specific language and to favour the connections between music and other life domains: in 'L’amore è un dardo'(1994), writer Alessandro Baricco illustrates the plot of an opera piece, and enriches his discourse through digressions and free associations with topics from the daily life. The objective of this work is to examine to what extent the gradual shift from the role of the expert to the one of the “enthusiast” (Vlad was a musicologist, Gelmetti was a composer, Baricco was a writer), as well as the shift from using a cultivated and specialised language to more “down to earth” communication methods, has actually resulted into a broadened audience and more effective programmes.

Media Education, Music Education, Musical Culture
Media Literacies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Anna Scalfaro

Associate Professor, Department of the Art, University of Bologna, Italy