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Click here to listen to a sample of Tenores de Aterúe
Sardinian cantu a tenore is a form of polyphonic singing performed by a group of four singers using four different voices: bassu, contra, boghe, and mesu boghe
The deep guttural timbre of the bassu and contra voices produce ringing overtones, which are expanded by the mesu boghe. This rich aural texture is essentially a canvas for the boghe, who is the main soloist ad sings almost all of the text.
The song form is typical of the region of Barbagia and other parts of central Sardinia. Performance are often spontaneous and done in local bars, but also at more formal occasions, such as religious festivals.
The lyrics are sometimes ancient, but may also be contemporary poems on present-day issues such as emigration and politics, and they are connected to the island’s rich poetic tradition.