“Museikè”, the museum of musical instruments in Artena

The palace of the Granaio Borghese di Artena has been enriched with a new museum of musical instruments and a place dedicated to musical culture: Museikè.

Artena has a great musical tradition from its poets (A treasure-trove of traditional poetry in Artena) while the nearby Giulianello has one of the most special traditions to learn about: the Songs of Women of Giulianello.

On Good Friday a group of women parades with the procession through the streets of the village singing songs that have been handed down from generation to generation and that probably date back to around 1000. A testimony to the musical, cultural and emotional value of these songs is that one of the records is kept at the Center Pompidou in Paris.

Museikè houses a museum of musical instruments of popular tradition, with particular reference to the Roman Countryside, which instruments come from private collections and include all the organological categories, that is represented all types of musical instruments such as stringed instruments, wind instruments, percussion instruments. Organology is the science of the study of musical instruments.

The instruments are arranged in an exhibition in the order that starts from the “Lazio Arcaico” where philological reconstructions of musical instruments used in ancient Lazio are exhibited.

The second section is called “La Campagna Romana” (Roman Countryside) where traditional instruments are displayed that were used in the pastoral, agricultural and artisanal communities of the territory. Among these we can notice the instruments that belonged to ‘Federicuccio’ Talone and to his son Pasquale, famous musicians of Artena.

In this area there are some instruments from the Aniene Valley area, donated by Ettore De Carolis, an important musician and scholar of Lazio traditions, as wll as band instruments. Among these there are some specimens from the band of Giulianello directed by Maestro Salvatore Marchetti that date back to the first post-world-war period and original scores of the Banda di Artena of the early twentieth century.

Completing this part of the exhibition is a sector dedicated to songs in improvised eight beat rhyme. In the area of ​​Artena you can still listen to these ancient forms of poetry and artists who enter competitions based on the contraposition of parts and on the rhymes of the verses.

The museum has then expanded to include the other territories in the section “Towards the South” dedicated to the music and rituals of Southern Italy, in the section “Between East and West” where a series of musical instruments are displayed that were in use during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The visit experience ends with “Music on the road“, the area that is dedicated to migrants with an exhibition of instruments from different parts of the world. Un’area caratterizzata da contaminazioni e prestiti, una riflessione sul ruolo della musica come uno dei principali canali di integrazione tra le diverse culture.

This is an area characterized by blending and borrowing of styles, a reflection on the role of music as one of the main channels of integration between different cultures.

Museikè is therefore a multidisciplinary cultural center where symbols, rituals and myth in music are preserved both as protection and also transmission of the traditional musical heritage of this area on the border between Rome and Ciociaria.

It is not just a place of charm linked to the past but a place for all music and poetry lovers, who want to share their experiences with others, to meet and socialize.

The museum is dedicated to the memory of the Artenese musician Pasquale Talone and the scholar Raffaele Marchetti, a profound connoisseur of local popular traditions, a companion to many initiatives for the protection and dissemination of popular songs.

Guide of Artena

Artena, near Rome, is a lovely hillside town located on the north-eastern slopes of the Lepini mountains, in the upper […]