"La Partenze" (departure) is a very ancient nuptial song, of great sociological importance, and documents traditional customs and very human, universal feelings connected to the establishment of a new family. It was typically sung as a slow, melancholy serenade by young men with violins and guitars (often the bridegroom's friends) before the bride's door, that they reached already singing and playing on the evening before the wedding.
The song celebrated the pain of changing life, of leaving the native homestead and family - especially the mother and sisters and the "comari", not so much father and brothers - an abandonment which was required on the bride's part since traditionally the bride moved to the husband's home to be subject and obedient to his mother. After the serenade, the young men were offered refreshments and food at the bride's home. The Partenza rite was extensively studied by Giuseppe Profeta, a Professor of Folk traditions at the University of L'Aquila for over 20 years in the 1960's and 70's, and appears as an essay in his seminal publication "Letteratura popolare e Letteratura dialettale" (1962).
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