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The Art of Making Do in Naples$
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Jason Pine

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816636310

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816636310.001.0001

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The Contact Zone

The Contact Zone

Where Organized Crime and Everyday Life Comingle

(p.xii) (p.1) Introduction The Contact Zone
The Art of Making Do in Naples

Jason Pine

University of Minnesota Press

The introduction discusses the context behind the neomelodica music (la musica neomelodica) scene. Neomelodica evolved from the time-honored Neapolitan-language song tradition to become an “erotic-sentimental” genre with lyrics in the vernacular, created by the masses for the masses. Neomelodica gained wild popularity over time, entrenching itself within the local economic space as an alternative culture industry. For Neapolitans, it became their primary means of “making do.” In Naples, people seek self-determination—above merely “getting by,” they exercise the art of “making do” (l’arte di arrangiarsi) by acting on the fantasy of a “personal sovereign” in which the person works toward a better life for themselves and their family. This philosophy is the driving force behind the neomelodica scene—one rife with constant challenges, not the least of which is getting caught in deadly entanglements with the camorra.

Keywords:   la musica neomelodica, neomelodica music, Neapolitan-language song, Naples, self-determination, making do, l’arte di arrangiarsi, camorra

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