Italy is a country where, musically at least, the regional identities are much stronger than any national feeling. There are huge regional differences, from the passionate sound of tarantella to the measured male polyphonic singing that characterizes Sardinia or the almost Celtic melodies of the north.
Perhaps the place to start is in the center of the country, which combines the major modes of northern Italian music with the minor, Arabic-influenced sounds of the South. It's an area that's populous and more urban, and so it carries less of a musical history. You can still find a pair of ancient traditions, the vocal ottava rima, a kind of chanted peasant poetry, and the saltarello dance. But for the most part, roots music in central Italy is a product of the folk revival that began at the end of the 1960s, in the wake of 1950s field recordings by a number of musicologists, including American Alan Lomax. A number of early revival musicians, such as Gastone Pietrucci and Sara Modig