The objective of the project “Portal to the Italian song” was to create a platform granting the public widespread access and the opportunity to listen online to a musical heritage that includes over a century of Italian songs, from the year 1900 to 2000. Thousands of songs featured in the collections of the Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage will be gradually made available for consultation on the portal, following an editorial plan and in collaboration with several public and private sound archives.

The project aims to promote a specific aspect of the Italian cultural tradition which, in view of its scale, will be organized by historical periods as follows:

  • 1900/1950 (cylinders, 78 rpm records, non-standard supports ) 
  • 1951/1969 (33 rpm records, magnetic tapes, audio cassettes)
  • 1970/ 1980 (33 rpm records, magnetic tapes, audio cassettes)
  • 1981/2000 (CDs).

The above material is further subdivided conceptually into the following 4 macro areas:

  • POP MUSIC FROM 1950 to the present
  • THEMATIC COLLECTIONS  (in diachrony with subsections consisting of rarities, anthologies etc.)

The main feature of the portal is the gathering of the entire ICBSA catalogue of published recordings which is made available alongside unreleased audio material (mainly linked to the popular and demo-ethno-anthropological traditions).

Access and online listening to the audio material is obtained through a search by author, performer, musician, etc. or by consulting thematic sections (proper collections) and graphic material associated with the recordings, thus offering a complete overview of the patrimony of recorded songs in Italy.

Another feature of the portal are the thematic collections resulting from an organization of the tracks by musical itineraries

These collections offer further insight into the material found in the database, and will be curated in collaboration with experts in the field. Renowned Italian artists will act as testimonials to encourage use of the portal by a diverse audience belonging to different generations, and guide  them in the discovery of the Italian song, as well as to promote the dissemination of such a significant aspect of the national cultural heritage. 

The distinguishing feature of the portal is the gathering of an audio-recorded production that is at present unsystematically organized or scattered, especially on the web, and its organization following chronological, analytical and reasoned criteria.

With its configuration, the “Portal to the Italian song” could act as one of the most recognizable testimonies of our music heritage, particularly abroad, and provide a true soundscape to accompany promotional initiatives for all that is “Made in Italy”.

For this purpose, in the first instance the site will be translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese.

Participants in the project include the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the SIAE, various associations of independent producers, as well as writers, actors, musicians, experts, and private collectors.

In particular, content may be also provided and managed through specific research activities launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (e.g. research projects, degree theses, scholarships to fund indexing and checking of authority files for sections of the portal) or participation of producers and publishers associations (for addition of content to areas of the musical collection that are wanting and/or access to databases for information about rights holders).

The design of the portal allows for potential future expansion to include other categories of musical heritage such as opera recordings for example.