Of course we could rely on Italians to create beauty and joy even in the trying times of a global pandemic.
Italy is on complete lockdown, with 17,660 cases of the coronavirus as of Friday, March 13, according to the World Health Organization. But people in the country have started coming out on their balconies and leaning out their windows to join together in song, coordinating the effort by spreading the word via social media.
On Friday, Italians sang the national anthem together at 6pm; on Saturday, they joined together to applaud health-care workers. The New York Times reports: “At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Italians will sing “Azzurro,” a 1968 hit by the singer Adriano Celentano, and on Sunday, “Ma il cielo è sempre più blu,” by Nino Gaetano, which topped the charts in 1975.”
Watching videos of Italians create a semblance of community, even while in isolation, is pure delight.
Here they are playing the national anthem together:
Outside of Italy, people are finding other ways to use music to provide solace to one another in these fraught times.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma took to Twitter on March 13 to serenade online listeners with a piece by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, saying that he is beginning a series called #SongsOfComfort.
Meanwhile, Broadway actress and singer Laura Benanti invited students whose musicals have been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus to share their performances with her online.
The videos are welcome reminders that we can find creative ways to feel connected with one another, even while the virus outbreaks demand that we remain apart.