Sicily has always been very rich of folk songs, ditties, serenades, lullabies, Christmas carols. Every event in life was sung by the people. As regards folk dance, there are bridal ones as "chiavu", dancing in circles (diavulecchiu), tarantellas as the "puliciusa" and "fasola".
The instruments typical of Sicilian folk music are the scacciapensieri
- in metal, similar to a horseshoe - which is called, according to the area, mariolu, marranzanu or ngannalaruni, the azzarinu (a percussion instrument), the friscalettu (flute-beak), tammurinu (big tambourine), ciarabedda (bagpipes).
Historically, the Sicilian literary tradition joined with orally transmitted song and folk music, absorbing the contributions of all people who trod the Sicilian soil and inheriting the traditions of the Greek "melos", the Arabic maqam, the Byzantine hymn, the love songs of the troubadours, the classical polyphony of the 16th century.