Ottava Rima (Eighth Rhyme) is an Italian poetic form of improvised singing which has its roots in 13th-century, using the standard 8 lines/11 syllables rhyme scheme typical of the epic and narrative poetry in Italy used by Boccaccio,
Ariosto and Tasso.
I have been researching it since 2008 when I wrote my thesis in Ethnomusicology about the social and political aspects of this ancient tradition.
Since that time I have been recording, filming, writing several articles and realising many video documentaries.
If you travel in Central Italy you can still find some of these so called “poets”: villagers, carpenters, farmers that still sing verses and rhymes carried on an extraordinary art.
Similar traditions are spread around the world, but the melodic patterns and literary link are extremely unique and connect these people (who are sometimes totally illiterate) with the most ancient bardic traditions.