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This is a Clilstore unit. You can link all words to dictionaries.

Maltese Ghana

Task 1


Għana is a type of traditional Maltese folk music. Għana has two literal meanings. The first is richness, wealth and prosperity; the second is associated with singing, verse, rhyme and even kantaliena, a type of singing with a slow rhythm. Għana can be broken up into formal and informal practices. A singer in this field is locally called "Għannej" (literally 'the singer')

Għana was a way to pass the time during free time and and while completing household tasks. In particular, għana was practiced by the women singing on roof tops or in old wash houses, known as the għajn tal-ħasselin ("spring of the washers"). This is known as informal għana.

There are 3 main types of  formal għana: fil-Għoli, tal-Fatt and Spirtu Pront.

  1. Għana fil-Għoli singing requires males to reach into extraordinarily high soprano ranges without breaking into falsetto. This style mimicked the early informal għana sung by women, but due to its extreme vocal demands, this style is very seldom practised.
  2. Għana tal-Fatt literally means 'fact' or 'actually happened'. This melancholic ballad style involves one għannej recounting a story about well known local identities, events or recent interesting or humorous, Maltese folktales and legends.
  3. In Spirtu Pront sessions, two or more għannejja (singers) take part in an improvised song duel.

Task 2

It is a pity that you cannot understand the words but watch the video and answer the questions below

  1. What are the four men standing behind the guitarists doing?
  2. How many lines does each man sing?
  3. What do you think that they are singing about?
  4. Which type of Ghana is it? Is it fil-Għoli, tal-Fatt or Spirtu Pront?


Task 3


Task 4

You can check your answers for Task 3 and look for vocabulary by selecting the words.





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