Dating introduction title
Examples of the first include masses for the living and the dead and of the latter the paghjella (traditional and modern poetic songs), the madrigale (of Renaissance Italian derivation) and the nanna (lullaby).
There is a very nice page of Carole Guelfucci in English on Corsican Polyphony.
It is estimated that there are about 80 groups active in Corsica presently.
The method of a capella singing is based on three parts, whose fourth part - the voice of the angels - appears magically from nowhere and everywhere.
Women sang, but generally solo, for example the voceru sung exclusively by women at the deathbed.
Nanne were also generally, but not exclusively, sung by women.
And there's a great new book about Corsica's traditional music by Caroline Bithell called Transported by Song: Corsican Voices from Oral Tradition to World Stage (Europea) This page: Introduction / Polyphony / Religious Chant / Secular Song / Lay Brotherhoods / Traditional Instruments / Concerts / Learning Polyphony / Corsican Music Websites / CDs by Corsican Polyphony Artistes / Other Corsican Recordings The sacred use of polyphony is particularly associated with death, funerals and mourning, which are still deeply celebrated in Corsica.
Generally without the kind of popularly expressed notion of rhythm, polyphony is often referred to as the song of a free people.The paghjella was often used to accompany work, at family or village gatherings and thus might interpolate esoteric verbal improvisation.Traditionally polyphony was sung by men, though there was the cuntrastu, which included male and female voices.Since the revival of polyphony, modern polyphonic masses have been written.Jean-Claude Acquaviva of A Filetta has written one, as yet to be used.