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> Musiques Bretonnes, From The Thistle & Shamrock Archives
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 11-Aug-2004, 08:03 PM
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Hi everyone!

Here is an interesting article I found on Breton music from the archives of the radio show Thistle & Shamrock. I thought you might enjoy it. Other articles can be found at this addy: http://www.npr.org/programs/thistle/featur...breton_art.html

Musiques Bretonnes
This article first appeared in the March 1996 Thistle & Shamrock Newsletter.

If Brittany hasn?t become again today a sea of songs, it has come to be a sea of music, rocked with music and singing of all types, old fashioned and modern, songs sung with accompaniment of old-time instruments revived and set on a par with the newest ones.
--- B. de Parades

The people of Brittany love music and, above all, they love dance music. Propelled in human chains and circles by singers and musicians who will often tirelessly generate song after tune until dawn, Bretons demonstrate their love of music and dance at Festou Noz (night festivals).

These occasions differ from Scottish and Irish ceilidhs in two important ways: they are held in the open air in summertime (not recommended in Scotland or Ireland!) and, instead of ceilidh bands or folk groups playing for the dances, the music is provided by couples de sonneurs (pairs of singers) and pipers who alternate duties through the night.

Since their job is to supply energetic and regulated dance tunes, you won?t hear the singing duets crooning and harmonizing through some old Breton sing-along. Stamina is the quality they cultivate. Their singing style is known as dan ha diskan (chant and counterchant) where singers trade the melody of the song back and forth with a characteristic overlap at the end of each phrase.

The singing progresses steadily, holding fast to the rhythm of the dance, in a pattern identical to that followed by the pipers. They also perform in pairs with one playing a small bagpipe or Binou (Beenyu) and the other a penetrating oboe-like instrument called the bombarde.

With gavottes, plinns, an dros, fisels, ronds -- in all more than 25 different types of dances -- music makers at a Fest-Noz can be kept busy all night long. Singers and pipers will offer a variety of rhythms for the dancers at most Festou Noz while, in the more traditional areas, they'll perform exclusively the melodies suited to the specialty dance of the region. Since each dance is characterized by its intricate steps and rhythms possibly varying from village to village, it becomes easy to identify the stranger in town!

Dances and the tunes which accompany them date back centuries in Brittany which is why it's surprising to learn that the first public Festou Noz, open to all Bretons, were organized in 1955 and 1957. The late 1940s saw the formation of the first Breton pipe bands (notably the celebrated Kemper Pipe Band in 1949).

In the mid-1950s, a resurrection of Breton harp playing and a renewed and growing interest in kan ha diskan reunited many Bretons with striking aspects of their culture they may soon have completely forgotten.

Nowadays, multi-instrumental groups such as Kornog, Sonerien Du and Tammles join traditionally known performers such as harper Alan Stivel and guitarist Dan Ar Bras in reaching new audiences with Breton music both at home and throughout the world. Their new compositions fall into step along-side traditional tunes and songs, allowing Bretons to foresee a future for their music as surely healthy as it will be melodic.

Here are a few more Breton artists and groups who will inspire lively toe-tapping and twirling: Jean Michel Veillon, Pennou Skoulm, C. Beuzet et N. LeRallic, Bleizi Ruz, Skolvan, Barzaz, Alain Genty, Tud, and Gwenola Roparz.


Copyright 2004 NPR and Fiona Ritchie


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Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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celtica 
Posted: 22-Aug-2004, 11:04 AM
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As we're speaking from music, I found a link for a video concert of Didier Squiban, a musician from Brest well known in France wich plays something between classical and traditionnal celtic music. I think it's interesting. Just build your opinion. Be patient during the presentation, his accent is awful ! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/mil...t_id=DIDIERSQUI


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Que restera-t-il de notre sang mêlé au sel, sans trace dans les mémoires ? Une ultime navigation, trompeuse. Et des souvenirs, illuminés d'embruns. Mais condamnés au silence de la mer... Loïc Finaz.
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 24-Aug-2004, 08:45 PM
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WOW Celtica! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I love solo piano, and this was simply breathtaking! I hope this guy's music is available here in the States, because I sure would like to hear more!

And keep going with the posts, mon ami! Only a few more to go until you reach 200!!! biggrin.gif Can't wait to see that new crown and the title you'll choose!
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celtica 
Posted: 25-Aug-2004, 11:04 AM
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Glad you liked him Wizard ! smile.gif . But I'm not sure you'll find his music in the USA unsure.gif . I'll search his official site on the web so that you can buy one of his CDs if you want to wink.gif

I'm sure you guessed wich crown I'm going to choose laugh.gif , but for the title I don't tell you tongue.gif , surprise, surprise ! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif . Never thought I'll reach the 200 posts !
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 09:58 AM
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[SIZE=7]CONGRATULATIONS, CELTICA! YOU GOT 200![/SIZE]

Nice crown! Now where is that new title, hmmm?
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celtica 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 10:44 AM
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Thanks Wizard ! smile.gif

I'm afraid I've a problem to change the title... tongue.gif . I thought there should be something like "custom title" in my profile menu, but I don't see it... unsure.gif .
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 10:52 AM
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Hi dear!

Click on My Account in the Welcome bar at the top of the board, then click on Profile Info in the menu on the left hand side of the screen! That should get it for you!
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celtica 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 11:06 AM
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Thank you so much ! wink.gif

(but I don't understand, cause i did it several time and I didn't see it... unsure.gif , never mind it worked this time laugh.gif )

So what do you think of my new title my friend ? smile.gif Maybe it's a bit pompous... unsure.gif

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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 11:31 AM
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I LOVE it! And it fits you well! I also love the pic you posted in your profile! It is a lovely lady that you are! smile.gif And so nice to be able to put a face to the name!
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celtica 
Posted: 27-Aug-2004, 03:12 PM
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