The Basque soul expresses itself through its language, its songs, its dance, its music. The Euskera, the oldest language in Europe will touch you by its musicality and its authenticity.
The Basque people have been singing since the dawn of time. In a church, attending a concert of male or mixed choirs will give you goose bumps.
Basque culture is participatory and popular, young and old sing, booklets are distributed at popular festivals in order to follow the lyrics. Traditional sings are performed on capella melodies during village festivals. So, ready to push the ditty?
Dance is one of the marking elements of the Basque identity. Each village has its own dance which it is customary to interpret during its main festivals. On the squares and fronton of the villages, you are invited to dance in a circle the Basque jumps, called "mutxiko". Listen to the melody and go ahead, the footsteps will follow ... and if you are gifted, you can embark on a fandango, a dance that runs on a frenzied rhythm.
Basque music is rich and varied ranging from classical to modern with traditional instruments such as txistu, xirula, alboka, txalaparta, ttun ttun, trikititxa, gaita, pandero ... Let yourself be carried away by its sounds during the festivals and carnivals of the territory. Whether you are more rock and roll or folk music, you will probably find in Basque music sounds to your tastes.
Glossary of some specific instruments
Txixtu :Recorder with three holes played with the left hand, the right being used to strike the ttun ttun.
Ttun ttun : A small string drum.
Txirula : Straight flute with three holes like txistu. It is shorter and has a sharper sound.
Alboka : A reed-wind musical instrument, made from a double reed torch, using two horns, one as mouthpiece, the other as a pavilion. The word comes from the Arabic al-bûq which means the horn.
Txalaparta : Percussion instrument. It is a plank laid horizontally on two baskets. Between the baskets and the table, corn leaves or herbs are placed so that it can vibrate. We strike up and down with two sticks called makilas.
Trikititxa : This is the name given to the diatonic accordion in the Basque Country. The name comes from the onomatopoeic sound of the pandero: "trikiti, trikiti, trikiti" accompanying the instrument.
Pandereta : Drum similar to a tambourine but with a deeper and wider frame.
Gaita : Wind instrument. It is a bagpipes.