The Breton music is the musical expression of the Brittany.
The Celtic culture inspired the Breton musicians who, for a few decades, have found success beyond the borders of Brittany. Influences from abroad, in particular by the other Celtic countries, enriched the tradition by the country.
For a long time, the Breton music was divided between the festive music (accompaniment of the dances), the descriptive music or of circumstance (Gwerz ioù and Chants of sailors for example) and the sacred music ( kantikou brezhoneg ). The Breton music and the song are marked by the soils, and partly, by linguistic division in High-Brittany (zone of expression in gallo) and Low-Brittany (zone of expression into Breton).
Declining since the end of the 1st World war, the Breton music lived a true revival in 2nd half of the 20th century. Among the innovations, one can quote:
- the creation of the bagadoù at the conclusion of the war,
- the reimplantation of the Celtic Toothing-stone in Brittany,
- the use of instruments yesterday unknown: Scottish Bagpipe, amplified Guitar, instruments, percussion S (battery, percussions African),
- multiplication of the musical exchanges with the other Celtic nations (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornouailles, Galicia, Asturies),
- the creation of structures specialized in collecting of the musical tradition (Dastum, which means “to collect”), in the song (rear Kan Bobl), instrumental music (LOW or " rear Bodadeg Sonerion ") or the dance (Kendalc' H and War 'L them),
- the development of the militant song.
All that facilitated the blossoming of musicians, to start with Alan Stivell, followed by other creative artists (Tri Yann, etc) who brought up to date old topics by sonorities of and combined various musics today, supporting the diffusion of a widened and diversified Breton music.
Traditional music and classical music
The instruments headlights (Bagpipe, bombards) used in Breton music result historically from vast families of similar instruments. They are moderate instruments not : in order to grant one bombards and a bagpipe or two bombard between them, they had to be cut in the same tree, if not their Harmonique S differed and the unit did not sound just. Today still, for a player accustomed to let us tons precise, these instruments, even granted, do not sound just. Towards the end of the Rebirth, the instrumentalists gradually adopted the moderate Gamme of the Solfège. The Hautbois is the instrument resulting from the progressive correction of the traditional wind instruments in order to obtain a note right, i.e. which sounds with the same height whatever the instrument. Manufactured locally by not very concerned people of this tonal precision, the traditional instruments were very long to adopt this musical standard. In fact, the Breton music can sound curiously with the ears of a music lover accustomed to the modern Western range. The octave S are not the same ones, the Note S do not vary exactly by Demi-ton S. Parfois, the quarters of tons are used. Moreover, owing to the fact that it is about a melody massively used to accompany by the dances and because of the characteristics by the Breton dances (for example the subdivision or small steps of some gavottes), this music always does not use strictly similar times lengths. This is why it is difficult to note the airs according to the notation of the classical music which cannot give a perfect transcription of these subtleties.
One can do it parallel with the situation of the song in Breton where reign the Kan ha diskan, which, because of tonal nature of Breton allied with the use of old musical modes, section with the popular song running to France, for example.
In much of areas and country, the old traditional wind instruments were still used parallel to the oboe before disappearing except notable (but not only) for bombards which survived in Brittany, from where certain specificities of the Breton music. Indeed, after having failed to disappear in the medium from the twentieth century, the play of couple (bombards and bagpipe kozh) took again a considerable strength; the festou noz and the contests of bell ringers attract many participants and spectators. In the years 1970, an intense activity of collecting of airs of melody, walk and dance was committed on the initiative of associations SKV (founded by Georges Epinette) and Dastum, and made it possible to save many airs.
Today, with the widening of the musical context (groups made up of varied instruments, generalization of electric amplification, recordings in studio etc), the moderate range spread. However, certain modern musicians (Alan Stivell, Commercial Erik) remain attached to the nonmoderate ranges. In the same way, the local practices maintain alive the musical old styles.
Modern Breton music
When the contemporary Breton music is evoked, the first name which comes to mind is Alan Stivell. With that three reasons: importance of work itself, on the one hand, the chronology and popularity in addition. If it were not the first to re-use the traditional musical matter (cf musical work in the Bagad where before - and with - him), Alan Stivell radically modernized the Breton and Celtic music by introducing the use of amplified instruments (electric guitar, low guitar, synthetizers etc).
Being added to its artistic talent, it used for the first time the modern and professional means of promotion and diffusion, and makes known its music with the general public on all the continents, to start with the public Breton, before mainly ignoramus or closed with the music of Brittany.
Other groups using of the rates/rhythms and arrangements of the " type; Rock'n'roll " and also exceeding the framework of regional popularity: Tri Yann, Old Stone, EV, Armens, Merzhin, Krêposuk, Tri Bleiz Die. Other groups use also electronics since many years like the electro-shaman Pascal Lamour.
The image which comes immediately to mind when one speaks about Breton music is that of a couple of bell ringers or that of a Bagad, one and the other proposing the bagpipe and bombards it. If these instruments were very popular, especially in Low-Brittany, where the recent surface of use recovers about the soil gavotte, they are by no means the only instruments used. Moreover, the bagpipe even is rather recent for him.
Formerly, the toothing-stone was used, in particular with the course the dukes of Brittany. But it left few traces after the ducal time. With the beginning of the year 1950, Alan Stivell and its father Georges Cochevelou, followed by others, has work for its reintroduction. It is now well established and known under the name of Celtic Harpe.
At the 19th century, the Diatonic accordion and the clarinet were introduced in Brittany. The latter rained much by its cordial tone and because it could replace a singer in the kan ha diskan . As in the other French areas, it often received a nickname, into Breton it bears a name more emotional than dépréciatif: treujenn jail (" core of chou").
Many other instruments were and are still used: Veuze, Hurdy-gurdy with wheel, violin. More recently the guitar appeared, whose vocation initially was to accompany the songs (cf Glenmor) then used for rythmer the dances, finally instrument soloist thanks to the talent of some guitarists (Bernard Benoît, daN Ar Braz, Soïg Sibéril).
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