Masters of improvisation
Most bertsularis between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of
the 20th century were ordinary people and were unable to either read or
However, some of their verses seduced spectators filled with wonder who,
by remembering them, helped them to be passed on from one generation to the
Certain verses have today even become the classics of Basque song, sung
on stage, at meals, or even at dances like “Behin batean Loiolan” by
Bilintx! In this sense, sung and versified improvisation is often considered
to be the ancestor of song in the Basque Country.
Here you can find out more about some of the great
names of versified improvisation in the Northern Basque Country
from the 16th century to the present day in addition to current young
You can also consult
a selection of bertsus composed by these improvisers.