Improvised Poetry & Song in the Basque Country

IMPROVISED POETRY & SONG IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY

History and development

Competitions and championships
Masters of improvisation
Becoming a bertsulari
Basque Country Improvisation Championship 2009

Partners :

Aquitaine BNSA
EJGV

Punttuka and hitz muturrak

The "game" of "punttuka" is highly prized by bertsularis. This exercise enables them to "relax" a little. It involves creating one or two verses with 2, 3 or 4 improvisers. Each improviser only sings one verse at a time.

On the other hand, "Hitz muturrak" is much more complicated.
The master of ceremonies gives each bertsulari four words with the same final consonance.

Example: indar - oldar - abar - lapar or in English: fire - desire - tire - admire.

The bertsulari must spontaneously compose a verse with these four words that makes sense.

Sometimes, the master of ceremonies sings the first verse and the bertsulari improvises three or even four in order to create a stanza. The following audio extract illustrates this.

Verses by Xalbador sung by Xabier Amuriza

First verse given by the master of ceremonies: "Gauaz eta egunaz beti ametsetan..." ("Both during the day and at night always dreaming...")


Windows Media Player (116 ko)

Format Realplayer (174 ko)



 

EUSKAL KULTUR ERAKUNDEA - INSTITUT CULTUREL BASQUE

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The guides

You will be accompanied throughout this site by improvisers. During your visit: click on their photos to discover what they have to say.