North American Basque Organizations
  A federation of organizations to sustain BASQUE culture


  Izan ziralako, gara, eta garalako izango dira  
"Because they were, we are, and because we are they will be"
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Feliz Navidad y
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ño Nuevo!

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ël et
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Recommended links:
Musical Groups (Txistu
Tunes for dance groups

U.S. Music Groups
Basque music videos
Euskal Etxeak article on Musical Instruments (pdf)

Euskal Etxeak article on Juan Mari Beltran (pdf)
Trikitixa The following overview is from the Basque Government's website


   Folk culture is without a doubt one of the best ways to reflect upon the differences between groups of people, and music is certainly one of the most significant elements within a folk culture.
   What exactly is this cultural legacy so closely tied in with the common folk, and how was it created? Many people think of folk music as inflexible with time, fossilized, a type of music not open to new forms and ideas; they see folk music as being played and sung, but not created.
   Part of this camp includes folklorists who simply interpret music, championing the authenticity and purity of what they consider the "true version".
   However, there are many more folklorists who believe that traditional or folk culture-and for our purposes we'll focus here on folk music-is created piecework (tune-by-tune) at a specific time in history, and is indeed altered over time.
   This culture is directly transmitted from generation to generation by way of a specific group or even passed down through the family. Each generation, to a greater or lesser degree, contributes to its makeup, and each individual uses it as he or she sees fit.
   People who have compiled or are still compiling folk tunes and songs can attest to these changes; The same melody or song changes depending on where it is found, or on whether it has been collected from an older or younger person even in the same town. Similarly, a piece may experience significant change if it goes from being sung to being played on an instrument, or if it changes from one instrument to another. Musicologists also find that when they go back to the same town some time later tunes or songs have undergone changes, often times introduced on the spot by the same musician.
   As a result, in songbooks it is not uncommon to find a number of variations on the same tune, all of which have a common origin.
   Romanian musicologist C. Brailoiu has this to say on the subject:
"A folk tune...only exists when it is sung or played, and it only comes alive by the will of the interpreter, who performs it just as he wants it to be. Creation and interpretation intertwine in a way that does not occur in written music." (Bartók, 1979. p. 43)
   Folksongs are the result of years and years of individual and group effort, each one with its own special aesthetics and uniqueness.
   We mustn't forget that throughout history folk culture has been an open-ended phenomenon, with frequent interchange between different folk cultures.


   There are a number of components in the creation of music, the most common being melody, rhythm, harmony and timbre.
   An in-depth study would be needed to determine exactly what factors have played the most influential role in determining the different folk cultures across the globe. However, it goes without saying that the aesthetics of native music have been limited and determined by home-grown musical instruments.
   But which instruments are truly "native" and which ones are "universal"? Just like any other idea or point of discussion, nothing is either black or white. And in the case of traditional music, the dividing line between "native" and "universal", in most cases, is blurred. Therefore here it should be understood that when we speak of Basque musical instruments, none are actually 100% native nor 100% universal. In virtually every example we can find, to a greater or lesser degree, elements that fit into both categories.
   So criteria can we use for classifying instruments in one of the two categories? The answer lies in what the musical instrument looks like (construction and materials); how it is played; the sound it makes; the type of music or the actual function of the instrument traditionally used by a group of people; the tone and particular scales of the musical instrument; the way in which the sound is emitted; tessitura, propagation and so forth. All of these factors endow the different types of indigenous music with their unique colour and sound. Orchestral arrangements and polyphonic instruments also play an important part in harmonic arrangements.


  A wide array of criteria has been used in studying the huge number of musical instruments so as to categorise them according to their particularities, likenesses and relationships.

  Below are three groups of classification systems, based on the following factors:
  The musical function of the instruments: melody, rhythm, harmony, etc.
  The materials they are made of.
  The melodic origins and the acoustics of the instruments.

  Using the latter as a launching pad the system developed in 1914 by German-born Erich von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs is based on acoustic principles. This classification system is generally accepted and is the one we have decided to use to classify and associate our native or indigenous instruments. We do realise, however, that we cannot always speak in absolute terms, as some instruments are very difficult to classify and others fit into more than one group.

  Erich von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs propose a system involving five basic groups. The fifth group is that of the so-called electrophones (instruments that produce sound by electronic means), which will not be included in the present paper.

Idiophones: instruments that produce sound by vibration of the whole body of the instrument. The instrument, therefore, is made of a material which requires no particular tautening (as opposed to strings and membranes) and which can produce music.
Membranophones: instruments that produce sound by vibration of a stretched membrane.
Chordophones: instruments that produce sound through the vibration of strings.
Aerophones: also known as wind instruments, these instruments produce sound from a vibrating column of air, and have two basic characteristics: a tube or receptacle that holds the column of air and a means of making the air vibrate.

   These classifications can be further broken down, based on the following variables:
- The means by which sound vibrations are activated (for example, how the vibrations are transmitted to the air column in the case of wind instruments).
- Material, appearance and composition (for example, in idiophones: metallophone, lithophone, etc.).
- The way the sound-producing material is made to vibrate (in stringed instruments, for example, whether strings are activated by plucking, bowing or striking).
   Seeing as how this is all rather complex, and aware of the wide variety of musical instruments in the Basque Country, we will try our best here to simplify matters as much as possible.


   Below is a list of the Basque musical instruments which appear in this study, based on the system explained above. It is similar to the system employed by Padre Donostia in his work entitled "Instrumentos de Música Popular Española" (Spanish Folk Instruments), in turn based on the E. Hornbostel and C. Sachs instrument classification.
   In this list we have included instruments still played today, instruments found up until fairly recently, and instruments which fell into disuse a long time ago; also included are instruments and toys used for different purposes.


A) Struck directly:
   Txalaparta, toberas, kirikoketa, percussion with gorse: hands, heels; sticks, swords
struck against one another; triangle.
B) Struck indirectly:
   Artxalus (small pieces of a hard material placed between the fingers and knocked against each other to make sound), castanets, spoons, kalaka (a kind of wooden rattle), hammer-rattle, bells, chimes, jingling disks of a tambourine, reed, kaskabeleta, kilikalaska, fingers (snapping), wren eggs, coconuts.
D) Rubbed or scraped:
   Carraca (rattle-type noise maker), bottles scraped with a stick or other instrument, bones, squeaking axle of a farm cart.
E) Plucked (flexible):
Trump/Jew's harp/musugitarra/musumusika, rana (frog-shaped clacker toy with a metal tongue, which when pressed makes a clicking noise).


   We will further classify this group according to how the sound is activated.
A) Struck with a stick or drumstick, or the hands:
   Tamboril, atabal, tambor, caja, bombo, pandero (different types and sizes of drums or tambourines).
B) Rubbed:  Directly: pandero (tambourine); Indirectly, with vibrations emitted by means of a stick or string: eltzegorra, ttipiontzia/zambomba.
D) Vibrated by air (mirlitons): Tulurte, turuta/orrazia, paper instruments.


   The music from these instruments is produced from the vibration of one or more taut strings. They may be either monodic or polyphonic, and usually have a resonating chamber. They can be classified into three groups, according to how the string or strings are activated:
A) Plucked:  Lute, bandurria (Spanish mandolin), guitar, maniura (harp).
B) Bowed: Rabete (revel), violin, zarrabete, Arizkun "harp".
D) Struck: Ttun-ttun.


   These instruments are classified according to how the air is vibrated.
A) Flutes:
   Vertical nose flutes:
   Toy whistles: txulubitas, txilibitu
   One-handed flutes: txistu, txirula, silbote
   Two-handed flutes: txilibito/txilibitu/txiflo
   Transverse flutes: cross flute, fife
   Other types of flutes and whistles: Zikiratzaile/txilibitu (panpipes), txulubita (piston), ocarina, txulubita (whistle made from an apricot stone), txulubita (tin whistle).

B) Reed instruments:
   Double-reed (oboe type): turuta, tutubi, sunpriñu, txanbela, dulzaina, gaita navarra
   - (dampered holes-clarinet type): turuta, cornet, alboka, clarinet
   - (free-playing): harmonica, accordion, diatonic accordion, small diatonic accordion, chromatic accordion
   Xirolarrus (bagpipe family): Xirolarru-bota (double reed), xirolarru-boha (single reed)
   Other types: lapwing birdcall

D) Buzzing lips/trumpet:
   Natural (no mechanical device): horn
   Chromatic (band instruments): trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba.
E) Free aerophones:
   Burrun, firringila, ziria


   Below is a list of the Basque musical instruments which appear in this study, based on the system explained above. It is similar to the system employed by Padre Donostia in his work entitled "Instrumentos de Música Popular Española" (Spanish Folk Instruments), in turn based on the E. Hornbostel and C. Sachs instrument classification.
In this list we have included instruments still played today, instruments found up until fairly recently, and instruments which fell into disuse a long time ago; also included are instruments and toys used for different purposes.



   The txalaparta, depending on the time in history and the place, has changed taken on different appearances. However, the traditional txalaparta generally fits the following description:
   Two upside-down baskets, chairs or benches are placed on the ground as supports. On top of these some type of insulation material is used-maize leaves, dried grass, old sacks, etc. A board approximately two metres long, twenty centimetres wide and six centimetres thick is then laid lengthwise on top of the supports about one fifth of the distance from either end.
   Four sticks are used to strike the instrument, the length and width of which vary depending on the origin of the instrument. The strikers used by the Zanzibar family from Lafarge are 52 centimetres long, the ones used by the Goikoetxea brothers from Astigarraga are 60 cm long and the ones used at the Billandegi farmhouses, 88 cm. The strikers in all three cases are trunco-conical shaped (tapered cylinders).
   The txalaparta is played by two musicians. Each player holds a striker in either hand in the upright position and uses them to strike different parts of the board (placed horizontally and insulated so as not to lose resonance). The music is created by both players working in unison. Depending on the town or region, each of the has a special name: "ttakuna" or "tukutuna" for one of the musicians, and "herrena" or "urguna" for the other.
   These different names indicate the function of the musician. One player establishes order and balance, while the other tries to break the pattern, creating disorder and imbalance. This goes on back and forth, setting and breaking the rhythm throughout the session; the pace gradually quickens until an unbreakable order and balance is attained.
   Although the norms associated with playing the txalaparta are somewhat strict, the players themselves are free to use their imagination and their improvisation abilities.
   One of the musicians plays the part known as ttakun or tukutun, which consists of two strokes repeated over and over again. The other one plays the herrena or urguna part, the sound that fills in the space between the first player's double strokes. The herrena player is in charge of all the games and changes, adding double strokes, single strokes, skipping strokes entirely, or a combination of all three.
   There are also other ways of making music, such as playing with timbre, tone, intensity of sound and speed.

Where was the txalaparta played?
   The txalaparta was commonly played in the San Sebastián-Urumea River region, more concretely in the towns of Lasarte, Usurbil, Hernani, Ereñotzu, Urnieta, Altza-Intxaurrondo, Astigarraga, Ergobia and Andoain.
   The instrument has always been found in rural environments and is closely associated with a rural lifestyle. In the Sixties very few txalaparta duos were still to be found and those that did exist came from the above-mentioned San Sebastián-Urumea region, specifically such places as Lasarte, Hernani, Astigarraga, Ergobia and Altza. Although all of the information we have on this instrument came from these places, we shouldn't overlook the fact that our researchers and principal musicians were Migel and Pello Zuaznabar from the Sasoeta farmhouse in Lasarte and the Goikoetxea brothers, Asentsio and Ramón, from the Erbetegi-Etxeberri farmhouse in Astigarraga.

When was the txalaparta played and on what occasions?
   The instrument is associated with local tasks and celebrations, but always with a festive overtone. Some of the San Sebastián-Urumea residents still with us today actually experienced this custom in their lifetimes, when txalaparta music was played to celebrate the production of apple cider. After the process of crushing the apples, the people who had helped make the cider would celebrate by putting together a large dinner. Things would get livelier and livelier, with the help of the slightly alcoholic amber liquid, and the txalaparta would eventually be set up. It was usually assembled out of doors, right near the farmhouse entrance, and a duo would pick up their strikers and start playing. This marked the beginning of 'phase two' of the party. Up until that point the only people present were those connected with the farmhouse and cider making; when the sound of the txalaparta was heard, the neighbours would stop by to take part in the festivities, especially the younger ones from the surrounding farmhouses.
   It is said that the txalaparta could be heard from five kilometres away, and many of the people living within the five-kilometre radius would join in the celebration.
   According to Ramón Goikoetxea, "The board we would set aside for playing the txalaparta when it came time to crush the apples in the press tended to be wet and soggy. So, we'd put it up on the roof so that it'd dry out and sound better. The people would see it up there and knew that it meant there was going to be a party soon. Everyone would keep an eye on that board, even though they knew when the next party was supposed to be held at the Erbetegi-Etxeberri farmhouse.
   And so the party went, a mixture of frolicking and dancing, drinking cider, and playing and listening to the txalaparta until dawn."
   As we can see, all-night parties are not only a thing of today. And those all-nighters were probably not just any kind of party, since the nights at that time of year are long and hard. To help get a feel for the festive environment, R. Goikoetxea offers the following anecdote: "Our grandfather would bend over backwards, limbo style, and pass under the board while my brother and I played."
   Migel Zuaznabar recounted similar stories having to do with cider parties, and to better understand the atmosphere surrounding the txalaparta he told us of another event from that time. One evening a group of draftees got together to have dinner at a restaurant in Lasarte. When the dinner was over, they decided to play the txalaparta but didn't have the materials on hand to put one together. So, what did they do? They dismantled the booth at the San Sebastián-Bilbao railroad underpass, set up a txalaparta with the 'borrowed' materials and played to their heart's desire.
   Sometimes other instruments are played along with the txalaparta. The Zuaznabar brothers from Lasarte, for example, play the horn before their sessions.
   There are other curiosities associated with the txalaparta. In all of the written references and all of the live events we have had the opportunity to see, the txalaparta is always played at night. This goes for cider celebrations, as well as weddings and other types of festivities. The only exceptions are performances given in recent years by veteran txalaparta players, events set up for exhibition purposes which do not take place in their 'genuine' context.
   This aspect deserves further study. It does not appear to be a mere coincidence that the same phenomenon occurs with other traditions bearing certain similarities to the txalaparta found the world over.


   Although in terms of appearance there are certain differences, the most common type of tobera is made of a steel rod approximately a metre and a half long, which is suspended on either end by ropes. Four small iron bars 30 centimetres long are used to play the instrument.
   The tobera is played by two musicians, each with one small iron bar in each hand. The duo play a similar give-and-take game as with the txalaparta. In the area of Lesaka, the person setting the rhythm is called the "bia" and the other musician is called the "pikatzailea" or "errepikia" (or "bata" in the Oiartzun area). A lyricist or "bersolari" intersperses the sound of the tobera with his sung verses, sometimes singing old traditional verses associated with the tobera and other times new verses improvised on the spot.

   This "variant" of txalaparta (whose name is often confused with that of txalaparta) is not only a musical instrument, but an event associated with a celebration.
   Toberas were used in similar types of events as those associated with the txalaparta, although its main function in more recent times, both in the Lesaka and the Oiartzun areas, was connected with weddings. In Lesaka it was also played on the "Día del Pregón" (public announcement day) and in Oiartzun at nuptial ceremonies.
   Events and celebrations of this type would frequently take place around lime deposits. The people would come to process lime, and at night, gathered together around the bonfires beside the lime kilns, would celebrate the so-called "karobi eztaya" festivity (literally, lime wedding). The event included dinner, bersolaris, irrintzis (high-pitched gleeful howls typically shouted out on feast days and at dances), music and often times txalaparta music.


JEW'S HARP (mosugitarra, mosumusika, trump)
   The Basque Jew's harp looks very much like an ancient key. It is a sort of metal ring that does not close fully and has two prongs extending from either side. Between the prongs is a steel tongue which vibrates when plucked.
   This universal instrument is known in the Basque Country as "trompa" (trump), "musugitarra" or "musumusika".
   It appears that this small simple instrument was very commonly played in Euskal Herria up until the end of the nineteenth century. In the early 20th century there were still some Jew's harp players in Gipuzkoa and the Duranguesado region of Bizkaia.
   Padre Donostia (1952) provides us with some details:"The people from the Duranguesado region were known as the "tronperriko" (trump-town folk), since that was where trumps were made and commonly played as well. Trumps were sold in shops in Durango circa 1890-1895, and apparently around 1906-1910 they were still being played, and quite well at that."

It seems that in the early part of the nineteenth century a dance known as the "tronpa dantza" (trump dance), named after the trump or Jew's harp music that provided its rhythm, used to be danced in the Hernani town square.
   According to Padre Barandiaran, in the early nineteenth century people used to dance to Jew's harp music in the Ataun town square. We found more information on this subject at the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastián. The mother of the late txistu player J. A. Sarasola from the town of Bedaio played a small Jew's harp at night in her kitchen while the rest of the family would dance and sing.
   Information on the last Jew's harp player we are aware of was gathered at the Sarobe farmhouse in the San Martin quarter of Orio from the mouth of Jose Peña. When he was a boy a man by the name of Nikolas Garmendia from the town of Aretxabaleta used to stay at his house. He earned his living smuggling goods across the border, fixing shotguns, selling pistols, etc. He used to room at Sarobe. He would play the Jew's harp in the farmhouse kitchen, and he was really good at it. He played all kinds of songs and dances. "What a racket he would make!" When he was done, he would put his Jew's harp away in a case or a cork box (Beltran, 1997).


TAMBORIL (ttun-ttun, small drum)

   A txistu player or txistulari forms a musical group all by his or herself, setting both the melody and the rhythm. The txistu is played with the left hand. The right hand holds a drumstick with which to strike the tamboril or drum, suspended from the left arm.
   The importance of this instrument can be clearly seen in the presence of the name danboliterua (tamboril player), which has appeared throughout history. In certain regions this drum called a ttun-ttun, and the txistulari, a "ttunttunerua". The tamboril adds rhythm to the melody of the txistu, and in fact there were very few txistularis who did not also play the tamboril.

   Drums of this type, known by different names, have accompanied txistularis and flute players since time immemorial, adding rhythm to their melodies. Atabal players in txistulari groups play with great elegance, adorning and enriching the sound of the txistu (often together with the tamboril) with drum rolls and highly complex rhythmic games.

  PANDERO (tambourine)
   A piece of news dating back to the sixteenth century informs us that when Carlos IX arrived in San Jean de Luz he entertained himself by watching the local girls dance. All of the dancers held a "tamborcillo" or little drum much like a sieve decorated with several bells. Another document which makes reference to the pandero, this time dating to the seventh century, speaks of a voyage taken by a Mrs Aulnoy. When she docked in Pasajes, "a boatwoman accompanied by fifty companions came to meet her, each woman carrying an oar over her shoulder. They marched in two columns and leading the entourage were three boatwomen skilfully playing tambourines. After greeting Mrs Aulnoy they began to play even louder, adding calls, and jumping and dancing with the utmost grace. They bid the traveller farewell with their tambourines as they continued to dance and sing." (Padre Donostia, 1952)
   On the list of musicians who came to the Pamplona festivities in the 17th century appear nine "pandereteros" or tambourine players. Six of them were from Pamplona, two from Aoiz and one from Laguardia. Eight of these musicians played solo and one as guitar accompaniment. (Ramos, 1990).
   In the nineteenth century a book entitled "Viaje por España" (Journey through Spain), written by Baron Charles Davilier in 1862, stated that "In addition to the tambourine, the Basque people also dance to the sound of bagpipes, just like the Asturians and the Galicians, with the help of the tamboril and the flute."
In his article "Erregiñetan, o las fiestas de las Mayas", Padre Donostia wrote that :"young men and women sing to the sound of the tambourine."
   These documents clearly illustrate the age-old and ubiquitous presence of the tambourine in the Basque Country; even today versions of dances dating back to earlier periods are still danced to the rhythm of the tambourine. And we should point out here that in a number of places outside of the Basque Country this instrument is known as the "tambour de basque" (see GROVE Dictionary of Musical Instruments).

   This instrument consists of pot which varies in size (30-60 cm high). All of the examples we are familiar with are made of earthenware, with the exception of one found in the town of Baigorri. The bottom is removed and a skin is stretched over the top. Then a tar-covered string is strung through the drumhead.
   Although documents containing references to this instrument are scarce, many of our elders have vivid recollections of the events associated with the eltzegorra and of stories that used to be told. Some of these people came to know the instrument themselves, while others actually 'played' it. Its function, rather than making music, was more for making noise, startling or frightening.
   Padre Donostia (1952) offers the following observation: "Much the same as in other places, this musical instrument is an empty rounded earthenware vessel with a skin stretched over the top. A string is passed through the centre of the skin and by moving the string up and down, a harsh sound is made… In other towns, this "rubbed" drum is played at Christmastime, but in Euskal Herria it is played at galarrotsas and xaribaris (forms of folk theatre based on unwritten Basque literature). The term eltzagor means horn, and the instrument is played at night to frighten off vermins."
   We do not know exactly where the instrument was used, but our data points to Gipuzkoa, Navarra, Lapurdi and Baja Navarra.
   Thanks to the information gathered here and there we can be quite certain how and why the eltzegorra was used. (Beltran, 1996).


   Nowadays, in spite of the fact that these stringed instruments and ensembles have virtually disappeared, at one time they were relevant to Basque folk organography.
   Notes referring to the Navarrese court show us that, "The King bought Ancho de Echalecu a lute...(1424)" and "The Prince of Viana (1421-1461) had at this service a French singer, a lute player and English organist." (Padre Donostia, 1951).
   An eighteenth-century document making reference to a performance which took place during the Sanfermin festivities in Pamplona mentions two accordion players and "Juan Antonio de Andiarena - bandurria - Donamaría - 1777-78." (Ramos, 1990)
   Also rather scarce on documentation are the "rondas", "estudiantinas" and other such string ensembles that were known in Euskal Herria in the nineteenth century.
   These ensembles, depending on whether they were made up of younger or older musicians, included the following types of instruments: plucked - the bandurria and lute for melody; the guitar for rhythm and harmony and sometimes the mandolin for melody; bowed - violin; wind - the cross flute and clarinet; and the tambourine, triangle and other types of rhythm instruments.


    The guitar is one of the components of string ensembles known as "rondallas" (minstrels). However it often was-and still is-the only instrumental accompaniment for songs. The guitar provides the singer with melody, harmony and rhythm.
   Here we have two examples based on old documents from the Navarrese court compiled by Padre Donostia (1951): "In the musical entourage of Don Tello, brother of Carlos III, there were harpists, violists and guitarists...." It goes on to state the following regarding the music in eighteenth-century Bayonne society: "Very few were the families that did not have a member who played the violin, the trombone or, in particular, the guitar."
   EIn Juan Mañé y Flaquer's book "El Oasis. Viajes al País de los Fueros" published in 1880, we find the following passage in reference to the 'Virgen del Carmen' feast day in the town of Markina: "the processionists, satiated to the brim, dance the fandago and the arinarin...All together, city dwellers and farmers, lordly gentlemen and women, common folk, all keeping the same step, dancing to the sound of the whistle and the tamboril, to the bagpipes, guitars and tambourines, among irrintzis and firecrackers.... (Irigoien, 1994).
   Many guitar players from different parts of Navarra would meet in Pamplona in the eighteenth century (Ramos, 1990). According to Ramos, a number of these guitarists were blind. Many resided in a Pamplona hospice known as the "Casa de Misericordia", which in our view, clearly demonstrates the low economic level of these musicians. And in fact, playing the guitar in the street was an practice commonly seen in beggars.

MANIURA (harp)

   Although there is no evidence of this instrument being used in recent times, early documents we have found show that it was most certainly used in earlier periods.
   Higinio Angles (1970) said that "Pierres de Carriere and Juanón de Ezpeleta, 'harp minstrels', met in 1407 at the Royal Court of Navarra...."
   Padre Donostia's research (1952) shows that together with the guitar and the viola, there were also harps in the fourteenth-century Navarese court.
   The word maniura, the name in Euskera for this musical instrument, was discovered by Tristán de Aphezte in 1635 in a popular folk song dedicated to Joanes de Etcheberri (Padre Donostia, 1952).

RABETE (rabel, rebec)
   This instrument is similar to the violin and very much like a rebec. The resonating chamber, which takes on different forms, and the neck are generally made of wood. They commonly have two horsetail strings.
   Padre Donostia (1952) provides us with a few details concerning the names of instruments in this group: "Arrabit = double bass, rebec; arrabitari = violinist; arrabit-egile = luthier, one that makes stringed instruments; xirribita = violin, rebec ; xirribitari = rebec player. The rebec is also called a "chirrin"...."
   Nowadays the word 'arrabita' in Euskera has become to mean the same as 'violin', but if we examine both earlier and later documents, it becomes clear that this name has been used to refer to two different though similar musical instruments (the rebec and the violin).
   References to players of this instrument appear in numerous nineteenth-century documents discovered throughout the Basque Country (Padre Donostia, 1952; Ramos, 1990).

   As seen in the section on the rabete/rebec, it is clear that the word rabete or rabel is used to describe two different instruments (the rebec and the violin or fiddle). We will try here to base our study using only references made to the latter. Padre Donostia (1952) provides us with a few details on the subject: : A"Arrabit = double bass, rebec; arrabitari = violinist; arrabit-egile = luthier, one that makes stringed instruments; xirribita = violin, rebec; xirribitari = rebec player. The term 'soinu' (sound), is also called "soñu". The same word is used to refer to the ttunttun and "music" in general. 'Sunü', 'sonülari' = folk violinist." Further on we find information on the use of the fiddle at other times in history: "Pamplona, 1641. Y. Juan de Gorroz, rebec minstrel, and Guillén de Garroch, salterio, both Basques, making street music with violin and salterio, the violinist dancing. (Basques = French Navarre). / Lapurdi, 1819. L'orchestre... est composé pour l'ordinaire d'un violon ou d'une flûte à trois trous (chirola) (The orchestra generally includes a fiddle or a three-holed flute)."
   On a list of musicians making an appearance at the Pamplona festivities in the eighteenth century were a number of fiddlers from Lapurdi, Alava, Baja Navarra, Gipuzkoa, Roncal, Baztan and other towns in Navarra (Ramos, 1990).
   It is apparent that these instruments were very prominent throughout the Basque Country, either played solo, accompanied by the tambourine or on numerous occasions with the 'tamborín' and the 'salterio' (txirula/txistu and tamboril).


   F. Baraibar Zumarraga offers the clearest definition of this instrument (from a lexicon of words used in Alava. Madrid, 1903): "Zarrabete - Blind man's organ, a musical instrument consisting of a rectangular box with strings. An iron crank turns a wheel located in the centre of the box, which strikes the strings. On one side are several keys which when pressed with the left hand, produce the different notes. / From the Basque word "charrabeta", or "rabel" (rebec) in the Larramendi, Aizkibel and Novia dictionaries, although "zarrabete" is quite different from the rabel, which is played with a bow."
   Emilio Arriaga, in his 1896 book "Lexicón bilbaíno" (Bilbao Lexicon), states "from the Euskera word Txarrabeta - Type of rebec or handle-operated organ / Chinfonía.
   This kind of mechanical fiddle has been used all over Europe since the Middle Ages. As far as Euskal Herria is concerned, documental evidence of the instrument has been seen up until the nineteenth century (Donostia, 1952; Ramos, 1990; Irigoien, 1994).

   This instrument is made of an elongated soundbox, generally with six strings tautly strung along the length of the box. The front of the box has openings of different sizes and shapes. The strings are activated by means of a stick.
   The stick is used to set the rhythm, the bass strings adding the drone. Therefore, the instrument performs two functions, providing the txirula melodies with rhythm and establishing a continual, two-note bass harmony. This continual bass generally sets the tonic and the melody's predominant tonality. The tonality can be changed by means of a movable bridge, changing the tone of all of the strings at the same time.
   This stringed drum has taken on a number of names in Euskal Herria, including : danburi, ttun ttun, soinu, rabete, salterio, tambourin (Donostia, 1952; Ramos, 1990).




TXISTU (txilibitu, silbo)
   The txistu is a vertical nose flute with three holes (all three holes are on the lower end, two on the front and one on the back). According to early written documents, txistus were once made entirely of either bone or wood (similar to today's txirula).
   The txistu is the most popular traditional musical instrument today (as was also the case in other times). One of the most obvious examples of this is that out of the list of nearly one thousand musicians who came to the festivities in Pamplona in the eighteenth century the majority of them were txistularis from different regions of the Basque Country (for the most part from Gipuzkoa and Navarra) (Ramos, 1990).
   There is abundant early documentation on the history of this musical instrument. Some say that the first vestige is a bone txilibitu (whistle) found in Laminazilo cave in Isturitz in Baja Navarra (which, according to experts, is 25,000 years old). It has three holes, all on the same side. The end is broken off at the third hole, and only one piece remains. M. Barrenetxea compiled information on the bone txistu in the Gorbea area (Barrenetxea, 1984).
   Regardless of whether the Isturitz txistu is the ancestor of today's instrument, there is no doubt that txistu music has been heard by Basques for generation upon generation. As has been attested to in so many early documents, the txistulari, or txistu player, was an integral part of his society, a rural environment with an ancestral culture and age-old customs (with some beliefs and cultural aspects dating back to the pre-Christian period). He and his music played an important role in the life of the village, participating in work activities, fiestas, dances, social celebrations, etc. Passages from Padre Donostia (1952) show that "In the coastal towns, when a whale was sighted, txistularis would notify the whalers with their txistus. / In the town of Oiartzun, in 1749, txistularis played their instruments to lift the spirits of the men building the fronton court. / In 1573 the plague festered Lekeitio for nine months, and a txistulari was brought in to alleviate with his music the townspeople's pain and suffering. / At weddings, when the newlyweds would parade through the streets in all their trappings as they made their way home, a txistulari would be at the head of the entourage."
   And the list goes on of examples of this type, demonstrating the social function and status of txistularis.
   But life has not always been so sweet for txistularis. Although today the relationship between txistularis and the Church or official bodies are just fine, over the ages txistularis have suffered severe ostracism by these institutions, since they took part in and even played master of ceremonies to certain dances, acts and age-old traditions (very often seen as pagan).
txistu band2.jpg (24508 bytes)  But life has not always been so sweet for txistularis. Although today the relationship between txistularis and the Church or official bodies are just fine, over the ages txistularis have suffered severe ostracism by these institutions, since they took part in and even played master of ceremonies to certain dances, acts and age-old traditions (very often seen as pagan).A"Upon confessing he was made to burn his txistu and tamboril in order to be granted forgiveness. / Ttxistularis, or anyone who had ever been a txistulari, could not hold public posts in certain places. This explains why in some towns the "tamborileros" would often be Agotes (a lineage of peoples from the Baztan valley in Navarra) or Gypsies, and in other towns they were brought in on feast days. / In Hondarribia, an accuser's declaration during the 1611 witch trials under the Holy Inquisition added that he saw Inesa Gaxengoa play the tamboril". We do not know for sure why that was used against her, whether it was because women were not allowed to play the txistu, or because playing the txistu was a sin in itself, or both.
   As we can see, the txistu has had a long and bountiful life; owing to the fact that it has been with us since antiquity, the instrument, contrary to what may seem apparent, has developed a number of variants and playing styles. And the same can be said for the txistularis themselves in terms of trends, repertories and their function in society. Taking this into account, we can still distinguish two principal styles: "rural-folk" and "urban-academic".
   It is difficult to pinpoint the advent of formally-trained txistularis, when in the towns and cities they were actually considered trained musicians. These learned musicians appear in a number of iconographic representations dating back to the Middle Ages, most of the time in royal court settings, either as solo players or with other musicians in some sort of ensemble. We mustn't forget that at that time the cultural Renaissance was at its peak all over Europe and musical instruments of this type (tambourine) were very common.
   As of the nineteenth century information becomes more detailed. Txistularis played dance and concert music of the period, either alone or with other musicians. Their repertory included music for the violin and other instruments, as well as dances and rhythms at the time were considered refined and quite fashionable: minuets, contredanses, polkas, waltzes, habaneras, etc. Some of the txistularis of the period were true virtuosos. It was said that Vitoria-born txistulari Baltasar de Manteli played variations of fragments of 'Oh Dear Harmony' from Mozart's The Magic Flute on two txistus simultaneously. Txistularis demonstrated their skills beyond the borders of Euskal Herria in such venues as the sitting rooms of the Madrid aristocracy.
   Txistularis were incorporated into Provincial Governments and Town Halls of the capitals and principal cities throughout the Basque Country. They would participate in official presentations, religious processions, the reception of foreign dignitaries and other such acts, using their music to liven up events when called upon.
   As we pointed out earlier, the most characteristic txistulari styles are "folk" and "academic", but seeing how the dividing line between the two was not well defined, there were txistularis who, to a greater or lesser degree, went back and forth between the two styles.
   And just as there were differences in characteristics, there were also differences in the makeup of groups. We believe there were a number of formulas depending on the means available. Below is a list of musical combinations which over the years included txistularis: One of the most common forms is the txistu and tamboril (known by the names "tamboril", "tamborin", "tambolitero" or other such similar terms), played by a single musician; Several documents contain the word "salterio". We believe that in these cases they would have used a stringed drum along with the txistu; Txistu and salterio/ttun ttun (see Ramos, 1990, and the writings of Humboldt). Txistu and pandero. Txistu-tamboril, with an atabal drum for rhythm; two txistu-tamborils (apparently forming a duo) and sometimes with an added atabal. Txistu-tamboril and rabete (tamboril and rabel / tamborin and rabete).
   Although we do not know exactly when, at one point a set group was established: 1st txistu, 2nd txistu (both with their respective tamborils), silbote and atabal; this is the quartet we are familiar with today. This configuration became very popular toward the beginning of the 20th century, having experienced very few changes since then and being seen today as the "official" txistulari group.


XIRULA (txulula, txürüla)
   The txirula, just like the txistu, is a vertical nose flute with three holes. It is shorter than the txistu and emits a higher pitched sound (tuned approximately to C). This high pitch makes it particularly vivacious, adding a special kind of sound (a single note often produces a dual harmonic effect), which can be heard from miles around, above and beyond other musical instruments. It also differs from the txistu in its structure and composition, although the instrument itself has undergone very little change over the years. It is made out of a single piece of boxwood (except for the mouthpiece). Often times the ends are reinforced with leather, since this is the part most easily broken if dropped or banged.
   Today the txirula is played in the northeast part of Euskal Herria. And in the Zuberoa region no feast-day or dance is complete without the sound of the txirula.
   The txirula is most commonly played along with a "danburi" (a kind of tamboril or small drum). A single txirula player plays the txirula and the danburi at the same time. The danburi is held against the body with same arm that plays the txirula. Sometimes two txirularis, each with their own danburi, play together. In recent years the danburi is played less and less in the Zuberoa region; more commonly seen today is the txirula-atabal combination. Much the same as we have seen with the txistu, the txirularis have formed musical combination with other instruments such as the violin or the diatonic accordion.
   The txirula-danburi has declined greatly in recent years. According to older documents, it was widespread throughout Navarra (down to Tudela), as well as throughout Iparralde, or the French side of the Basque Country, stretching from the coast to Zuberoa.
   To understand where and what types of groups played these instruments, we refer to a very informative study carried out by Jesús Ramos entitled "Materiales para la elaboración de un censo de músicos populares" (Materials for drawing up a census of folk musicians). As this paper points out, in the eighteenth century, in addition to Iparralde (most of the region) and Navarra, the instrument also appears in Alava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa (see ttun-ttun).

   Although larger in size, this instrument has the same structure as the txistu, with a pitch three and a half tones lower. Given its size, the silbote is difficult to play one-handed and generally both hands are used.
   We do not know when it first came on the scene but at some time the silbote became part of the txistulari group. The first references of this instrument and of the makeup of the group date to the early nineteenth century. The established txistulari group was composed of a 1st txistu, 2nd txistu (both with their respective tamborils), a silbote and an atabal, which is the quartet we are familiar with today. It seems obvious that the txistularis wanted to put together their own group, adding a lower-pitched txistu to the sound of the first two txistus, and in this way, rendering a fuller sounding harmony.

   This is a small semi-trapezoidal shaped piece of boxwood. The upper end has a line of different sized holes. The lower end is finished with a kind of bird's head.
   The index card accompanying this instrument in the San Telmo Museum contains a remark by Telesforo Aranzadi in 1920:(Goatherd's whistle. Made of boxwood, in Oloron. Used by Basque goatherds in the French side, and zirikatzailes are utilised in numerous towns and locations in Euskal Herria.)

Sunpriñu2.gif (31002 bytes)SUNPRIÑU
   This instrument is a conical tube made of hazelnut tree bark. The upper end is flattened to form the mouthpiece for each of the two reeds. The sunpriñu has two holes to vary the tone. The player blows on the mouthpiece while using the index fingers of both hands to cover and uncover the two holes in order to create the melody.
   In Euskal Herria there are two instruments of this type, the sunpriñu being the variety made of hazel bark. It has fallen into disuse today and is virtually unknown. The last sunpriñu players were shepherds from the Larraun valley in Navarra, who would take their sheep to graze on the slopes of Mount Aralar. It has been confirmed that the instrument was played up until the Civil War in 1936, and is also known to have been played on occasion subsequent to that date.
   Since the instrument has two holes, three-note melodies can be played. The most common melody played was called a "Durunbele", with each musician free to interpret the tune as he liked, some playing a quick version, sprinkling the tune with chirping sounds, and others preferring a slower rendition, emitting more sustained notes. Listeners were very familiar with the different versions.

   This double-reed instrument is much like the gaita-dulzaina, quite well-known in the Basque Country, although a little smaller. The reeds were made of cane, horn and plastic (as they ended up being made by Caubet). The tube is cone-shaped and made of boxwood. It is shorter than the dulzaina, approximately the length of where the so-called "oreja" (ear) holes are on the dulzaina (which the txanbela lacks). Also like the dulzaina, the txanbela has eight holes for varying the tone-seven on the front (the last of which is off to the side so it is more easily reached with the little finger), and one on the upper back.
   The txanbela has maintained its particular early Basque music style and flavour, and is today one of the oldest, if not indeed the oldest, forms of music still present today in our repertory of folk songs. The txanbela is therefore not only a musical instrument but also a way of making music. An expression used in the Zuberoa region refers to this special style: "txanbela bezala ari da kantatzen" (He/she sings like a txanbela).

   The dulzaina-gaita is made up of a double-reed mouthpiece comprising two cane reeds joined to the tube by a curved metal crook, which directs the vibrations of both reeds to the tube; and an irregular shaped conical tube (the wider part a the bottom), usually made of wood, most commonly boxwood. At the end of the nineteenth century, the metal dulzaina began being made in Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia. The instrument became very popular (particularly in Bizkaia). For this reason many people consider the "dulzaina vizcaína" a synonym for the metal dulzaina.
   Eight holes vary the tone of this instrument, seven on the front and one on the upper back. The furthest hole from the mouthpiece is set off to one side so that it can be more easily covered with the little finger (some of the older dulzainas do not have this hole, and therefore can play one less note). All dulzainas have two holes at equal points on either side, marking the end of the melody-making part of the tube.
   Although most of time it is accompanied by the drum, the tambourine has also been used as musical accompaniment (P. Donostia, 1952). And since the appearance of the diatonic accordion, this instrument is also often played with the dulzaina.
We are unaware of exactly how old this instrument is. We do know however that for at least a hundred years two kinds of dulzaina music, much the same as the development of the txistu, have been in existence-rural dwellers with no formal music training, and city people who have had formal music training. This time we will refer to the former group.
   In rural environments musicians learned and played by ear, playing their music in village processions. The repertory, for the most part, consisted of fandangos, jotas, arin-arin, porrusalda, marches and popular folk songs. Beginners learned by listening to dulzaina players at home or in the neighbouring villages. When they were then able to play on their own, they would pick up new songs by ear.


Nafarroako gaita
GAITA NAVARRA (dulzaina)
   The mouthpiece, tube and holes for varying the tone are much the same as the dulzaina. In addition, this ancient instrument has another component, a metal chain. Some of these instruments have a kind of metal chain attached on the lower side, where the tube and the mouthpiece are joined.
   As we have observed in old documents, the gaita-dulzaina was used since antiquity throughout Euskal Herria. In those written documents it was not always clear what instrument was being referred to with the word "gaita", the dulzaina or the xirolarru. For this reason, we shall only use sources which clearly distinguish the two.
   In the list of musicians making an appearance at the Pamplona festivities in the eighteenth century, the dulzaina and the gaita are cited several times. (J. Ramos, 1990).
   With very few exceptions, in Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia dulzaina players had very little contact with the world of formal music; however, in Alava and Navarra, dulzaina players were often the product of music schools, and it was not uncommon for them to also have played other instruments associated with musical bands or orchestras.
   In towns and cities the sound of this instrument would set the early morning rhythm on feast-days, accompanying masquerade parades of "gigantes" and "cabezudos", and filling town squares with their concert and dance music.
   Navarrese gaita players or "gaiteros navarros" have widely acclaimed for ages, even beyond the confines of Navarra. In the urban areas of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, dulzaina players from Navarra (from the town of Estella, for example) would be brought in for the more important feast-days, even when "dulzaineros from neighbouring villages" were available.
   The repertory of these musicians, just like that of the city-dwelling txistularis, is varied and reflects the styles of the period. It is easy to see that the gaita players adopted the foreign rhythms and melodies in fashion at the time. Therefore, in addition to native music and rhythms, in their repertory we find sonatas, polkas, mazurkas, habaneras, rigodones, pasodobles, schottisches, etc.
   Dulzaina music seems to have reached its peak in the nineteenth century, judging by the music written by Estella composer Julián Romano (1831-1899). Very few gaita-dulzaina players today are able to do justice to this music. A period of decline started in the early twentieth century, and by mid-century the gaita players were scarce, essentially found only in the Estella area. In the Seventies the Lakunza brothers, born in Navarra but residents of Bilbao, were the instigators of what was to become an upswing in the gaita's popularity. Using all their knowledge and all the information they had compiled over years and year of research, they began teaching and promoting the creation of new groups. In 1968 they published the first book on how to play the gaita. Groups soon sprung up all over the Basque Country. A number of them are solid autonomous groups dedicated to playing music, as well as teaching, carrying out research and fomenting the popularity of the instrument.


ALBOKA (alboque, alboca)

The alboka is kind of clarinet with a double bored pipe, two horns and two cane reeds. It is actually more like two musical instruments in one or one attached to the other.
   The repertory generally consists of fandangos, jotas, arin-arin porrue and marches. Although a number of familiar melodies are played, albokaris (alboka players) tend to add their own personal style to the music they play. This explains why today there are dozens of versions for every tune. This instrument is associated with the tambourine and verses. The tambourine helps to mark the rhythm in dances, and most of the tunes have a special part for verse singing.
   To play the alboka air has to be blown out non-stop, similar to the bagpipes or xirolarru. However the alboka has no bag to store up air, instead using a system of turning the air around, that is, taking air in and blowing air out at the same time. To learn this technique a straw or slender cane is placed in a glass of water. The idea is to blow into one end of the straw, continuously creating bubbles in the water. Another exercise consists in covering the small horn with a "txapela" or Basque beret and blowing air into the horn forcing it through the txapela filter.
   It is difficult to say when, where and how the alboka made its appearance in the Basque Country. Below are passages from a few documents referring to the alboka:
   "Mondragón, 1443. Tamboril, albokas and panderos were used for dancing and singing. / Duranguesado, 1777. it may not be appropriate to interrupt the five o'clock summer tamboril and alboca sessions, and the two o'clock winter sessions... / 1826. Some of the old Christmas verses sung in Biscay mention the 'albokia'." (Padre Donostia, 1952).

"Payments carried out by the Portugalete parish church in terms of accounts dating between 1670 and 1673, / / ... include references to payments made to albokaris (alboka players). There are two entries from two different years, and one of them reads as follows: "paid to one alboca player attending the eve and the day of Our Lady". / The following year, 1675, and again in 1682, two more payments were made to: "alboca players and tambolileros who attended the festivities as usual". / In the accounts referring to performances taking place between 1679 and year there is mention of the expenses of "Çabala the alboca player". / ...In a dispute that resulted from "performing "dances with tamboril, alboca, flute and other instruments" in a small square located between the Larrea tower-house and the Convent of the Carmelites. The complaint was made by the owner of the tower-house for the nuisance and unbearable noise made by those gathered at that spot. ... this occurred around 1730."
   Zárate (Barcelona, 1884), speaks of a tall mountain in Gipuzkoa, where sacrifices were carried out. According to his account, "…and with their old-style frills and embellishments, dancing to the rhythm of ravels, albocas, and tamborils." / The archives of Durango…contain detailed evidence of "the alboca players who were present during the visit of His Royal Majesty." (1828) (Irigoien, 1994).
   Even without the help of any additional early documentation there is no doubt that the alboka has been used in the Basque Country for centuries. In recent years the instrument has suffered an important decline, but if we pay attention to the information to be found in studies today (and here we should point out two books written on the alboka by J. M. Barrenetxea), we see that the instrument was used up until quite recently in Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Navarra-in the Arratia valley in the foothills of Gorbea range; in the Duranguesado region; from Oñati at the foot of Aizkorri to Otzaurte; in Mondragón and in Urbasa. We also have information on the existence of alboka players on the coast of Gipuzkoa, particularly in the towns of Deba and Aia.


 ACCORDION (diatonic accordion, small diatonic accordion)
   This is the Basque Country's 'youngest' musical instrument. By the end of the nineteenth century the diatonic accordion had made its way to all corners of Euskal Herria, in both urban and rural settings. However, it found its true niche in rural environments.
   The instrument penetrated the world of the txistu, alboka, dulzaina and other instruments, adopting a good part of the repertory of these other instruments as its own. Based on a blending or fusion of the repertories of early instruments and backed by the greater variety this new instrument offered, a new Basque folk music style was created. This style is what today is known as "trikiti" (the name in Euskera for the small diatonic accordion).
   The learning process for this accordion is anything but formal; musicians pick up their skills in the same way as players of the txistu, dulzaina or alboka-in a rural environment listening to other musicians and adapting the music as they see fit.
   Musicians tend to carry on the basic old-style characteristics, but the polyphonic harmonious nature of the instrument allows them to build on their music. Often times the accordion would be played by the younger generation of musical family whose members had played other types of earlier musical instruments; nor was it uncommon for the same musician to switch from his previous instrument to the new accordion.   

The early 20th century saw the appearance of groups made up of an accordion, a txirula and an atabal, sometimes joined by a dulzaina and tambourine. In a few places this combination can still be seen today. However, the diatonic accordion found its greatest popularity in the provinces of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, in the company of tambourine and song. This is the composition of what is best-known today as trikiti.

ACCORDION, (large accordion, chromatic accordion)
   Shortly after the appearance of the diatonic accordion came the chromatic accordion. There were two types, one with buttons on the right side, known as the chromatic accordion, and the other with keys, called the piano accordion.

XIROLARRU (bota, gaita, bagpipes)
   This instrument consists of a metal tube, a drone, an air bag and a blowpipe. Written documents and a number of iconographic records from different places throughout Euskal Herria give witness to the use of instruments of this type both in the Basque Country, as well as surrounding regions.
   We do not know just how common this instrument was, since often times it is not clear whether the word "gaita" appearing in early documents refers to the "dulzaina" or to xirolarru type instruments. However we do know that in Rioja Alavesa xirolarru instruments were played. A document dating to 1611 from the town of Oyón states that "...The gaitero was paid seventy-seven duros (a duro is a five-peseta coin) for playing the 'bota' at the feast of the Immaculate Conception." We believe that "bota" was the word used to describe the air bag, which looked very much like a "bota", or wineskin. Padre Donostia has this to say: "... It appears that in the late-eighteenth, early-nineteenth century the tamboril was not played in some parts of Alava. In the south of Alava the 'gaita gallega' (Galician bagpipe) is played instead." (Donostia, 1952) In some towns in the Rioja region this instrument was heard as recently as the Twenties. As a result of the in-depth research and reconstruction work carried out by a group of local researchers, we can once again see, play and enjoy the sound of the xilolarru.

   This xirolarru is a kind of double clarinet similar to the alboka. It is played in the Landes area of southwest France and is known by the name boha.
   Documentation on the use of the xirolarru in Euskal Herria is both abundant and confusing. One of the most curious examples is a document dating back to the period of Charlemagne, included in Padre Donostia's book Música y músicos en el País Vasco (1951). The document makes mention of Stromatheus Tragicus de gestis Caroli Magni, written by Aimeric de Peyrat, which describes the festivities celebrated by the townspeople:
      "quidam cabreta vasconizabant, levis pedibus persaltantes"
   Padre Donostia provides us with the following translation: "some of them would jump and dance to the music of the 'cabreta' just like the Basques" (Donostia, 1952). Xirolarru type musical instruments are known as cabretas in a number of places in France.

BURRUN (furrufarra, zurrunbera)

   This is a small board with a string attached. The size and shape of this instrument varies depending on its place of origin. The player holds one end of the string and twirls the board rapidly, creating a whirling sound. The tone varies depending on how fast the instrument is twirled.
   Father Donostia's collection of Basque musical instruments (1952) includes "free aeophone" toys of this type. J. Caro Baroja (1977) describes a similar instrument found in Alava as being unique and known locally as a "furrufarra".
   J.M. Barandiaran (1974) found a gadget in Sara called a "burrun". There it appears to have been used to frighten off animals.
   Furrunfarra: This long narrow board (30.5 cm) has a string at one end and is used to make noise. the children in Lekeitio use it during Lent to scare off sparrows (Museum of Bilbao, 1998). The children in Oiartzun also used noise-making instrument of this kind, made out of small wooden boards or stones.



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