French Folkmusic

French Folkmusic

Heeey folks,

COuld you give me some advise on different kind of folkmusic?? I’m interested in your opinion about french folk.. What sort of songs are there in french folkmusic (like jigs, reels and hornpipes in Irish folkmusic)??
Thanx !

xx Aine

Re: French Folkmusic

To start with: there is a clear difference between Breton music and ‘the rest’. Breton music is ‘celtic’ (> related to Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Galician music), the rest is not. Try to search for Breton music in the past discussions, there’s quite a lot of it through the years.

Don’t know that much about ‘the rest’, I can play a few bourrees, guess that’s all.

Re: French Folkmusic

There are different local traditions, the one in Auvergne in central France being, I believe, particularly strong. Different kinds of bagpipes are a prominent feature in these traditions.

Re: French Folkmusic

You can find some tunes here on site, in some sessions the occassional Breton or French tunes get played, in rarer cases you can find more of a mix, or if you’re in Belgium ~ they love everything ;-) ~ I know I’ll get stick for this…

Try searching these names ~

en dro
an dro
hanter dro
gavotte
laride
ridee
dans fisel
dans plinn

bouree

there are waltzes, mazurkas and polkas too, but that would be too large a result to wade through. That isn’t the end to ‘French’ music, there’s Quebecois and French Canadian too, and Acadienne, not forgetting the French contribution to the music in general of the Canadian Maritimes, including Cape Breton and Prince Edward Islands and Newfoundland…

Once you have your focus, you need to acquire some recordings and start educating your ears, the most important tools you have in this business, those and your feet ~ it helps to dance where ‘dance music’ is concerned, for a deeper understanding of what it means and what makes the music ‘dance’…

‘French Folk Music’ is a very large subject, what with 7 major languages and all kinds of variety… It is a truly amazing place and mix of cultures…

~ "7 major languages and all kinds of variety… It is a truly amazing place and mix of cultures…" ~ meaning in mainland France itself… Then there’s the rest of the Francophone world, including Africa…

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Howdy nicholas, I expected you’d showed up here. Seems we’re cross posting again… ;-)

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The Auvergne is one of several areas and traditions found in the mountainous region of France Central known collectively as the Massif Central ~ a lovely place with lovely music and dance and food and people…

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The bagpipes of France is as big and varied a subject as the country itself…

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Name the seven major languages, ceolachan!

Including minor ones or residual ones, I can think of French, Catalan, Basque, Languedoc/Occitan, Provencal, Breton; that’s six. Are there German-speakers in Alsace?

Other major languages have to be Arabic and the English of the Calais hypermarket…

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…not to mention the English who’ve bought up swathes of the countryside.

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Not just in Alsace… ;-)

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Pronounced Al’s Ass… Lovely wines and food there too…

What English? Do you mean the English ghettos with their cricket clubs and fish and chip restaurants? Those are hardly deserving consideration as ‘French’… ;-)

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I’m sure we’re forgetting one? :-/

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Hi all,

I live in the french Pyrenées, in the easternmost part of Gascogne (between Garonne and Salat), been here five years, and I have to signal a very welcome revival of the local traditional music. At the session that is held here, I’ve seen up to three hurdy-gurdies playing together.

In this part of France you’ll find "Bourées", "Rondeaux", "Chapeloises", "Cercles Circasiens", "Scotishes" and other forms that are somewhat analog to the jigs, reels and hornpipes of ITM.

http://www.reveeveille.net/

is a site that offers a whole range of tunes, some with arrangement.

It has been my startingblock in "Occitan" music, along with some sheetmusic passed on to me by some of the local players.

This of course is only the tip of the iceberg…

Oh, and the seventh language is "picard", a strange mix of old french, flemish, and whatever happened to land itself between Paris and the coast. And there are remenants or "Francique" in the north-east, a descendant language of the first germanic invaders of France, the Francs.
But the list is long, each village having either a local cheese or it’s own way of speaking… or both.
Addishatz!

Re: French Folkmusic

I think there is a site called … Le Session

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Re: French Folkmusic

Don´t forget Béarnais, still spoken in the Béarn region down by the Pyrenees, tucked in between the Basque Country and Occitania. It includes Lourdes and the capital is Pau. Deservedly famous for its cuisine.

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What about Gallo spoken in the east of Brittany? I make that 8 or 9 languages.

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Fanning, I’m smiling so wide it hurts. What a lovely contribution, yes, it was the Northwest I was thinking of. Thanks for that, much appreciated… :-)

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& murfbox & iwerzon too!! Halelujah! I wonder when will the others arrive? We could pull together a Bal Folk or Fez Nos, or a bit of both… Break out the wine, cidre and beer…

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Alsace belonged to Germany up to the end of WW1. They used to speak their own dialect and had their own folk revival in the Seventies. There was a famous singer called Roger Siffer. I remember going to a folk dance in Colmar long ago. Very much the same as any barn dance.

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Re: French Folkmusic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsatian_language

Alsatian (Elsässerditsch; French: Alsacien; German: Elsässisch or Elsässerdeutsch) is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a region in eastern France which has passed between French and German control many times.

Not readily intelligible to speakers of standard German, it is closely related to other nearby Alemannic dialects, such as Swiss German, Swabian, and Badisch. It is often confused with Lorraine Franconian, a more distantly related Franconian dialect spoken in the far north-east of Alsace and in neighboring Lorraine.

Many speakers of Alsatian write in standard German. Street names in the Alsace may use Alsatian spellings (they were formerly displayed only in French but are now bilingual in some places, especially Strasbourg)


‘Lorraine’ was the other department I had earlier hinted toward in this regard… ~ ‘Lorraine Franconian’…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorraine_Franconian

There’s a lovely multi-coloured map to be found there if you scroll down… ;-)

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Thank you for noting Gallo Iwerzon! My mother’s folks came from there, but I didn’t think anybody would have heard of such a small linguistic enclave to mention it.

Ceolachan, I went and posted the link to Marc Lemonnier’s website.

Enjoy!

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Three hurdy-gurdies playing together? All in tune? That would have been something to see!

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Unfortunately what’s left of actual Gallo in how I speak french is nothing more than a quaint accent heavily coloured by my Montrealese mish-mash…
When I spend time in Brittany though (especially around Saint-Malo or toward the Baie-du-Mont-Saint-Michel), or when among family, we all tend to become rather incomprehensible to anyone not accustomed to hearing our way of speaking. It’s made for some weird looks from french people who know where I come from :-P.

And yes, the hurdy-gurdies were in tune. With the harp, the cello, the viola, the fiddles, the two guitars, the bagpipes (cabrette) and believe it or not, themselves!

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How about Cajun country? There’s a lot of Lousiana-melting-pot influence, but some of the older tunes (and songs) retain a French flavor.

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C’est bon!!!

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You want a real buzz, I’ve been caught in the middle of a happening with more than a dozen handel-crankers going at it. It was better than expresso or any other drug, legal or not, for getting a buzzzzzzzzzz…

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A DOZEN hurdy-gurdies!!??
Wasn’t there the chance of an OD?
BUZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
indeed 8-()
wow.

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I want a hurgy gurdy! I considered one of the kits, but I don’t need yet *another* project to not get around to.

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Another tune/dance form ~ Farandole

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Tooty advises me that there is a revival of regional French music going on with places that used to be considered dead zones rediscovering their heritage .
We went to a folk music event in the Vandee that would have been considered odd ten or twenty years ago in the centrerist french state by being only local music.
Ceol …doing the Farandole with a french girl sounds fun ! I will suggest it on the 28th see what tooty says ;-)
If I end up in hospital its your fault for the insurance claim.

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Give my your instruments to hold before you start… :-D

That’s right, hand over the bazouki ~ and now the flute. I’ll take good care of them for you…

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It is my favourite kind of music…both Breton and Auvergne.

Breton - love the way that the song music and dance are so intimately connected. The simple tunes that can be learnt by ear after one hearing leave so much room for improv and ornamentation. Bombarde and Biniou-koz are just bliss in good hands and Serge Liorzou just has something about him.

French - bourées, hurdy gurdies, nice wine: bals are perfection - ceilidhs without someone shouting at you what to do, everyone possessing inherent ability to know exactly what to do.

And I won’t get started on the rest of the Francophone world or I might start to sing!

Hooray!

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Too many hurdy-gurdies close by make me feel like some Mediaeval notable who’s had a surfeit of lampreys and is about to be done in by the effects.

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~ and that from an accordion player… :-/

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If you want to hear french music, there’s THE festival : around the 14th of July, at St Chartier : a small village in the center of France, with a huge folk festival : at the origin it was a hurdy-gurdy and bagpipe festival, and it enlarged : about a 100 instrument makers, you can try the instruments, good concerts (at least one of them is ITM - I heard De Dannan, Dervish, Boys of the Lough…), sessions and bals folks all nights, and everybody playing everywhere. Great fun, I used to stay awake four-five days, just playing and playing…. a lot happens in France in the trad. field…
as for the music, every region has its style : Bourrées aren’t played the same way in Auvergne or Berry, some are 3/4, others 2/4, Farandole is a chain dance in 6/8, a bit like a jig… the list of tunes and style is quite long and rich…

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Now we have the makings of a great Bal Folk / Fest Nos…

Sadly I haven’t yet made it to St. Chartier, and all those instrument makers. I can’t believe it. I love instrument makes, but mostly tend to visit them one at a time… "St. Chartier", he repeats whistfully ~ "someday, someday…"

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If you ever go to St. Chartier, it´s worth following it with a trip to the festival at Tocane-St. Âpre, 200 or so Kms further south in the Perigord region, not far from Bordeaux.
Tocane is usually the weekend after St. Chartier, but sometimes they can overlap by a day or two. Idyllic village and countryside, music is mainly pure drop ITM. Accommodation is limited but there are camping facilities.
The proceedings consist of sessions in, and on the terraces of, bars and workshops in most instruments with some quite big names from Ireland. Mary Macnamara is a regular visitor/teacher.

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Also, for the record, three-time bourrées are in 3/8 not 3/4.

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I think Breton music is lovely from what I heard of it and I’m not someone to begrudge the Bretons their PR opportunity, but I’m afraid I have to take issue with Henk’s assertion that Breton, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Galician music would be related "as they are "celtic". Okay, the *languages* might be related, but I think the "celtic" musical connection is mainly a publicity stunt.

Of course, yes, Irish music and Scottish music are related. But can you honestly say there is a bigger " celtic connection" between, say, Scottish tunes and Galician music than between Scottish (in this case especially Shetland) music and those unceltic Vikings in Sweden ? Is Breton music really closer to Irish music than something not-so-celtic from another place in France? I’m really sceptical about Breton and Irish music being particularly close through some shared Celtical heritage. Won’t let that stop me enjoying it, though.

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Re: French Folkmusic

yeah, you can note them in 3/8…. I’ve seen quite a lot written in 3/4… after all, it’s more a question of how you play them, than how you write them… I’ve seen some people, good musicians at all that, writing waltzes in 6/8… and playing them perfectly well as waltzes…

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And I do think like SL*, concerning the "celticness" of breton music… after all, we swiss were a celtic tribe, the Helvets, and if I do look for it in a certain way, I’m bound to find definite connections between swiss music and so-called celtic music… as with about every kind of trad. music…

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and Ceoalachan, if you make it to St Chartier, hop over to Switzerland… nice country, nice sessions, nice wine and cheese…

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"I’m really sceptical about Breton and Irish music being particularly close through some shared Celtical heritage."

If I remember correctly, the Celtic Bretons of Brittany migrated there from Cornwall (and maybe Wales ?), pushed out by invaders. So Breton music might be expected to have a closer relationship to Cornish or Welsh music, rather than Irish, although both traditions are largely lost to us, so it’s difficult to make a convincing link.

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Just to see you Nikita, just to see you would be pleasure enough. The rest would be the icing on the cake, so to say… ;-)

Let’s not forget the important Celtic presence in Austria too…

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Hey wolfbird, you’ve gotten a reprieve I see… Keep it civil now, none of your barroom brawling… :-D

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Yes,three hurdy-gurdies playing togther without human intervention would have been an arresting sight.

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Austria or Asturies?

Breton and Irish Gaelic share a lot of similiar words especially if you transfer a c (pronounced like a Q) ror their p (P celts verses Q celts in linguistic circles where the phrase mind your p’s and q’s comes from!) eg Breton for head is Penn which is Ceann in Irish.
I think there is a lot of similiarity in the music. You have to remember there was always an historic link with Brittany and Ireland from the era of the flight of the Earls whose ship sailed from Brest, to mercinary Breton soldiers supposidly fighting for Brian Boru in the 12 century.
The Gwerz is a slow air in Breton and when sung sounds very like some of our sean-nos singing. The harping traditions is similiar and in 10th century woodcarvings in Ireland there are oboe like instruments very similiar to a bombard.

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I think the departure of ex-Roman British to Brittany and maybe other parts of France at the time of the Anglo-Saxon revolts and invasions is quite well documented. It may well be that the Breton language comes from these people rather than from an unbroken continuation of Celtic speech in Gaul, which seems to have been more Romanised and Latinised, and for longer. In all events I’ve heard a tale of a Breton trainee teacher who was supposed to do a stint in Britain so as to learn English but ended up in Wales, and found that, in a Welsh-speaking area, speaking Breton got him by for his stay!

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Q: MacDonald,
P: Ap Gryffudd -

- That sort of thing? I hadn’t sussed this P and Q Celtic thing
before…

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"Romanised and Latinised" ~ a large chunk of the vocabulary of Welsh and Breton is Latin in origin, and it doesn’t end with just words…