Breton tunes

Breton tunes


I’m asked often by the session members to know where to find Breton tunes.

So a little FAQ,and the links !

Why there is, often, no name for Breton tunes ?

Because, a lot of breton tunes come from Kan ha Diskan ( breton songs) and the musicians who adapt the tunes for bagpipe, bombarde, fiddle, accordion..lost the name. The tunes are simple, so they adapt the tunes in other tuning, change some notes….and of course with ear transmission, the name and the original name go out. Just the style of the dance is know.(plinn, andro…)

But how to play with other musicians in a pub a famous tune ?

Like in Irish session, you must to learn, and play some standard tunes played by famous fest noz bands ( Sonerien Du, Ar Re Yaouank, Carre MAnchot….and other)or the traditionnal song singing by ( Alan Stivell, Tri Yann, Servat…). The famous breton musicans know by irish musicians( like Jean Michel VEILLON, Christian LEMAITRE, Soig SIBERIL….) adapt the tunes for the instrument. Do the same !

Why there is few breton band like irish band, and a lot of Breton Pipe Band ?

Because, mostly musicans play in bagads ( breton pipe band)and the “sonneur de couple”(just one biniou player and a bombard player) are the guardians of traditionnal tunes and you can listen a lot of their music on their website
( it’s a long story about this bands and their popularity.)

So, the links ( few breton website for breton music compar to irish music = > breton we are perhaps 9 millions in the world, irish you are + 80 millions in the world….the number speak) (english/french website)
go in “Tablatures” section (english) (french only, but comprehensive) ( tunes to download)

and for breton song :
( English)

With the big ABC finder

looking for Breton dances (don’t hesitate to transpose with your software in D or in other irish tuning, we do the same in the Breton Pub, when we play irish and Breton tunes):

An Dro
Hanter Dro
Montagne ( gavotte)
Kost ( for kost ar houed, c’hoad…)
Rond ( for St Vincent/ Sautron)

Here you find a list of the Breton Dances
( the names are for looking)
And how to dance it (english)

Breton Fest Noz

Hope it help !

Re: Breton tunes

Thanks for the info, Jonathan. I love Breton music and culture.


“The Breton Dance & Tune Book” - compiled by Dave Shepherd (Blowzabella)

tunes & dances descriptions
Dragonfly Music, 1989
ISBN 1 872277 13 6

Re: Breton tunes

I’ve got a really good set of CDs from Coop Breizh called apprenez les dances bretonnes with some really nice tunes on them. No dots but dance descriptions. They are available over the net.


Fest-noz -

Coop Breizh
29540 Spézet/Speied
Tél./Pgz : 02 98 93 83 14
Fax/Plr : 02 98 93 87 97
E-mail/Postel :

CDs - Apprenez les danses bretonnes - 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 - 19 Euro each
Each CD includes a bilingual insert (French/English) with explanations for the dances.

1.) Apprenez les danses bretonnes VOL 1 (Leon/Tregor)
the group ‘Pilpazig’
COOP BREIZH, 2001, 46.5 minutes

2.) Apprenez les danses bretonnes VOL 2 (Bas Vannetais)
Yann Dour: diatonic accordion
Yves LeBlanc: clarinet and song
Catherine PASCO : song
COOP BREIZH, 2001, 58 minutes

3.) Apprenez les danses bretonnes VOL 3 (Nantais)
Yann Dour: diatonic accordion and song
Yves LeBlanc: clarinet, song, bass
Patrick Bardoul: diatonic accordion
Produit par : COOP BREIZH, 2001, 63 minutes

4.) Apprenez les danses bretonnes VOL 4 (Vannetais Gallo)
Yann Dour : diatonic accordion and song
Yves Leblanc : clarinet and song
Thierry Moreau : bagpipes
COOP BREIZH, 2002, 54 minutes

5.) Apprenez les danses bretonnes VOL 5 (Rennais)
Yann Dour : diatonic accordion and song
Yves Leblanc : clarinet and song
Serj Lépo : percussion
Patrick Bardour : diatonic accordion
COOP BREIZH, 2002, 56 minutes


Les danses bretonnes I (Leon Tregor/Bas Vannetais/Nantais
Les danses bretonnes II (Vannetais Gallo/Rennais/Penthievre)
- Philippe Brosse - music and dance descriptions in French
both - Coop Breizh, May 2004, paperback, 80 pages, 15 Euro

“la danse bretonne” - 11 Euro
Coop BREIZH, paperback, 144 pages

“La Musique Bretonne” - 11 Euro
COOP BREIZH, paperback, 120 pages

KAN HA DISKAN - a personal favourite

CD: “Kan Ha Diskan” - 19 Euro
Yann-Fanch Kemener and others -
Patrick Marie, Annie Ebrel, Valentine Colleter, Claudine Floc’hig, Marcel Guillou, Ifig Troadec and Erik Marchand.
Coop Breizh

I’ve had the pleasure of dancing to and with these people - a prize tradition and a fine group of musicians and singers…

Re: Breton tunes

“Why there is few breton band like irish band, and a lot of Breton Pipe Band ?”

I don’t agree with you, there are plenty of breton band? Of course there are a lot of breton pipe bands (bagad) but that is not the real traditionnal music.

Posted by .

Re: Breton tunes

Hello Sue81,
I wrote it in Abc after seeing the link you posted…5 years ago!. I like it a lot and i couldn´t find more information.