Published in post

Sylvain Barou – Breton & Irish Music 13-17/04/2022

Breton traditional music is one of the rare oral traditions in Europe that one one hand maintained it’s connection and close association with dance and on the other maintained the modal character of a part of its repertoire. Up until last century only very few instruments were used, mainly Biniou, the high pitched Breton bagpipes and Bombarde, the equivalent to the Turkish Zurna but with a different reed technique. Also clarinet and violin were used and of course we have the songs, the vocal music which is a very important part of the history in Breton tradition. Since the 70s, boosted by a kind of ‘Celtic revival’ Breton music saw the addition of many instruments that were at this time used in Ireland and Scotland and also started to incorporate other influences from the east. 

Sylvain Barou, one of the foremost exponents of Breton music today and a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and wind instruments player, proposes an introduction to the popular dance repertoire, mainly from central Brittany where he now lives. The repertoire will be approached through the study of melodies principally on the wooden flute, nourished by the varied music background of Sylvain, applying specific instrumental techniques inspired by his contact with Irish, Hindustani, Anatolian, Caucasus/Armenian/Azeri and Persian music. An adaptation of the ‘gwerzioù’ melodies (unaccompanied Breton songs of epic or mythological character) through duduk playing is an example of a study that will be proposed. 

The workshop is open to all wind and string melodic instruments players and will focus in a detailed manner on ornamentation, temperament, accentuation as well as offer an overview of the main dance repertoire styles as well as ensemble music work. 

As far as Irish music is concerned the focus will be on the unaccompanied solo playing, rather than band/modern style playing, as well as in enhancing the richness of the phrasing with the study of the music of uilleann-pipers, fiddlers and flute players. Sylvain will provide an overview of the various ornamentation and accentuation systems as well as a demonstration of specific regional styles.


Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top