Historically, singing and music are an essential part of Basque culture ...

Already in the Stone Age, the Basques were musicians since instruments have been found in the Isturitz caves dating back - 10,000 years before Jesus Christ. There were three-hole flutes (the ancestor of "txistu") cut in the bone of a vulture.
The Basque song has transcended time with singers and improvisers passing on music from generation to generation.
Today, the most well known, outside our borders, are Basque choirs. They sing in various places such as churches, theaters or places of villages ... The Basque Country has men only choirs or mixed choirs.

The annual Tolosa choral concert (near San Sebastian) has acquired an international reputation.
Basque music is not limited to singing, it comes in all forms: it ranges from classical to hard rock to traditional.
There are many typical instruments like the "txistu", the "xirul", the "txalaparta", the "ttun-ttun", the "trikitixa", the "gaita", the "pandero." You can hear them at parties, carnivals, concerts ...... They are used in particular to create the music for the dances.

Parties are part of the local culture and it is common to hear a group of "improvised" singers sing songs around a drink at a "poteo" (aperitif in Basque) or following a meal. They can be equipped with books that list the most popular pieces. Sharing a song symbolizes an exchange, a moment of conviviality. It is a value very present in the Basque Country.

Find all the festivities in our calendar!

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