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Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?

GUEST 01 Mar 09 - 02:49 AM
G-Force 01 Mar 09 - 06:30 AM
Artful Codger 01 Mar 09 - 06:38 AM
Mick Tems 01 Mar 09 - 07:01 AM
manitas_at_work 01 Mar 09 - 11:43 AM
Monique 01 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Val 04 Mar 09 - 01:06 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM
Manitas_at_home 05 Mar 09 - 03:57 AM
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Subject: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 02:49 AM

I mentioned to a friend that I'd gotten a Thierry Robin and Erik Marchan album that combined traditional Breton Celtic music with oud.

He replied that years ago he'd had an album of "Breton folk singing, but backed with a single-string musical instrument, really minimalist." I know a little bit about Breton music, but can't think what he possibly means. Is there _any_ single string musical instrument in Celtic France? The Basque region has the multi-string "tamborin a cordes" that's pretty minimal, but that's multi-string and the southwest.

Anyone have any idea what my friend may be referring to, or is he misrecalling and thinking of some just minimalist Breton music with mandolin/guitar/epinette/oud?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: G-Force
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 06:30 AM

Maybe it was a hurdy gurdy without the drones.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 06:38 AM

I was listening to an album of music from Grenada (yes I know: far afield) which featured some tunes on the "cocoa-lute", a cross between a one string bow (pitched, presumably, like a musical saw) and a jaw harp (using the mouth as resonator). The liner notes said that some form of such instruments were found in most cultures.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: Mick Tems
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 07:01 AM

There is a tradition of playing the vielle-a-roue (hurdy-gurdy) in the gallo-speaking region of Haute-Bretagne, but I think it has pretty much died out now. Erik Marchand is a fabulous singer who sends shivers down the spines of audiences everywhere... he is God!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 11:43 AM

A tromba marina? Like a one-string cello but minimalist in shape


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: Monique
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 02:35 PM

photo tromba marina


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 01:06 PM

For those who might not be familiar with the tromba marina, the string is not stopped as on violin etc. Rather, it is played entirely using the overtone sequence on the string - i.e. "harmonics". Hence the connection in the name to the trumpet, which (assuming it's a pure horn with no valves) can only play the notes in the overtone sequence.

Apologies for offering redundant information to those who were not ignorant about this historical/musical oddity.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM

But the tromba marina comes from the Italian Renaissance and never got much further. I don't think it's ever been a folk instrument anywhere. It also sounds unmistakably weird.

I'd bet he was hearing some sort of epinette.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Breton music 'one-string instrument'?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:57 AM

It may be from the Italian Renaissance but it is being played today. Just because it was on an album of folk singing it doesn't mean that the instrument was traditional to the are the singers were from. There are lots of folk groups that use 'obsolete' instruments and instruments from other cultures.


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