Saturday 21 November 2009

French bagpipes

I'd like to bet that when you see the word bagpipes, the first place you would think of would be Scotland, but you can find them in the traditional music of several countries.  This card I picked up at a flea market.  It has never been used and has no date.  Folk music in Brittany, north-west France) experienced a great revival during the 1970s so that with the deckle-edge to the card makes me think it probably dates from around then.

MX 3151 - Sonneur de biniou de Plougastel-Daoulas
Le biniou se compose d'un sac que l'on gonfle par un sutel et sur lequel sont adaptés une flûte - levriad des Bourdons
Roughly translated (very roughly)  Bagpipe player from Plougastel-Daoulas
The bagpipe consists of a bag which is inflated by a pipe, and with a chanter attached.

There are two types of bagpipes that originate in Brittany, the veuze and the biniou kozh (old bagpipe in Breton), but this card shows neither.  This is the biniou bras (big bagpipe) and is based on Scottish bagpipes.  Breton soldiers saw Scottish pipe bands and brought the idea home with them.  They became popular in the 1950s and then followed the revival of folk music in the area, so they are still popular these days.

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