One of the primary ways in which Basques express their culture is through music, and a revival of folk instruments has been, pardon the pun, instrumental in developing a unique sound. Possibly one of the most unique and thus identifiable instruments is the txalaparta. In its simplest form, the txalaparta is simply a set of […]
One of the most striking things for me when I first visited the Basque Country was the music. In jukeboxes in the bars where we played foosball, there were bands I had never heard. While the rest of the US was enraptured by Nirvana, I was discovering the Basque music scene. Negu Gorriak. Kortatu. Su […]
If you haven’t ever heard the txalaparta, you are missing out. Originally an instrument of communication, the txalaparta has become a central part of modern Basque folk music. The txalaparta is a set of planks, often about 5, that two people play together. As such, it is billed as the only instrument in the world […]
A nice video on the Basques, touching on a number of aspects of Basque culture, including their maritime history, bertsolariak, txalaparta, and pilota.
One of the pioneers of modern Basque music, Mikel Laboa, recently died (Dec 1, 2008). Beginning in the 1960s, Laboa was a cornerstone of much that followed, from the rediscovery of traditional Basque instruments such as the alboka and the txalaparta to influencing even some of the hard rock and heavy metal bands that the […]