Hervé Jamet

Celtic music

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The Celtic countries are officially six in number: Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, and of course Brittany.

To these six countries are added Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, all three in Spain, but also the Aosta Valley, in Italy.

More detailed information can be found on Wikipedia.

These Celtic countries find themselves in their music, celebrated by events such as the interceltic festival of Lorient. A few musical instruments are associated with Celtic music, like the bagpipe or the Celtic harp.

Another page is devoted to bagpipes.

Alan Stivell

The first name that comes to mind when talking about Celtic music is Alan Stivell, activist for Breton culture.

Alan Stivell's most famous song is "Tri Martolod"
Another well-known song by Alan Stivell is the South Armorican suite, of which it is not possible to translate the lyrics on a general public site... Here, a particular version, with the addition of French lyrics.

Tri Yann

The group Tri Yann ("the three Johns") is from Nantes. Their style is inspired by traditional Breton and Celtic music and songs.

Michao's mare is undoubtedly one of Tri Yann's most famous songs, although in fact it belongs to the traditional French repertoire and that it was taken over and rearranged by the band.
One of Tri Yann's most beautiful songs is "Si mort a mors" (if death has bitten), inspired by an anonymous Breton poem, written in French on the occasion of the funeral of Duchess Anne. The music is that of the traditional Irish song An Cailín Rua.
And to compare, the song An Cailín Rua.

Gilles Servat

Gilles Servat is a committed and activist Breton artist. After attending the Angers School of Fine Arts where he studied sculpture, painting, drawing and engraving, he moved away from this artistic environment and preferred writing and especially singing

Gilles Servat's emblematic song is La Blanche Hermine. This song describes the case of conscience of a man torn between the love of his wife and the armed struggle for the decolonization of his country. It clearly marks the refusal of Brittany's loss of identity. It is so well known that many think it belongs to the traditional repertoire. A political party attempted to use it without permission and was severely reprimanded by the author.
A concert by Gilles Servat.

Denez Prigent

Denez Prigent is a French singer and songwriter of songs in the Breton language. His favorite genres are kan ha diskan, song and counter-song to dance and especially the gwerz, a dramatic song recounting a historical fact or a tale borrowed from Breton or Celtic mythology.

E Garrison (“in garrison”) is a traditional Breton song performed to the tune of a Plinn dance. It is sung in the form of kan ha diskan, a kind of response song typical of Central Brittany. The text evokes a story of adultery of a woman with a miller during the husband's garrison in Paris.
Another Kan ha diskan, Peñse Nedeleg (“The Shipwreck of Christmas”), mischievous and lively, tells to the rhythm of a fisel dance the burlesque story of a Christmas Eve interrupted by the sinking of a cargo ship... Dozens of boxes of tobacco washed up on the shore, quickly recovered…
The gwerz Gortoz a ran (“I’m waiting”) is a poetic song sung with Lisa Gerrard. In 2001, Gortoz a ran became the main theme of the soundtrack of the American film Black Hawk Down by Ridley Scott.
La gwerz kyiv recounts the great famine in Ukraine of the last century, caused by Stalin. Current events show us that History repeats itself.


Celtic music goes hand in hand with folk dances.

Breton dances

Dances by the Saint-Malo group Quic-en-Groigne.
Breton dance is very sporty. Here, the performance of Breton comedian Simon Cojean.

Breton folk dances are still as popular with the public as ever. It is not uncommon during a concert of Breton music to see the public spontaneously start dancing.

Irish dances

Irish dancing is also very popular. They are characterized above all by rapid movements of the legs, while the rest of the body, trunk and arms remain fixed and very rigid.

These dances were popularized by the show Riverdance.

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