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Folk Music of Spain
Spain's autonomous regions have many of their own distinctive folk traditions, especially in Basque Country and Catalonia. There is also a movement of folk-based singer-songwriters with politically active lyrics, paralleling similar developments across Latin America and Portugal.

Basque Country
Euskadi, or Basque Country, is home to a lively style of folk music called trikitrixa, based on a diatonic accordion. Kepa Junkera and Joseba Tapia are probably the most famous performers of trikitrixa. There have been influences of Tex-Mex artists like Flaco Jiménez.

Other Basque instruments are the alboka, a difficult wind instrument made with horns, the txalaparta wooden beams and the txistu (similar to a tin whistle).

There is also a tradition of choral music, like the Orfeón Donostiarra and Mocedades.

Basque artists singing in Spanish have a wider market sometimes reaching Spanish America, examples are Luis Mariano, La oreja de Van Gogh and Duncan Dhu. Other Basque artists singing in Basque include Oskorri, Benito Lertxundi, Fermin Muguruza and Azala.

Mallorca's Maria del Mar Bonet was one of the most influential artists of nova canço, known for her political and social lyrics. Tomell Penya and Joan Bibloni are also popular.

Catalonia is best known for rumba gitana (also know as rumba catalana), a popular style of music made famous by the Frenchmen Gipsy Kings. Habanera singing and the sardana dance also remain popular.

Galicia and Asturias
Northwest Spain is home to Celtic-derived culture and folk music. Local festivals celebrating the area's Celtic influence are common, with Ortigueira's Festival del Mundo Celta being especially important. Drum, bagpipe and pipe groups are the most common form of Galician folk music, and include popular bands like Milladoiro. Bagpipe virtuoso Carlos Nuñez is an especially popular performer; he has worked with Ireland's The Chieftains and Sinead O'Connor, United States' Ry Cooder and Cuba's Vieja Trova Santiaguera.

Galician folk music is characteristically in the alalas song forms. Alalas are believed to be chant-based popular songs of a long history, perhaps closely related to Gregorian chanting. Some scholars also point to a Greek origin, or Phoenician rowing songs.

Contributed by Wikipedia
5 January 2004


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