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[Galician flag] [Asturian flag]Galician & Asturian Music Page

Welcome to my Galician & Asturian music page! This page contains information about the music of Galicia and Asturias, two regions located in the northwestern part of Spain. You'll find information about types of tunes, unique instruments, notable musicians and groups, and more.


General Information

Like Brittany, this is an area of the world that may not immediately cry out "Celtic" to some. But, there are actually some strong ties between the music in this part of the world and the music of Ireland, the rest of Spain, and even to the music of Morocco and other parts of North Africa.


Musicians & Groups

Note: You can find more information on Galician musicians and groups at Manuel Carro's site.

Llan de Cubel
I have to admit, I really don't know much about this group. But, I have heard a little bit of their music, and that little bit was just enough to make me want to hear more...and put them on this page, of course.
  • Group members:
  • Simon Bradley - fiddle
  • Elías Garcia - bouzouki, bass pedal
  • Marcus Llope - flute, lead vocals
  • Fonsu Mielgo - percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Xel Pereda - acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Flavio Rodriguez - Asturian bagpipes, keyboards
Milladoiro
Milladoiro (sounds like "me-a-DOY-ro") is the premier group in the Galician music scene. They recorded their first album, "A Galicia de Maeloc" back in 1979, and they've been going strong ever since. They've done a lot to put the music of their native land "on the map."
  • Group members:
  • Xosé V. Ferreirós - gaita, oboe, mandolin, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, tambourine, bouzouki, vocals
  • Nando Casal - gaita, clarinet, tin whistle, tambourine, vocals
  • Antón Seoane - teclados, guitar, accordion
  • Xosé Antón Méndez - flute, piccolo
  • Moncho García - percussion
  • Roi Casal - harp, ocarina, tambourine
  • Harry C. - fiddle
  • Manú Conde - guitar
Carlos Núñez
Carlos is quite possibly the most well-known Galician musician worldwide right now. He's worked with musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds and has really done a lot to explore some of the bonds between musical traditions that makes Galician music unique.

Unique Instruments

Gaita
The gaita is a Spanish bagpipe which, to me, sounds something like a cross between the Irish uilleann pipes and the Breton biniou.I don't have much info on them, but you can find out more at Manuel Carro's web site.
YouTube link - Galician set played by Ruben Alba Garcia

Types of Tunes

Special thanks to Jose Moreno for leading me to the following information - I wouldn't have found it without his help!! (I don't have any samples for these tunes right now, but maybe I will at some point in the future...)

Muiniera
Muinieras are tunes in 6/8 which are very lively and sound an awful lot like Irish or Scottish double jigs.
Xota
Xotas are very lively tunes which are played in 3/4 or 3/8.
Foliada
Foliadas are quite similar to xotas, but are played more slowly and have words which are sung along with the tune.
Carballesa
Carballesa are tunes in 2/4 which are played fast and with strong beats. They bear some similarity to Scottish and Irish hornpipes.
Fandango
Fandangos are slow tunes in 3/4 which are similar to waltzes.
Alborada
Alboradas are 4/4 tunes which are played at a moderate tempo. They are tunes which celebrate the rising of the sun and the dawning of a new day.
Pasacorredoiras and Passauras
These tunes are in 2/4 and are primarily played as parade tunes, suitable for marching.
Processional marches
Galician processional marches are tunes in 4/4, 2/4 or 6/8 which are played somewhat on the slow side but with a very even and "tight" rhythm reminiscent of Scottish pipe marches (which, incidentally, typically use the same time signatures).
Danzas de espadas, danzas de arcos, danzas gemiais, etc.
These are tunes which are usually linked to some sort of local celebration. Different types of danzas are played in different areas of Galicia, in much the same way that Brittany has dance tunes for different regions (dañs fisel, dañs plinn, etc.).
Pandeiradas
I don't know much about these tunes, but they are typically played in 6/8, 4/4 or 5/4.It is believed that they originally were played exclusively in 5/4, with the time signatures "evolving" over time as the tunes passed down from generation to generation.
Alalá
Alalás are slow, short tunes which usually have words and are sometimes sung while working (in much the same way that "waulking" songs were once an integral part of the ancient Scots Gaelic culture).