Breton Music - Discover the folk and celtic music of Brittany

Bardic and celtic roots are still very much felt into the traditional Breton music. After a significant revival in the seventies, Breton music has even reached the pop music community and beyond. Today it can be enjoyed just as much at traditional music events as at rock music festivals.

Music & Instruments

Breton music is as much a vocal music as an intrumental one which accompanies all traditional dance festivals. Songs, melodies, hymns (religious festivals), marches and shanties are here to tell stories of Brittany's history and culture.

Music bands, also known as Bagadoù in breton, will typically perform the drums, the bombarde (oboe) and the biniou (bagpipe). The last two former ones are perhaps the most thought of instruments but in fact the celtic harp predates the two and has regained popularity in the last 40 years thanks to Alan Stivell and his father. The guitar, violin, wooden flute, clarinet and the accordion have also grown in popularity to find their place into today's traditional breton folk music and classical bands rubbing shoulders with the contemporary side.

The Breton music has evolved with time, has been interpreted into different styles but remains stronger than ever with increasing exchanges with its celtic and gallo brotherhood of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Famous Breton Musicians & Bands


Alan Stivell
Alan Stivell is a world renown artist in the celtic music world, a song writer/composer and musician. Although many would associate him with the celtic harp, Alan is also a talented oboe and bagpipe player. His music has become universal for being modern, avant-garde and influential. One of our all time favourites is "Tri Martolod".

Listen to Alan Stivell's Music and Buy from Amazon


Tri Yann
Originated from Nantes and founded in 1970, Tri Yann is one of the best known Breton celtic music bands in France. Their interpretation of traditional songs like "La Jument De Michao", "Dans les Prisons de Nantes" and "Les filles des Forges" are just a few of their hits.

Listen to Tri Yann's Music and Buy from Amazon


Where to hear Breton Music

In summer times, Breton music will be played freely in cafés and bars by local small bands. Your local tourist office will also have dates of local evening Fest-Noz where larger music groups will perform with the public dancing in line and groups, very much like a barn dance type.
There are numerous music festivals across the region and our What's On page will provide with places and dates but here is recollection of the major festivals per music type not to be missed:

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