The Bagpipes of Poitou


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When my ancestors in seventeenth century France gathered with their friends to celebrate a special occasion, everyone danced to the music of a most unusual duet of primitive instruments. The loudest and most articulate was the "Bombarde", a free-reed predecessor to the oboe, which shouted out musical phrases above the din of the crowd. Shouting back at the Bombarde was a softer, less piercing instrument, a medium-size bagpipe known as a  Veuze, or Veze Poitou.


Current Projects

Learning To Play
Each instrument is different. If you're lucky enough to know whom to ask, you'll be able to make music with your new instrument.
History of the Veuze or Veze Poitou
You've heard of the "Biniou", the tiny Breton bagpipe that's always shouting back and forth with the "Bombarde"? Now meet its bigger brother.
The Meloche Veuze
Lovingly crafted...not by a Breton, but by a Scot. Michael MacHarg found inspiration on a trip to Britanny, and built his first Veuze. This is its story.
Builders I Would Recommend
I only know of one at present, so that simplifies things a bit.
Looking For Others Who Share My Fascination With This Instrument
Send an Email Message.
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Hot List

Guide to Music in Brittany
An awesome treatise on Breton music awaits you at this site. I've never seen anything like it anywhere.
Musique celtique
Quick summary, in French, of how the Veuze evolved and how it is used today.
Les associations adhérentes à la Fédération des Associations de Musiques et Danses Traditionnelles
This is a listing, in French, of all the member associations.
The Spiral Dance
This site celebrates all forms of folk dance of Europe, with special emphasis on the circle and spiral dances of Brittany. Host Ray Price is also an accomplished "sonneur de veuze".

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© 1998 L'Association des Familles Meloche Ltd.
Last revised: February 28, 1998