Type: Aerophones > Flute > Duct.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.211.12
Area: French Basque Country.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & West Europe.
Description: Xirula [in Basque: pronunciation [ʃiˈɾula]] spelled chiroula in French, also pronounced txirula, (t)xülüla in Zuberoan Basque; Gascon: flabuta; French: galoubet] is a small three holed woodwind instrument or flute usually made of wood akin to the Basque txistu or three-hole pipe; but more high pitched and strident. Tuned to D / G and an octave higher than the silbote. The sound that flows from the flute has often been perceived as a metaphor for the tweet cadences of bird songs.
It is an instrument characteristic of the Pyrenees and it is played on the French side of the Basque Country. The extent of its use has declined over the years, having long been supplanted in Labourd and Basse-Navarre by the txistu. Along with the atabal [a tabor-like instrument played with drumsticks]. Where thee xirula provides the musical background for a variety of dances.
Besides performing the music for dances, in the former viscounty of Soule [Zuberoa in Basque]. It may enliven accompanied on both the ttun-ttun and the atabal the traditional carnival-time performances called maskaradak as well as the pastorals, age-old region-specific theatre plays popular in the area.
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