Traditional / folk music of Belgium
Folk and traditional music of Belgium is closely tied to their Dutch cousins. Belgium is one of integral countries in European Union and one of the center of Diamond and Banking in the world. The language in Belgium change from region to region. In the north and in the Flemish region, people talks Dutch. In the south, in Walloon region, people speaks French and in the east people speaks German. Belgium also was one of brutal colonizers. As a result some immigrant communities from Democratic Republic of the Congo also live in Belgium. So Belgium is like a crossroad cultural area in Europe and it gives diversity to the folk music of this small European country.
Today there are many folk bands in Belgium who use traditional music as their root music and mix it with other musical genres.
Some Belgian traditional musical instruments are doedelzak, muchosa, pipasso, Schäferpfeife. All four are different types of bagipipe. Vièrlerète or tiesse di dj'va (horse head) which is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. It is more common with the name “Hurdy-gurdy” in other European countries.
One of the most important Belgian popular and folk musicians was Bobbejaan Schoepen. He was a Flemish pioneer in Belgian pop music, vaudeville, and European country music. Schoepen was a versatile entertainer, entrepreneur, singer-songwriter, guitarist, comedian, actor, and professional whistler. Vaudeville is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment. Types of acts have included popular and classical musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, strongmen, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and movies. A vaudeville performer is often referred to as a "vaudevillian".
Through the late 60s, traditional music became more popular with the effort of musicians like Wannes Van de Velde, Willem Vermandere, Walter De Buck. They also used a form of performing named “kleinkunst ” in Flanders. The genre can be compared to the French chanson which has many influence from root folk music.
Chanson is also popular type of music between French speaking people. Chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. The greatest Belgian chansonnier was Jacques Brel, whose classic songs have been covered by several international artists. Some Dutch speaking singers has also been inspired by Chanson.
Levenslied is another sub-genre of popular music in Belgium and Dutch music. Levenslied lyrics can be sweet or bitter, light and sentimental, but also reflective and dark, about subjects such as love, misery and far-away, sunny, exotic holiday places. Jan Verbraeken and Will Tura are two important Belgian musicians who used this genre of music.
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Traditional / folk songs for Belgium
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