ICDBL.org© Guide to the Music of Brittany

Musical Instruments of Brittany: The Veuze

The Veuze is a one-drone bagpipe found in southeastern Brittany and in the northern part of Vendee. Played alone or with the accordion or fiddle, this instrument is perhaps the oldest of the bagpipes found in Brittany and has changed very little in form since the Middle Ages. The tone of the veuze is similar to that of the gaita of Galicia, Spain, or the cabrette of the Limousin and Auvergne regions of southern France. The veuze disappeared from Brittany for several dozen years before pipers began to research it and locate old instruments. It was only in the mid-1970s that the instrument saw a real revival thanks to the organization Sonneurs de Veuze which researched its use and reconstructed instruments. Today some 80 musicians play this instrument.


See the «Panorama» section of the Dastum website: www.dastum.net for a history of the veuze and musical samples.

«Musique bretonne - Histoire des sonneurs de tradition.» (Douarnenez : Le Chasse-Marée/Ar Men. 1996. 512 pages. Beautifully illustrated history of bagpipes, bombardes and other instruments of Brittany.

«La musique bretonne» Roland Becker and Laure Le Gurun. Spezet: Coop Breizh, 1994. 120 pages
An excellent introduction to Breton music and its performance and social context. Includes basic information about piping in Brittany; lots of interesting photos.

«Quelques éléments sur la tradition populaire de la veuze dans le pays nantais» Thierry Moreau. Musique bretonne 93 (juin 1989):15-17.

«Quelques éléments sur la tradition populaire de la veuze en pays nantais» Sonneurs de Veuze
Nantes: Sonneurs de Veuze; Distribution by Dastum, 1979. 210 pages.

«Redécouverte de la veuze, cornemuse de Haute Bretagne» Sonneurs de Veuze. Ar Men 14 (avril 1988):14-29.


various performers
Sonneurs de veuze en Bretagne et marais breton vendéen. Musiciens et chanteurs traditionnels. vol. 3. Le Chasse-Marée/Ar Men SCM 010. 1987.
Beautifully documented with history of veuze and its renaissance; reissued as CD Le Chasse-Marée SCM 026. 1993 (with some additional selections).
Tradition de veuze en pays nantais. Chanteurs et musiciens de Bretagne No. 2. Dastum/Sonneurs de Veuze DAS 112. 1990. 
Cassette accompanied by excellent 30-page booklet.

Duo Bertrand
Musique d'hier pour aujourd'hui. AREXCPO AVPL 12. 1993
Fleur de sel. Label Ouest 306 004-2. (Distr. L'Autre Distribution). 2000
Duo featuring Thierry Bertrand on veuze with nephew Sebastien on diatonic accordion with dances and melodies from the Breton-Vendée border area.

Duo Bertrand et neuf invités
Carte Blanche Label Ouest/L'Autre Distribution. 2002.

Sonneurs de Veuze
Veuzes - pratiques culturelles d'une cornemuse en liberté Sonneurs de Veuze 14640. SDV. 2002.
Includes a variety of solo and ensemble performances featuring the veuze.