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Gwerz ((in Breton), plural gwerzioù, "ballad", "lament") is a type of folk song of Brittany.

In Breton music, the gwerz tells a story[1] which can be epic, historical, or mythological. The stories are usually of a tragic nature. The gwerz is characterised by an often monotonous melody and many couplets, all in the Breton language. Though historically sung unaccompanied,[2] some modern musicians use limited instrumentation with the gwerz.

Some of the most famous performers in current gwerzioù are Erik Marchand, Yann-Fañch Kemener, and Denez Prigent.


  1. ^ Sean Williams (2010). Focus: Irish Traditional Music. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-99146-3. 
  2. ^ "Denez Prigent". Retrieved 26 Dec 2013.