The evolution of the trikitixa

trikitilariak 1456153140279 Infernuko hauspoa | 2008-04-17 14:59

Trikitixa is a Basque diatonic accordion with right-hand rows keyed a fifth apart and twelve unisonoric bass buttons.  It is played with the tambourine, and normally it is accompanied with voice.

Trikitixa’s first written evidence is attested in 1889, when diatonic accordion was used for music in a popular pilgrimage festivity of Urkiola (Bizkaia). In 1890, a trikitixa appears in a picture taken in Altsasu (Nafarroa). The diatonic button accordion itself was devised in Vienna in 1829, expanding thereafter all over Europe. In the Basque Country trikitixa had been expanded from Bizkaia to Gipuzkoa, and little by little to all the Basque provinces.

Some of the most important trikitixa players were Elgeta, Sakabi, Epelde, Auntxa, Laja, Gelatxo and Maltzeta. In the past the trikitixa festivals were very popular; and for most of the trikitixa players playing trikitixa was their job. And some of the most important tambourine players have been Juliana Esnaola Muxillo, Egañazpi, Iturbide and Landakanda.

The way of playing did not change up to the 1980s when Joseba Tapia and Kepa Junkera started to develop unprecedented ways of playing trikitixa. They caught on both styles, traditional and modern trikitixa; both performers remain nowadays key figures of this instrument, like Maixa Lizarribar, Alaitz Telletxea, Iker Goenaga or the Catalan Carles Belda.


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