History of the Veuze Or Veze Poitou

Reproduced from a cover illustration by David Hall for "The Breton Dance & Tune Book", compiled by Dave Shepherd/Dragonfly Music. Adapted for this site by Jim Meloche.


Adapted by Jim Meloche from the WebSite “Guide to Music of Brittany”. Contributed by Lois Kuter, Jenkintown, PA

The veuze is a one-drone bagpipe found traditionally in southeastern Brittany and in the northern part of the Vendée. 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. Those who are familiar with other bagpipes will find that the tone of the veuze is similar to that of the gaita of Galicia, Spain, or the cabrette of the Limousin and Auvergne areas 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 work of the organization "Sonneurs de Veuze".


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