Term used to designate the text of a narrativesong or ballad in a large part of the linguistic area, probably originating from the troubadour cansó genre. On Majorca and in certain parts of the Ebre and Valencia Regions, it is called cançó llarga (long song), to differentiate it from the cançó curta (short song), or simply cançó, referring to texts with few lines. In north eastern parts of Catalonia and on Majorca, about a quarter of all ballads were sung multipart around a main melody, just as was the case with religious songs. The simplest formulation is the homorhythmic song in parallel thirds (rarely in sixths), which can occur throughout the whole song or only during the chorus. In the cadential chords, these thirds can appear as a triad chord in its fundamental form. The melodies of these songs are almost always tonal and in the major mode. In many cases, the main part is the lower of the two parallel ones and ends on the tonic, whereas the higher ends on the third degree of the scale. Nevertheless, the singers can perform either part separately as independent melodies. More sporadically, other procedures appear, such as drones or mobile drones, more usual in religious polyphony. Song in parallel thirds with a third voice singing an independent bass can be deduced from certain recordings, but it is much less common, in the same way that three-part parallelism at intervals of thirds and fifths in ballads is also hypothetical. Multipart singing was very common in this repertory, despite the limited evidence found in published song collections - the work of collectors convinced that popular song had to be simple and uncomplicated and therefore monodic. Marià Aguiló (1993:72) wrote a superb description of the way a group of men performed ballads in three voices, between about 1850 and 1868: “In Bruguera, the mayor and several villagers, all adults, sang countless old songs in a choir for me, all of them extremely good. Among them the Catalonian one: “Quien pudiese dormir, señora, una noche sin temor”. In those songs with a chorus, which constitute the majority, they select the three best voices to sing the romance: bass, tenor and treble, and then the middle voices and all those present who wish to sing the chorus in unison [...]. The effect they produce is extremely pleasing and solemn".


cants de l’aurora

In all regions, the songs sung in the streets during the dawn rosary or in the call sung to announce the dawn rosary, often performed by groups of men singing different parts, sometimes accompanied by wind instruments. In either the Catalan or Castilian languages, with a considerable diversity of forms, but very commonly multipart. They are still in active use in some villages in the Valencia Region. The most frequent multipart procedure is in parallel thirds, but some employ the other procedures described under religious songs. In La Vall d’Uixó (Valencia Region), the three parts can be doubled at the octave to create an arrangement in five or even six parts. The rhythm can be regular and measured, or else flexible, in recitative style.

cants de curruca

In Plana Baixa (Valencia Region), songs performed by hunters at their get-togethers, usually sung multipart in parallel thirds and final chords.



A religious, narrative song relating the life of the Virgin Mary or a saint, commending him or her with the care of believers. Usually in the Catalan language in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, in either Catalan or Castilian in the Valencia Region, and in Sardinian in Sardinia. Sung on the day of the patron saint and on significant occasions in community life. Sung multipart in numerous localities, according to the various two or three part options described under cantar a veus. The rhythm often follows the giusto syllabic model. The versification of this genre is in stanzas of eight lines, the last two acting as the chorus. There are also humorous and satirical goigs. [EXAMPLE – TRANSCRIPTION 4]


the fellow brothers who take part in the round of caramelles singing the goigs of the Virgin of the Rosary.