Virtual Learning Resources

Today, virtual and distance learning has become more important than ever. At the Basque Museum, we are working hard to keep you connected and curious. Visit this page often to see new educational resource as they become available.

Fun For All Ages

Basque Dancers Coloring Page – for all ages! Download Here


Stay Active

30 Minute Art Walk – Downtown Boise




BMCC Activity Workbook Links

Chapter 2: Euskara

Page 4 Language Activity 1


Page 5 Language Activity 2


Supplemental Activity: Let’s Listen to Euskara!

Chapter 4: Basque Music

Supplemental Activity: Let’s Listen to Basque Music!

This is the music for the Jota, a popular street dance

Chapter 5: Basque Dance

Page 13 Tamborrada

Use this recording of Tamborrada and follow the instruction in your workbook to do your own festival dance!


Supplemental Activities: Listen to Basque Music!

Listen to Basque Music!


The alboka is a Basque woodwind instrument that has been used for centuries. It is a double pipe instrument that requires circular breathing to produce sound, much like a bagpipe without the bag to store air.



Ttun Ttun

The ttun ttun is a vertical stringed instrument that is played as a percussion instrument. Although simple in design, it is often played simultaneous with a txirula or other fluted Basque instrument.

Trikitixa and Pandero 

The first instrument demonstrated in this video is the trikitxa, or Basque Accordion. This diatonic accordion is unique; on the left hand the notes stay the same when the bellows contract or expand, but on the right hand the notes change each way. Our second instrument is the pandero, commonly known as a tambourine. Pay close attention to how it is played, it is the technique that makes it uniquely Basque!



Txistu and Danboril 

Here we have another set of instruments that are commonly played together. The txistu is a three holed flute played with one hand. They historically used to be made of bone or wood. There are several variations of the common txistu, such as the smaller xirula, or much larger silbote.

Supplemental Activities: Make Your Own Txalaparta


A txalaparta is a unique basque percussion instrument played by two people.  It originated from when the Basque farmers would make apple cider, and the rhythmic crushing of the apples with large wooden paddles. Each farm would have its own txalaparta melody that they would play so the village could hear when the cider was ready. 

When playing the txalaparta, the music is usually played by two musicians simultaneously improvising, or coming up with the rhythm and melody on the spot. They do not write down any melodies like most other instruments. Instead, the two musicians listen to each others ques to improvise a melody. 

The Rhythm Keeper and the Rule Breaker

The Rhythm Keeper sets the pace and rhythm of the song. 

The Rule Breaker plays against the rhythm keeper, trying to break the melody. 

Watch the video presented and see if you can tell which one is the rhythm keeper and which one is the rule breaker. 

A txalaparta can be constructed from many different materials, giving each txalaparta a unique sound. Check out this video of the musical group Nomadak TX playing a txalaparta made of ice. (Skip to 1:30 to hear music).


Create your own Txalaparta 

To construct and play your own txalaparta, all it takes is some creativity and materials you can find around the house. You can make a traditional txalaparta like the one pictured below, or get creative and make your own version!

  • 4 mallets: can be made from wood or another material
  • 4 – 6 objects of various sizes that make a noise you like when tapped by your mallet. You can use pots, pans, different sized planks of wood, boxes, or anything else around your house. Just make sure they all make a slightly different noise!
  • If you use wood planks like a traditional txalaparta, you will want to place them across two sawhorses or other stands.

You are ready to give it a try! Designate one musician to try and set a rhythm, we recommend slow and steady at first. Now your second player can come in, trying to create a different melody. Be sure to not play a note at the same time!  You always want to be striking your txalaparta at separate times.

We would love to see your homemade txalapartas! Share pictures or videos to our facebook page or isntagram  @basquemuseum or tag us #basquemuseumboise


Need more inspiration to figure it out? Check out youtube for lots of great examples of txalaparta music.

Videos about Everything Basque!

Check out some videos produced by our friends at Hella Basque explaining different aspects of Basque Culture! Be sure to check out Hella Basque on facebook , the Hella Basque blog, and youtube channel for even more  great content from Anne-Marie.