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The zortziko is a dance rhythm that originates in the region of Spain known as Euskal Herria (comprising País Vasco, Navarra and Iparralde). It is also used as an accompaniment ryhthm for vocal melodies.

The zortziko has a distinctive 5/8 time signature, consisting of three subdivisions of 1, 2, and 2 beats. Some theories hold that the zortziko rhythm evolved from a 3/4 time signature that was deformed to more closely follow the beat structure of traditional Basque dance music.

The instrumentation typically used to execute the zortziko ryhthm are the txistu and the tamboril.

Despite the zortziko's origins and continued popularity in folk music, some composers (including Aita Donostia, Jesús Guridi, Pablo Sorozábal, José María Usandizaga have also used it in symphonic works.


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