Bilbao – Discordant music (1830)


Source: SPAIN IN 1830 (Whittaker, treacher, and Co., Ave-Maria Lane, London 1831)
Henry David Inglis (1795-1835)
Page 37
Picture: Oxen carts from Baztan (1878). Pannemaker.

There is another sort of music peculiar to Biscay, of the most discordant kind, and which I cannot re collect even now, without unpleasant sensations. This music is produced by the wheels of the carts drawn by oxen : these are solid, without spokes, and a strong wooden screw is made to press upon the axle of the wheel ; the con sequence of this, is a sound so horribly grating, that the faintest conception of it cannot be con veyed by words. The peasant supposes, that without this noise, the oxen would not go willingly; and if they be once accustomed to it, this may perhaps be true. No carriage being allowed to pass along the streets of Bilbao, they are of course free from this intolerable nuisance : in the town of Orduna, also, it is not permitted ; but on all the roads of the Basque provinces, and especially in the streets of Vit- toria, this noise is so unintermitting, that no thing could tempt me to reside in that town.

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Author: Henry David Inglis (1795-1835)
Date: 09/02/1830