In Europe

In Europe, versified improvisation also had its golden age, namely in countries such as Yugoslavia, Albania, Wales, Corsica, the Canary Islands, the Island of Ibiza, Andalusia, Galicia, etc.

We should also remember that more than 2000 years ago, versified improvisation was probably quite widespread amongst the Greeks since for his third pastoral poem, the Latin poet Virgil drew inspiration from their verbal jousting.

Not very long ago in Wales, sometimes two competitors would sing, either accompanied or unaccompanied by harps, stances called "Pennilion". The first improvised verses and sung them, the second used the same tune and replied with something funny or satirical.

Closer to home there are also forms of improvisation in Brittany and Corsica.

Map of oral improvisation

Southern Europe

  • Sardinia
  • Central and Southern Italy
  • Bosnia

Iberian Peninsula

  • Galice
  • Basque Country
  • Catalonia
  • Northern Portugal
  • La Alpujarra
  • Murcia
  • Balearic Islands