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for percussion trio, traditional melodies from the "Patum de Berga" | 25'ca. (2012) download | purchase
Commissioned: by the Federació de les Festes de la Patum de BergaDedicated: to Patri Martinez "in memoriam".

1 - El Tabal2 - Els turcs i cavallets3 - Les maces4 - La Guita5 - L’Àliga6 - Els nans vells7 - Els gegants8 - Els nans nous9 - Els plens10 - El tirabol

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Patum of Berga

Inscribed in 2008 (3.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2005)

The Patum of Berga is a popular festival whose origin can be traced to medieval festivities and parades accompanying the celebration of Corpus Christi. Theatrical performances and parades of a variety of effigies animate the streets of this Catalan town located north of Barcelona. The celebration takes place every year during the week of Corpus Christi, between late May and late June.
An extraordinary meeting of the municipal council, the appearance of the Tabal (a large and emblematic festival drum presiding over the festivities) and the Quatre Fuets announce the festivities. Over the following days numerous celebrations take place, most important of which are the parades, the ceremonial Patum, the children’s Patum and the full Patum. The Taba (tambourine), Cavallets (papier mâché horses), Maces (demons wielding maces and whips), Guites (mule dragons), the eagle, giant-headed dwarves, Plens (fire demons) and giants dressed as Saracens parade in succession, performing acrobatic tricks, lighting fireworks and spreading music among the joyous audience. All of these characters join to perform the final dance, the Tirabol.
The Patum of Berga, which has preserved its mix of profane and religious features through centuries, stands out from the region’s other festivals that have come down from the Middle Ages owing to its richness and diversity, the preservation of its medieval street theatre and its ritual component. Although the survival of the celebration seems ensured, it is to be taken care of that strong urban and tourist development do not lead to a loss of value of the Patum.


UNESCO Intangible Cultural HeritageCountry  Catalunya
The Patum de Berga (Catalan pronunciation: [pəˈtum də ˈβɛɾɣə]), or simply La Patum, is a popular and traditional festival that is celebrated each year in the Catalan city of Berga (Barcelona) during Corpus Christi. It consists of a series of "dances" (in catalan, balls) by townspeople dressed as mystical and symbolical figures, and accompanied either by the rhythm of a drum—the tabal, whose sound gives the festival its name—or band music. The balls are marked by their solemnity and their ample use of fire and pyrotechnics.
It was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1983, and as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.


Els Plens. Documented since 1628.Els Turcs i Cavallets (Turks and Little Knights). Documented since 1828.Les Maces. Documented since 1628.Les Guites (Folkloric "mules"). Documented since 1626 (Guita Grossa), 1890 (Guita boja).L'Àliga (The Eagle). Documented since 1756.Els Nans Vells (The Old Dwarfs). Documented since 1853.Els Gegants (The Giants). Documented since 1695.Els Nans Nous (The New Dwarfs). Documented since 1890.

Origins and significance

"La Patum" has its origins in pre-Christian celebrations of the Summer solstice, which were recycled and given new symbolism by the Catholic Church as part of its Corpus celebrations. In Berga, the earliest conserved reference to a Corpus procession is May 20, 1454. The festival evolved and incorporated more elements popular and religious theater in the Middle Ages, leading to a unique combination of giants, devils, angels, moors, and other bizarre-looking characters.
Despite the religious significance of Corpus Christi, and the Patum's descent from "eucharistic performances," in its present form it is rather a show of popular theater. It is unique in Catalonia. Anthropologists and specialists in folklore have been interested in La Patum.
In 2016, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the "old giants" (Gegants vells) and the 125th anniversary of the "new giants" (Gegants nous), the Bruce Springsteen song If I should fall behind, arranged by Sergi Cuenca, was danced by both couples of giants.

Patim, patam, patum - Concert de la Patum - Berga 2 de Juny de
Albert CARBONELL - Patim, patam, patum [program].pdf
Albert CARBONELL - PATIM, PATAM, PATUM (for percussion trio) [full score].pdf