Bullroarer (Burruna, furrufarra, zurrunbera)

Burrun joaldia

Soinularia: Aitor Beltran Mendoza

Oiartzun, 1999

Burrunak joaldia. Juan Mari Beltran. Sagar-dantza (zatia). 1998. (beti ttun ttun. CDNO 21)

Burruna (JMBA biduma, 0581)

Furrufarra (JMBA bilduma, 1058)

Burruna jotzen. 1999.


The burruna is a bullroarer or a free aerophone.

Description of the instrument

It is an elongated wooden splint. A rope is passed through a small hole at one end. The shape and size vary from place to place.

Way of playing

To play, the end of the string is grasped in the hand and the splint is turned in the rotational direction, thereby winding the string. The splint is then thrown by spinning it rapidly around the person who plays it (vertically or horizontally over the head). When free, the splint turns in rotation (unrolling and winding), alternately in both directions. The combination of the translational and rotating movements of the splint produces a deep, hoarse sound. Depending on the speed of movement and rotation, the tone and intensity of the sound varies. Likewise, the of the string determines the duration of each touch, since it lasts as long as the string rotates in one direction (unwind and rewind) and stops when it is changed.


We see that Father Donostia's list of sound instruments (1952) included free aerophones among the sound toys for children. Among others, we find the so-called “zurrunbera”, used by children in Álava to play (p. 297).

J. Caro Baroja (1977) informs us of the particular form it took in Álava and of the furrufarra (190-192).

J.M. Barandiaran (1974) found this instrument in Sara, with the burrun; it must have been used to scare animals away (p. 62).

With the of “furrunfarra” it appears in Lekeitio, used by children both during Lent and during harvests, to scare away sparrows (Etniker, 1993. p. 106)


An elongated tablet is prepared, giving it the desired shape. Make a hole, to be able to put the rope.

After tying the string, the instrument is ready to be used.

To make the furrufarra from Alava, you have to give the instrument this shape.



BARANDIARAN, Jose Miguel. (1974). Obras Completas. (T. V. Bosquejo Etnográfico de Sara V). Bilbo: Biblioteca de la Gran Enciclopedia Vasca.

BELTRAN ARGIÑENA, Juan Mari. (2002): Juguetes sonoros. (Folklore musical Infantil, III). Akal / Didáctica de la Música, 6.

CARO BAROJA, Julio. (1977). Los Pueblos de Norte. Donostia: Editorial Txertoa.

DONOSTIA, Aita. (1952). Instrumentos Musicales Populares Vascos. Obras Completas del P. Donostia, (Tomo II, 257-309). Bilbo: Ed. La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca. 1983.

ETNIKER. (1993). Juegos infantiles en Vasconia. Etniker Euskalerria. Gasteiz: Eusko Jaurlaritza.

Types of cookies

Analysis or measurement cookies

These are the cookies that allow us to track and analyze user behavior on our website in order to make improvements based on the analysis of usage data made by users of the service.

Cookies for sharing on social networks

We use some social media sharing add-ons, to allow you to share certain pages of our website on social networks. These add-ons set cookies so that you can correctly see how many times a page has been shared.