The music plays an original role in the festival and the carnival does not escape this rule of merry conviviality. So, the previous history of the music in the carnival leads us in the trail of symbolism and of the strange, the one that interests the ethno musicologist and the anthropologist.
The carnival, big cyclic festival of the European winter after Christmas, is considered as a festival of transition among winter and the spring in the cycle of the seasons and would represent the period of mediation which allows the communication between the world of the darkness and the heavenly universe.
The first allusions which one can make, in a particular "music" or " paramusic " during the Carnival, are, no doubt, those that concerned the custom of the "tumult" and the symbolism which are connected with it.
" By the term of paramusic, one will indicate the sound, organized phenomena voluntarily, in times of rite, and being situated on the border of the musical sound and the signal rustles. " (C. Marcel-Dubois).
The passage from a season to the other comes along with different rites, among which sounds play an original role; sound demonstrations which one finds also in the cycle Carntval-Lent:
- In the rites of Darkness, the succession of darkness and light are symbolized by " noisy effects " provoked by breaking clay pots, dins of pans, sounds of sea conches.
- The chaos and the enjoyment of the found order are symbolized by clear and sensational tones, as the sound of bells, little spherical bells, cowbells.