My Great Grandfather immigrated from Stuttgart, but I've avoided the topic of German Folk Music because I can't pinpoint anything specific to Germany (especially Southern Germany) that isn't common to the other German-speaking Countries of Switzerland, Austria & Southern Tyrol (Italy). These Countries have more than language in common, The Alps - a common thread in traditional alpine way of life. So, these other Countries have to be included in this thread.
Northern German music seems to have similarities with Scandinavian music - but if you know different, please elaborate!
So, I have a personal impression of this music, I'm not so sure there's anything somber or in a minor key - it's ALL HAPPY MUSIC!
...well, most of it is. 🧐
I envision the Oom-pah Music, comedic Singspiel, swaying to beer drinking songs, yodeling, Schuhplattlers in lederhosen - all around dancing fun of hard working folks. Sometimes the fiddle takes backstage to the accordion with all the whoopin' & hollerin' - but bowed string instruments are still ideal for this music!
You can hear a difference (more similar to Scandinavian) in this Northern German tune: "Berliner Schnel Walzer" - from an 1825
When I want to get to know a style of music, I try to immerse myself in some commonly found features.
Here's a couple albums that can help.
"Zwiefacher Violins" - 'Zwiefacher' is folk dance/music more common in Bavaria, but also elsewhere.
It's unique for having changing time signatures - alternating between odd & even!
I can't resist the antics of guys in lederhosen, performing Schuhplattler! It can be a couples dance, but it's really about the guys and can be seen as 'work' music, with some motions pertaining to cutting/chopping trees and farm work - besides a lot of open hand-slapping. The music is still interesting, even without the great dancing!
I did find 2 really cool bands that don't use a fiddler (they must have rocks in their heads 😒). One is a 'Heavy' Folk Music group I really like, TROGLAUER - "Rasenmäher" is a favorite! The other is Die Draufgänger - I love "Johnny Deere" - oh man, tractor humor...
A little about Swiss Folk Music, "The original Swiss folk music" - in ENGLISH!!! Very interest 17th Century Swiss music found (2002) in this HUGE, Hanny Christen Collection of tunes! Hanneli-Musig (playlists) has 7 albums of trad Swiss music - think all of them are from the Collection, but I had to use googly to translate Hanneli-Musig site. GREAT music!
Btw, I've never particularly cared for 'polkas'... until now! This is just delightful - different! 'Seeland' is an area of Western Switzerland.
Here's a little tutorial to get started on the style of music in this thread!
My search for free 'Alpenländische Volksmusik' notation hasn't been very fruitful, but there are many FREE German Folk Songs at IMSLP! Search for 'Swiss' or other Folk sheet music there, too.
There's also quieter, relaxing folk music - 'Stubenmusik' is kinda the 'Parlor music' of the Alpine region - 'usually' just a small group of string instruments (can include zithers, dulcimers & guitar), but I've also seen flutes, smaller accordions & clarinets.
Bavarian Stubenmusik: "Die Gutmanns.
Wish I knew the name of this BEAUTIFUL HARMONY - might be from a Bavarian book of folk music (can't always trust googly translate 🙄).
Wiener Partie, playing an "Appenzeller Walzer" - Swiss folk music.
I did find an AMAZING archive of German folk songs Volksliederarchiv!!!
The archive currently contains 11,000 lyrics and 5,000 melodies of folk songs spanning thirteen centuries. There are also 1643 nursery rhymes, 811 children's games and 1829 entries in the song lexicon. All songs and entries with or without sheet music, sorted by author, composer, region and time and listed alphabetically: A constantly growing folk song archive where you can browse sheet music and song texts and discover popular but also completely unknown songs.
Fabulous info on each tune & there are also other helpful classifications, e.g., Night Music, Work Songs, Advent, etc... No English, I had to use googly (google translate).
These are links to some specific searches I did that yield sheet music notation to use:
Melodie (349 pages!)
Melodien (35 pages)
Alpen melodie (2 pages)
There is also the BMLO! The 'English' version only helps with a few headings & looks like I have to know who, or what I'm looking for, to make good use of this.
The Bavarian Musicians' Lexicon Online (BMLO) is a virtual encyclopedia of people on Bavarian music history, but it also deals with a group of people that goes beyond music and Bavaria's borders. The BMLO is free of charge and can be used without registration. (Wikipedia)
An old haunting German tune that's held interest up to current times - "Ich hab die Nacht geträumet" (Wikipedia link history & English lyrics). It was
- a link to simple sheet music notation, with midi/mp-3 - TRY IT!
From Dr. Ludwig YT Channel:
LOVE THIS TUNE!
...not 100% sure, but think the rosemary at funerals 'thing' possibly started with early Romans.
A really unique violin machine called a Phonolizt Violina. I actually got to see one of these in person at a place called House On A Rock in Wisconsin.
I really shouldn't watch videos like this. I'm already envisioning myself in my garage wrapping horsehair around the wheel of my bench grinder to see what kind of new sound I can make on my violin.
Violin ---- the most human of all instruments
Hey, thanx for bringing this up!
Hupfeld made & sold an amazing amount of these in Germany! He also made player-pianos!
I LOVE musical automata (💖 ALL automata) & music boxes - Swiss, French, German & Japanese Karakuri! I even have a simple version of an automata clock from Bavaria - a Cuckoo Clock! 🤭 Still a sore spot that my Dad gave my Brother an upright player piano, then offered me one in a zillion pieces to put together! 😳 ...oh well, no room in this house anyway.
Great article: "Art of Sound" - "Uncover the fascinating history behind automata as we delve into the intricate mechanisms and mesmerizing melodies that have delighted generations".
Anyone try playing a German, Swiss or Austrian Folk tune yet?
...I'm still having a lot of fun playing Engon Egemann's, "Der Google"