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Traditional German instruments?

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Susanne (skw) 17 Oct 04 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,punkfolkroots rocker 17 Oct 04 - 09:49 PM
MudGuard 18 Oct 04 - 02:05 AM
Wilfried Schaum 18 Oct 04 - 04:04 AM
MudGuard 18 Oct 04 - 04:13 AM
Teresa 18 Oct 04 - 04:35 AM
KateG 18 Oct 04 - 09:45 AM
Wilfried Schaum 19 Oct 04 - 02:03 AM
Wolfgang 19 Oct 04 - 10:58 AM
Chris Green 19 Oct 04 - 01:08 PM
Polly Squeezebox 19 Oct 04 - 05:03 PM
Bob Bolton 20 Oct 04 - 01:34 AM
toadfrog 01 Feb 05 - 07:03 PM
Terry Allan Hall 01 Feb 05 - 07:50 PM
Bob Bolton 01 Feb 05 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Davetnova 02 Feb 05 - 08:52 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Feb 05 - 12:53 AM
fogie 03 Feb 05 - 05:32 AM
Terry Allan Hall 03 Feb 05 - 08:30 AM
Wilfried Schaum 03 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM
Bob Bolton 03 Feb 05 - 08:16 PM
Davetnova 04 Feb 05 - 04:06 AM
Wilfried Schaum 04 Feb 05 - 07:35 AM
Wilfried Schaum 04 Feb 05 - 07:47 AM
Bob Bolton 04 Feb 05 - 11:55 PM
Jack Campin 15 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 16 Apr 09 - 01:53 PM
Leadbelly 16 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM
Jack Campin 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM
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Subject: Traditional German instruments?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 06:51 PM

The following message was sent to 'German folk music II':

i really do need information about germany's traditional music instruments, some some traditonal music , [pictures and how they play them,,, but most, What are the main instruments in germany. can someone please help me!

e-mail": twixlover2@yahoo.com

thanx

I thought it might be better to start a new thread. (eMail sent.)

Guest, I'm not an instrumentalist and can't help you much there. Maybe you could let us know what period you're thinking of, what you need the info for etc. It might not help you to know that nowadays the main instruments are the guitar, the fiddle and the four-string banjo (at least among the musicians I associate with). However, Germany used to have her own types of bagpipes which were called the same - Sackpfeifen. The fiddle must have figured a lot, and different kinds of wind instruments that now seem ancient to us, like the Krummhorn (a kind of early oboe, I believe).


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: GUEST,punkfolkroots rocker
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 09:49 PM

what about those cool looking harp guitars..?
with one regular fretted neck..
and another with a handfull of 'open air' harp strings..

but i'd reckon mostly brass wind instruments
and accordeons for trad & tourist pub Volksmusik..


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: MudGuard
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 02:05 AM

Hm. There might be regional differences ...

In some regions, e.g. parts of the Allgäu, the Alphorn is traditional, while in other regions the Alphorn was not used at all ...

The answer to the question might also depend on the definition of "traditional", esp. how long an instrument must be used to be called traditional ...
Can the Akkordeon be called traditional? It was invented around 1825 IIRC.

I'd call the following instruments traditional (the list will be incomplete, these are the instruments that I remember right now) - English names given where I know them:

Zither
Hackbrett
Blockflöte (recorder)
Akkordeon
Gitarre (guitar)
Geige (fiddle)


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 04:04 AM

Hackbrett = dulcimer
Akkordeon = accordion, or squeezebox

Especially the dulcimer is still used in the Alps, the classical area of retreat, where there is a rumour that the Upper Bavarians still are shooting strangers and hammering their dulcimers. (The rumour about the shooting isn't really true. I wrote it only to tease MudGuard).
The Bavarian TV often broadcasts traditional music; a combination one could call traditional is: Bass, guitar, zither, dulcimer; this kind is mostly played indoors and called Stubenmusi = room music. You can add other instruments ad. lib., if they are easy to transport, like violin, clarinet, accordion, trumpet if the room is big enough.
In the German lower lands the bands playing trad. folk dance music differ in number. Since they are playing for a bigger audience, they use louder instruments, like trumpets, clarinets, brass basses.
For old folk music of medieaval ages and renaissance the bagpipes were revived in Germany; at the Eurogathering in Groningen (thanks again, Letty!) Frank displayed some pipes of different sizes. But they are rarely in use.
Harps are seldom used; they are not so much used as in the Netherlands.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: MudGuard
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 04:13 AM

Wilfried, if you want to come to Upper Bavaria, I think we could - especially for you - revive that tradition (no, not the music one, I am speaking about the one involving strangers ;-))


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Teresa
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 04:35 AM

Ah, this thread is very informative to me, too (I started another on flutes in 17th-century Germanies). I'm writing a sort of science-fiction/folkie time-travel story, or set of stories, (just finished one) and want to write about a good old foot-stompin' party. :) It would feature 17th-century folk of Thuringia, West Virginians of around the year 2000 ... well, best not go on. :) ;)

Thanks,
T


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: KateG
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:45 AM

There's also the scheitholt, a form of fretted zither that is most likely an ancestor of the American Appalachian mountain dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 02:03 AM

More traditional German instruments at:
Dudelsack Mossmann
More about the Scheitholt, an early form of the zither.
An interesting article about the Scheitholt in America, ca. middle of page (with photo).


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 10:58 AM

Drehleier (Hurdy Gurdy?) could also be mentioned (or is it too young).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Chris Green
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 01:08 PM

There's also the rauschpfiefe which is a kind of ealy oboe with a capped reed.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 05:03 PM

Bavarians also play the Steirische Harmonica - not a blown type of instrument at all but similar to what we know as a melodeon. The instrument originated in the Steiermark region of Austria and is used extensively for Schuplattler (slap dancing!). Also used in Austrian and Bavarian folk song and music. The one major difference between this instrument and the melodeon is that the middle button of each row plays the same note whether the instrument is 'pushed' or 'pulled'. I was lucky enough to have one bought for me by my husband, it cost him £2,000+ and is, I believe, the only Steierische Harmonica in UK. I was completely unable to master playing it until I gave in and had the instrument modified to the normal 'push/pull' thourghout. It has the most wonderful deep bass chords on the left hand - presumably for the playing of 'Umpa' type Bavarian music. It is also completely confusing for most other musicians, if I take it to sessions. who assume it is some type of melodeon until I start playing - it's tuned completely to brass band type 'flat' keys!


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 01:34 AM

G'day Polly Squeezebox,

I gather that harmonica (harmonika ... ?) is a good German word for accordion ... and the thing you blow and suck on is a mouth (mundt ... ?) harmonika.

The middle button playing the same note either way is common on a lot of European accordions - especially ones like the Hohner "Club" models ... which are usually in 'flat' keys on their own turf. I get the occasional European immigrant along to my Music Workshops, in Sydney - with such instruments - and there isn't much common territory for us all to play in when this accordion is in Bb/Eb and mine is in D/G ... or G/C!

I understand there is a much stronger tradition, in those parts of Europe, of playing along with brass and woodwind instruments from the regular 'band' repertoire (and keys!). Playing with fairly strong brass instruments probably accounts for the preponderance of deep bass chords on Austrian, Swiss and Bohemian accordions.

However, all this depends on when Suzanne's contact wants to date as "traditional". Accordions were first patented by Buschmann in Germany in 1821 ... and more or less perfected by Damian in Austria in 1829.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 07:03 PM

Maultrommel?


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 07:50 PM

There's the "Folklaut" a 6-stringed lute, usually tuned like a standard guitar (E-A-D-G-B-E)...


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:04 PM

G'day Terry,

I seem to remember a lot of European instruments that fit your description of the "Folklaut" ... back in the 1950s/'60s.

I had always figured them as a modern attempt to produce something that had the appearance of an old lute ... but played simply, with no need for relearning tunings or techniques, by "folkie" guitarists.

Is there any evidence of this form having a greater antiquity ... perhaps as a regional instrument type?

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 08:52 AM

I've got a Waldzither, nine strings Four double courses and a single. Tuned in open C tuning. Mines is from the twenties but I was told that there was a revival about then so I don't know when they were originally used.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:53 AM

Rummelpot.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: fogie
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:32 AM

Stein way the only keyboard instrument you can drink from.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 08:30 AM

Good question, Bob...I have no idea about the ancestry of the folklaut, other than the one I own was made in 1927 in Bavaria. It does appear to be a "guitarification" of the lute, but I was under the impression that they're at least somewhat "traditional"...I just tried Google and it turned up nothing, so who knows?

Maybe someone else has more info.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM

Davetnova - According to your description it could be an older form of the zither called scheitholt. It is slimmer than the usual alpine zither, like a long board.

Terry - I remember a guitar in form of a lute,stringed like a guitar, but with a slimmer body and neck. That seems to be a new form of the 20th century for the German youth movement and other folkies. I think Bob figured right.
The original lute has a much broader body and neck and can have up to 11 choirs. It was the usual instrument for house music in renaissance and baroque but lost its importance when the key instruments were available. The lute had no definite fixed tuning; it varied with the songs played.
Goethe writes that he remembered his father seldom playing but mostly tuning his lute. An old joke is: A luthier of 80 years has passed 60 years of his life with tuning.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 08:16 PM

G'day Terry and Wilfried,

Thanks for the responses. Judging by the dating Terry has (1927 in Bavaria) there is a generation, or so, more antiquity that I suspected ... and Wilfried's connection of it with the German youth movement (presumably already existing ... and of respectable aims ... before Hitler starting reshaping all things to his own ends) seems ti fit in well.

I remember seeing a couple of ladies involved with the early Bush Music Club (1950s, here in Australia) who played such 'folklauts'. Both had broadly 'Germanic' or northern European names ... and, presumably, family backgrounds) so they may well have been playing what was a popular instrument in their parents' youth.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Davetnova
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 04:06 AM

I wonder if some of us are talking about the same instruments with differnt names. The waldzither is about mandola size and shape with an extra bass string. Some are tuned with normal slot head tuners and some with a screwed hook system with what looks like a clock key. They were supposed to be popular with the youth movements of the twenties Waldzither


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 07:35 AM

Davetnova - yes, we were talking abiut different instruments. Thanks to the link you gave me I learned that the Waldzither is what I knew as Zister. This name was given to the zithers with a neck to distinguish them from the flat table zithers (Salzburg zithers).


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 07:47 AM

Wolfgangs post of Oct. 19, 2004:
The Drehleier is an old instrument from the 12th century. It is also shown on a picture by Hieronymus Bosch (~1450 - 1516): Abb. 2


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 11:55 PM

G'day,

Davetnova: As Wilfied says, they are different. The instrument I see, from Terry Allan Hall's description, has standard guitar (nylon) stringing, six normal modern machine heads and a normal "folk guitar" width neck. The only real "lute" aspect is that it has a half round back and an oval shape.

Wifried: As well as "Hurdy Gurdy", that is also called a "vielle" ... its French name. At a recent party in Sydney (at the home of Mudcatters JennyO and Jack Halyard) for visiting CraneDriver and Sussex Carole, a couple played vielle and "Belgian bagpipes". They do a lot of work in the mediæval reenactment area ... and the European Festival circuits ... representing roughly 16th century traditions. At that time the vielle was starting to be played by ordinary folk, rather than just the nobility and royalty.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 05:19 PM

A quick scan through Curt Sachs's international survey "Reallexicon der Musikinstrumente" for the ones that appear to be specifically German gives these (leaving out all the words for obscurely ingenious features of keyboard instruments):

Adiaphon
Akkordguitarre
Akkordzither (= autoharp)
Aliquodium
Aliquot-Streichflote
Alphorn
Altbomhart
Altschryari
Androide
Anemocorde
Angelic organ (= glass harmonica but earlier)
Aoline
Aolodion
Aolsharmonika
Apfelregal
Apollolyra
Apollonion
Apollonium
Armeeposaune
Aulodion
Baroxyton
Bassbomhart
Bassethorn
Bathyphon (= early contrabass clarinet)
Beckmesserharfe
Bellonion
Bissex (= early twin-neck guitar)
Bogenguitarre (= early guitar with f-holes)
Bomhart (= bombarde)
Bordunsaxhorn (= contrabass saxhorn)
Brettltgeige
Brummeisen (= Jews harp)
Brummtopf
Bumbass

and 24 letters to go. Some of those are triumphs of Victorian weirdness.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 01:53 PM

Eight (or 16) traditional steins. By varying the level of beer in each, you can create a rather dull sounding Xylophone effect. I actually saw this done (badly) at an Oktoberfest event nearby.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:06 PM

Jack, I would like to make your list almost comlete by the addition of a bandonion/bandoneon.
In Germany, this instrument was very popular in the first half of the last century. Ever today there are lost of players, mostly active in small orchestras.
Personally, I do own an instrument built in the 20'. Got it from my father.


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Subject: RE: Traditional German instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:57 PM

You're right, I let that one slip. Sachs does mention it and says it has more than 88 notes - a wider range than a piano! I had no idea it could do that.

Amazing things, once you've spent 20 years learning where all the notes are.

I've been listening to a lot of Piazzolla lately and thought maybe I could play some of his stuff with a couple of friends (none of them bandoneon players) so I went to a music shop yesterday and looked at some of his scores to see what might be involved in arranging them. Jesus H Christ. All those super-high-speed syncopated/tripletted runs that take off like a rocket from the extreme bass up into the stratosphere. Utterly impossible on anything I can play.


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