Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bavarian and Austrian Music in the USA

Name German, Austrian or Bavarian music to an American and you'll get one of two reactions: love it or hate it.

This is because the sounds commonly associated to German music in the USA are those of Oktoberfest-style polka bands. These, of course, come in different guises and levels, ranging from the truly amazing musicians to the downright gaudy--with lots of shades of gray in between. But there is another kind of German music--Bavarian and Austrian to be more specific--that few who haven't traveled to Europe know.

This is known as Echte Volksmusik, or Echte Alpenlaendische Volksmusik. A kind of music whose traditions date back centuries, whose repertoire is carefully preserved, whose instruments are traditional (and traditionally played).

This blog is about this type of authentic Volksmusik. We will share our thoughts about this music with those in the English-speaking world who know it and appreciate it. This music deserves to be known, to be passed down to younger generations who will keep it alive and enrich it with new interpretations, pieces, musicians' names and fireside stories.