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Folk music in Styria (Steiermark)

Styrians are amongst the Alps' most musical people and keenest singers. This is proven not just by numerous folk songs and traditional alpine songs that have been compiled by famous folklorists and collectors (Viktor Zack, Viktor von Geramb etc.) since the time of Archduke Johann.

Amongst the most commonly played instruments are the diatonic button accordion (also known as the "Steirische" ("Styrian"), the "Harmonie" ("harmony"), or, in Auseerland, the "Rumpl"), the clarinet, the trombone, the violin, the viola, the double bass, the trumpet, the flugelhorn, the tenor horn, the zither, the dulcimer and the guitar.

In addition to love songs and yodels, the rich variety of Styrian songs comprises folk ballads, songs of the mountain pastures, of workers and craftsmen, lullabies and Christmas carols as well as humorous and satirical songs and drinking songs. Since about 1980, people have talked of "das neue Steirerlied" ("new Styrian music"). Its founders include contemporary composers such as Kurt Muthspiel, Franz Koringer, Lorenz Maierhofer etc.

Technological developments in the second half of the twentieth century have "helped" folk music to continue to spread. As a result of this, there have been influences that reach over geographical and stylistic boundaries across the Alps. More people than ever before now sing and play music in Styria.


Source: Landeschronik der Steiermark (Styrian State Chronicle), Franz Steiner