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26 Swiss Folk dances from 26 Cantons, For 2 flutes and Piano

Helene Schulthess, Querflöte, Schweizer Tänze

26 Swiss folk dances from 26 Cantons
From the collection of Hanny Christen
Fror 2 Flutes und Piano
Arranged by Helene Schulthess

26 folk dances from all cantons of Switzerland
For 2 flutes and Piano

Cultural diversity

The folk music of Switzerland is very lively. Its diversity is a reflection of Switzerland's regional and cultural small-scale nature. Influences from European countries have also influenced folk music since the early 19th century. Polka and Mazurka, for example, have their roots in Poland, the Scottish in Scotland. The music was passed down orally or was written down by the musicians in notebooks.

Thousands of melodies

Between 1940 and 1960, the ethnomusicologist Hanny Christen traveled through Switzerland and collected thousands of melodies from the period between 1800 and 1960. The musicians played or sang in front of her. Some permitted her to write off their own hand-written dance booklets in full. In 1956, Hanny Christen began to record this music with a tape recorder. It is thanks to her that over 12,000 instrumental dance movements of Switzerland and many other pieces of tradition (costumes, biographies, musical instruments, etc.) were saved from being forgotten.

The instruments used in traditional folk music vary depending on the type of dance and region. Flutes are more or less non-existent. The author would like to fill a gap with this publication.

Arranged for two flutes

She has therefore adapted one folk dance per canton from the Hanny Christen collection* for two flutes. The pieces from the cantons Basel-City, Thurgau and Geneva do not come from this source, though.

The melodies from the other 23 cantons are taken from the collection unchanged. The second voice was not always composed quite traditional. The melody follows -if possible - a contrapuntal melody of its own and is directed to the flute. (difficulty level 3+).

*) ​Swiss Folk Music Collection. The dance music of Switzerland of the 19th and first half of the 20th century. From the estate of Hanny Christen. Edited by Fabian Müller under the auspices of the Society for Folk Music in Switzerland. (GVS/SMPS). Music print. Mülirad, Zurich 2002.


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