Volkstümliche Musik

Volkstümliche Musik

Volkstümliche Musik (German folksy music) is a modern variation on the traditional music of German-speaking countries in general and their Alpine regions in particular. It is sometimes instrumental, but usually presented by one or especially two singers and is most popular amongst older people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Alto Adige/Südtirol (Italy).

Many titles are presented in dialects or colloquial language and invoke local and regional lifestyles and traditions, particularly dances. Alpine musical instruments, such as Alpenhorns, Zithers, acoustic guitars, violas and harmonicas are frequently featured, although most commercial productions nowadays employ drum machines and synthesizers. Yodeling is also common.

Volkstümliche Musik features strongly in peak-time television broadcasts on a number of German public TV networks including ARD and ZDF and some radio networks. Commercial broadcasters tend to stay clear of it because it is not very popular with the commercially desirable younger target groups up to 49 years of age, with the exception of Volksmusik TV which is the only Free-to-Air commercial broadcaster in Europe for Volkstümliche Musik and Schlager. Volkstümliche Musik had some influence on Flower Power songs during the 1970s and is often mingled with Schlager today.

Volksmusik was conceived for commercial reasons as to counterweight the youth-oriented rock and pop music. The adjective "volkstümlich" refers to the German and in particular the "Alpine" Folk Music, incorporating the dance and popular music of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The large popularity of this music genre has led to the development of "volkstümlichen" Hitparades and various radio and television broadcasts, some of the most popular include the "Musikantenstadl", the "Grand Prix der Volksmusik" and "Lustige Musikanten" with Marianne & Michael.

Not unlike Schlager, Volkstümliche Musik is often belittled by younger or more sophisticated audiences as a massively commercialized product created for the lower strata of society. In this perception, it differs somewhat from its ancestor, the original folk music of the Alpine regions (Volksmusik), which continues to be performed by many local groups and orchestras in the area.

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