bridges between borders

Singing and playing instruments have always been practiced in our culture. In the peasant families, traditional instruments like the zither, the harp, the dulcimer or the accordion were passed on through generations.

A „Drehleier“, a very important instrument in the Tyrolean folk music up to the 18th century.

Below: The simplest form of a Zither, a „Raffele“, today only to be found in Southern Tirol (Italy).

© Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, Bildarchiv


We heard Hannah Pirchner, one of our fifth graders on her accordion. She is eleven years old and started learning this instrument when she was seven.

A special form of song is the Jodler, a song that has no text, only syllables which are sung in a very fast alternation of breast voice and head voice. It was probably invented as a means of communication between people working on alpine pastures. However, it is not only common in our part of the world, you can find similar types of songs from Sweden to Spain, Poland to China, and even American Country singers often use this technique of singing.

We invited a jodel-expert to our second Skype-Conference, Mr. Johann Leitner. He’s 82 and has been yodelling almost all his life. He’s a natural talent and didn’t need any special training. But this talent brought him gigs all over Austria and even in America.

In Tirol, there are more than 300 brass bands, most of them founded at the beginning of the 19th century, like the Musikkapelle Haiming, which is now 195 years old. It consists of 66 active musicians and 5 sutlers.

Nevertheless, sometimes even nowadays brass bands are founded, like the Musikkapelle Ötztal-Bahnhof in the year 1987. Only 33 musicians, almost half of them female, play in the band. On the picture, the members of the brass band are dressed in the traditional clothes they are wearing when we play with the band.

Anna Stigger (MK Haiming), Carina Pohl und Noah Kerber (MK Ötztal Bahnhof)


“Stubnmusi” and “Tanzlmusi” are two different kinds of bands you can often hear in our region. Both evolved out of the tradition of singing and playing together within families on special occasions. They are not as big as a brass band and use different instruments. The music played is for entertainment and dances.

Singing in a choir has always been popular in our country where we have about 480 different choirs and singing associations.

Our school choir sings all kinds of songs, traditional ones, English and German ones, but also songs when we go to church at the beginning and at the end of the school year.