The Austrian Folk Song Society (Österreichisches Volksliedwerk) was founded in 1904 and is the umbrella organisation of folk song societies in the Austrian states. Its main tasks are to collect, archive, document, and distribute folk songs, music, dances and poetry. Our work is based on the resources of Austria's folk music archives which have been collected over a period of more than 100 years.
The pieces available from www.volksmusikland.at were chosen based on frequent requests from the folk music society archives and on popularity with musicians. Besides historic melodies with an oral tradition, you will also find latter day compositions. These can be specific to a region, or widely popular pieces, with some crossover between other musical styles.
The topical compilation covers music in daily life, customs in the course of the seasons and life, through to folk music as a means of representation and identification. Much scope is given to the origin and historic impact of the pieces.
The sound samples and notes give users an impressive insight into the various, regional playing styles in Austria; the acoustic journey takes in Carinthian choirs, Alpine three voiced singing, and "Landlergeiger" to brass music from the Bohemian Forest.
Due to the various recording situations the quality of the recordings can differ. Field research in private homes in particular purveys a very personal image of music making, and thus differs greatly from studio productions. Supplemented by information from musicians, manuscripts and literature references, the material collected here shows the developments in folk music, and the scientific work put into collecting and researching it, through the ages.
Experience folk music as a virtual journey into a multifaceted life!
The pieces are organised by (insert character) state, within the states by points of the compass, topic, form and epoch. You can select, read about and listen to the pieces based on these criteria.
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Different interpretations of the pieces from various song books are linked to our archive database. They are available free of charge for printing, but only for your own personal use.
Many pieces of folk music are not copyright due to their oral heritage; they are our cultural heritage. You are not permitted to register them with collecting companies, except in the case of adaptations or new compositions.
The sound samples have a length of 48 seconds and cannot be downloaded for legal reasons and to respect the rights of the musicians. You have the option of ordering full-length pieces for your own personal use from the Volksliedwerk (Folk Song Society) arcrhives.
All general texts are available in both German and English. Descriptions of the pieces are only available in German.