German Folk Music Beyond the Oktoberfest and Beer

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New Awareness in Germany for Folk music and the poetic side of German langugae. Toni Geiling releasing old and new German songs as free MP3 downloads on

There seems to be a new awareness of the folk roots in Germany. Artists like Toni Geiling started using the lyrical side of the German language again combining it with music that mirrors many influences as we live in a new and global community.

When you think of Germany what comes to your mind first? Beer and soccer? Sauerkraut and sausages? The Second World War and the Nazi Regime? There is much more about it to be sure. German culture has changed its face.

In centuries past many composers like Bach, Haendel or Schubert have been a major influence on the western classical music. After the two devastating World Wars German people felt ashamed and started to ignore their cultural background and language. In the western part of Germany English songs dominated the charts for 58 years afterwards. German lyrics were only popular in the so called “Volksmusik” which is pretty much easy listening and carries nothing of the poetic language and deep melodies that it could but at least speaks about love and matters of the heart. The music scene in East Germany took a whole different direction.

Traditional material stayed very much alive but with the fall of the Berlin wall that niche culture faded quickly and was overtaken by history.

Today there is a new popularity of German songs in the charts as well as in Folk music. The German Folk Award winner Toni Geiling is rearranging old, almost forgotten songs like “Verstohlen geht der Mond auf” and writing new material like “the “Lied vom Frosch”- a story about a love, peace, herbal tea and a green frog asking for a biscuit. In 2003 he released an album called “Abendlieder” wich has found many fans and friends in Germany. Some of his music can be downloaded as free MP3 files on his website. He hopes that in the years to come more artists will put there attention to what was lost and make it a driving business like the Irish or Swedish Folk music that have come back from the cultural graves developing into an industry.

The author Toni Geiling is a composer and violinist who has spent some years in Ireland and toured extensively in Germany in the last ten years. He is known for strange songs like Dracula and his unique violin playing style that fuses Eastern and Western traditions. He visited Australia, Italy, Switzerland and the United States through his music and is at present working on a collection of German songs arranged for piano and voices as well as on a CD for children (Kinderlieder).


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