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The “living archive” of Salzburg folk songs

The “living archive” of Salzburg folk songs


Singers can go on a musical treasure hunt in popular songs. There are many old song manuscripts in the archives that have never been set to music. Through the “Living Archive” project, regional singing groups can reinterpret these ancient songs and donate them back to the State Archives.

Breathing new life into old songs – this is what the singing groups set for themselves in the Salzburger Volksliedwerk project. The songs are audio-remastered and returned to the archive as a video. The idea for the “living archive” came from two Volksliedwerk employees, Elisabeth Radauer and Waltraud Stogner.

In the past three years, about 40 rare folk songs have been reworked, says Wolfgang Dreyer Anders, head of the Folk Culture Archive in Salzburg. There's a lot of effort behind this, says Dreher-Andres: “For example, if I only have one handwriting, it's often written in Corinth and perhaps only one voice. Then I first have to write the piece in a new handwriting so that people can From understanding it and maybe adding a voice or rewriting something. I have to set it up so it can still be sung today.

Anecdotes from old singers

Some of these musical treasures were transmitted only orally. They are brought to the archive by the singing groups themselves. “This piece is an old serenade from the Wolfgangsee area called Hallberger. We rehearsed it with 'Lighten' Sepp. Sepp is known around Lake Wolfgangsee. He's 93 now, and when you have people like that in the area, obviously you have to take advantage From it so you can learn from it,” says Josef Hofbauer-Sarsteiner of Rußbacher 4G'sang.

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Live archive of popular songs

Keep the tradition alive

Video recordings of songs end up in the digital state archive and ensure the continued growth of the memory of folk music in Salzburg. One group that sings songs is the ladies of Flachgauer Dreierlei. Evelyn Berhamer explains why the trio was involved: “Folk music in general is very close to our hearts. All three of us are deeply rooted in our homeland, in the church, in all the traditions and of course also in the songs but also in the dress and the dialect. That's why we feel the need to pass this on.”

There are still many musical treasures to be discovered in the archive; Interested singers can contact the Salzburger Volksliedwerk for the “Live Archive”.