The enchantingly sunny sounds of Germanic folk are undeniable once they hit your ears. Bright, joyful and melodic these songs of the old country are remarkably dissimilar to many other types of music. Modernised songs have a much different structure and rely heavily on the sounds of the instruments compared to the solid vocals heard in these playful tracks. If you’ve heard some folk music but can’t distinguish it from the sounds of another country then have a look at the list here to see if it checks all the boxes.
First the pace of the German folk is quite stable at a fun trot. Regularly around the timing of a waltz, because this music is intended to be danced to. Gatherings of people out in the fields would dance away in amongst nature to the sounds of these traditional songs and as such the rhythm caters to such an event. If you can imagine children skipping to the beat and adults tipping their body weight from side to side in time, you probably have some folk on your hands.
Soaring High Vocals
Apart from well documented times in pop music, singing exceptionally high is not commonly done, especially from males who have a more biological restriction in their vocal cords. Yet the lyrics belted out in German folk always seem to be of a high pitch regardless of the sex of the singer themselves. Pitch perfect transitions from note to note still occur at these alpine heights despite most of us struggling to get there in the first place, it makes sense that the desire to sing in these unprecedented heights was passed down from generation to generation as the music continued through families.
This is something unique to European folk. Yodelling is the rapid changing of pitch that causes a dramatic fluctuation of sound that is complemented by the exclamation of fast vowels. What results is an immedietly detectible chirping that almost turns people into human sounding birds. Yodelling is common in this style of music as it originated in the mountainous regions of Europe that Germany sits beside. Yodelling is something that you couldn’t imagine hearing on the radio or on a music video and yet those who do it well are clearly talented.
Accordions are probably the most common here as previously stated the musicians would be out I the open air amongst the partygoers. A portable air-infused instrument makes perfect sense here and its notably olden sound enriches the classical nature of the style overall. Here we aren’t getting blazing solos or counter melodies but instead the instruments tend to keep the jovial pace and guide the notes sung by vocalists without overpowering.
A Positive Feel
Its almost impossible to be upset when listening to German folk. Whether it is the fun rhythm that sweeps you off your feet or the sheer delightful absurdity of consistent yodelling that brings a smile to your face. Whatever the ingredients are, the combination creates a remarkably jolly sound that will cheer up anyone missing the rolling hills of the German countryside.