Mani Matter and Bernese dialect music


Category:
Performing arts
  • Oral expressions
Canton:

Description

Mani Matter (1936-1972) was the most famous dialect singer-songwriter from the canton of Bern. His songs are part of the popular music repertoire of German-speaking Switzerland, known among the general public and across virtually all generations. The catchy melodies and harmonies and the profound stories that the songs tell make singing along irresistible. "Eskimo", "Sidi Abdel Assar of El Hama" and other Mani Matter classics are sung in nurseries, in schools, on traditional spring walks and at family parties. His songs frequently appear in the repertoire of children's choirs, scout singers and school choirs and are even sung by male choirs and church choirs.

At the end of the 1960s, Mani Matter was a member of the "Bern Troubadours", a loose group of Bernese musicians which included Jacob Stickelberger and Fritz Widmer. Over the years many Swiss musicians, including Polo Hofer and Züri West, have been inspired by Mani Matter's songs and have covered them. Stephan Eicher made Mani Matter's song "Hemmige" so famous that French speakers at his concerts could sing along to the lyrics in Bernese dialect.

Image gallery

  • From 1965 to 1971 Mani Matter was among the faces of the Bern Troubadours © Ruedi Krebs
  • Mani Matter on the Worb train in Bern, 1972: Photo for the cover of the “Ir Ysebahn” record © Rodo Wyss, 1972
  • Mani Matter on the Worb train in Bern, 1972: Photo for the cover of the “Ir Ysebahn” record © Rodo Wyss, 1972
  • Mani Matter in Matte/Bern, 1970 © Rodo Wyss, 1970
  • Mani Matter and Franz Hohler: Concert for Amnesty International at Zurich’s Hechtplatz Theatre, 1970 © Bruno Kirchgraber, Zürich/Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv
  • Mani Matter performing at the opening of the Kleine Bühne cellar theatre in Zofingen, May 1971 © Volker Hagendorf, 1971
  • Exhibition at the National Museum Zurich entitled “Mani Matter (1936-1972)”: Mani Matter’s practice guitar © Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum, 2011
  • From 1965 to 1971 Mani Matter was among the faces of the Bern Troubadours © Ruedi Krebs
  • Mani Matter on the Worb train in Bern, 1972: Photo for the cover of the “Ir Ysebahn” record © Rodo Wyss, 1972
  • Mani Matter on the Worb train in Bern, 1972: Photo for the cover of the “Ir Ysebahn” record © Rodo Wyss, 1972
  • Mani Matter in Matte/Bern, 1970 © Rodo Wyss, 1970
  • Mani Matter and Franz Hohler: Concert for Amnesty International at Zurich’s Hechtplatz Theatre, 1970 © Bruno Kirchgraber, Zürich/Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv
  • Mani Matter performing at the opening of the Kleine Bühne cellar theatre in Zofingen, May 1971 © Volker Hagendorf, 1971
  • Exhibition at the National Museum Zurich entitled “Mani Matter (1936-1972)”: Mani Matter’s practice guitar © Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum, 2011

References and documentation

Publications
  • Stephan Hammer: Mani Matter und die Liedermacher. Zum Begriff des «Liedermachers» und zu Matters Kunst des Autoren-Liedes. Bern, 2010

  • Mani Matter: Sudelhefte. Gümligen, 2003 (1973)

  • Mani Matter: Rumpelbuch. Gümligen, 2003 (1976)

  • Franz Hohler: Mani Matter. Ein Porträtband. Bernziger Verlag, Zürich-Köln 1977 (2001)

  • Christine Wirz: Mani Matter. Vom «Värslischmid», der ein Poet war. Stämpfli-Verlag, Bern, 2002

  • Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum (Ed.): Mani Matter 1936-1972 (Ausstellungskatalog). Bern, 2011

Multimedia
  • Friedrich Kappeler: Mani Matter. Warum syt dir so truurig? (Dokumentarfilm). 2002

  • Mani Matter: Alls wo mir id Finger chunnt (Schallplatte). Gümligen, 1967

  • Mani Matter: Hemmige (Schallplatte). Gümligen, 1970

  • Mani Matter: I han en Uhr erfunde (Schallplatte). Gümligen, 1970

  • Mani Matter: Betrachtige über nes Sändwitsch (Schallplatte). Gümligen, 1972

  • Mani Matter: I han es Zündhölzli azündt (Schallplatte). Gümligen, 1975

  • Dynamit 
    Mani Matter: Ir Ysebahn 
    Lieder von Mani Matter wie «Dynamit» regen mit Witz zum Nachdenken an
    Ref. Swiss National Sound Archives:
    CD69 Tr. 4 

Documentation
  • Mani Matter

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 28.05.2012
    Size: 499 kb
    Type: PDF