Basel drumming


Category:
Performing arts
Canton:

Description

For many residents of the City of Basel, the drum is a symbol of their identity. The city boasts more than a thousand trained drummers among its population. Getting to grips with the basics of traditional Basel drumming takes several years of practice. The unwritten phrasing technique, the effect of which has been compared to the swing feeling in jazz, is taught at a number of drumming schools, predominantly run by Basel carnival associations. Dr Fritz Berger, known as the "Drummel-Doggter", developed a system of notation in the 1920s, attracting international attention to the art of Basel drumming. The success of Basel drumming is due to the fact that it is a practised by large sections of society throughout history. Since the Middle Ages, the art of drumming in Basel has been perfected for many different uses, and was never the unique reserve of the military. Drumming continues to feature at many different occasions and events, including carnival, "Vogel Gryff" (Festival of the Griffin), city celebrations and private events. The influence of the tradition can be seen today in drumming and pipe playing across the whole country.

Image gallery

  • Official Basel competition drumming and pipe playing: The Rolli Group in the group drumming event at the Basel Fair © Andreas Frossard/picturebâle, 2007
  • Canvas drum, Basel, 1874 © M. Babey/Historisches Museum Basel
  • Canvas drums, Basel, 1575 and 1571 © P. Portner/Historisches Museum Basel
  • Presentation of the state wine accompanied by the drums of the honourable guild “Zum Himmel”, 2010 © Juri Weiss/www.bs.ch/bilder
  • Presentation of the state wine accompanied by the drums of the honourable guild “Zum Himmel”, 2010 © Juri Weiss/www.bs.ch/bilder
  • Official Basel competition drumming and pipe playing: The Rolli Group in the group drumming event (old tambour drums) at the Basel Fair © Andreas Frossard/picturebâle, 2007
  • Canvas drum, Basel, 1874 © M. Babey/Historisches Museum Basel
  • Canvas drums, Basel, 1575 and 1571 © P. Portner/Historisches Museum Basel
  • Presentation of the state wine accompanied by the drums of the honourable guild “Zum Himmel”, 2010 © Juri Weiss/www.bs.ch/bilder
  • Presentation of the state wine accompanied by the drums of the honourable guild “Zum Himmel”, 2010 © Juri Weiss/www.bs.ch/bilder

Video

The Top Secret Drum Corps performing at the 2009 Basel Tattoo © SF

References and documentation

Publications
  • Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser: Trommeltänze in Basel und im Kanton Schwyz. Volksbräuche als Bewahrer alter Traditionen. In: Musik im Brauch der Alpenländer. Bausteine für eine musikalische Brauchforschung. Ed. Thomas Nussbaumer und Josef Sulz. Salzburg, 2001, p. 143-155

  • Fritz Robert Berger: Das Basler Trommeln. Nebst vollständigem Lehrgang und einer Sammlung aller Basler Trommelmärsche. Basel, 1928

  • Georg Duthaler: Trommeln und Pfeifen in Basel. Basel, 1985

  • Urs Ramseyer: Wege zur Trommelkunst. In: Eugen A. Meier, Basler Fasnachtskomitee (Ed.): Die Basler Fasnacht. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer lebendigen Tradition. Basel, 1985

Documentation
  • Basler Trommeln

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 30.03.2016
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