Music

Stobeten – string music – natural yodelling

If you think life in the mountains means peace and quiet, think again. From June to September, the herdsmen celebrate their traditional festivals, known as «Stobete». With yodelling, «Talerschwingen», folk dancing, string music and «Schelleschötte» (ringing three cowbells), the festivals are always lively events. Appenzell string music, which has become known throughout the world, features a hammered dulcimer, double bass, cello and two violins, with the accordion being a recent addition. The best-known string ensemble is “Streichmusik Alder” from Urnäsch. The group was formed 125 years ago (in 1884) and its members are now in the third, fourth and fifth generation in various combinations. Another type of folk music that is just as important as music for strings is yodelling. This type of singing can be performed with or without words. Along with the yodelling songs and «Ratzliedli» (songs that ridicule or tease), the locals particularly cherish the art of wordless natural yodelling in choirs, known as «Rugguusseli» in Innerrhoden and «Zäuerli» in Ausserrhoden.