Cell 17

Trommeln und Pfeifen 19. und 20. Jahrhundert

Object Description

The group of fifes and drums is often considered to be the musical emblem of the city and is traditionally associated with the carnival of Basel.Written documents since the 15th century and graphic representations since the beginning of the 16th century indicate that this music ensemble was an integral part of life of a foot soldier's life. There was no direct link between the fifes and drums and the carnival at that time.Therefore the drums which have been preserved are those used exclusively by the various guilds, by other organizations responsible for the defense of the city (Vorstadtgesellschaften, Ehrengesellschaften) and by the military personnel in Basel well into the 19th century.It is only in the 19th and 20th centuries that there is evidence of a direct link to carnival. For the piccolo, this link dates back to about the middle of the 19th century.The new compositions of marches which are constantly appearing, together with the highly-developed technical ability of the musicians, point to a living tradition that is lovingly nurtured with considerable effort and expense. But at the same time, the old marches borrowed from the musical tradition of the military are not being neglected.

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