Our Music

Liab' und Schneid plays and sings a blend of authentic German and Swiss Volksmusik spiced with some popular Oberkrainer pieces, original compositions and a few popular hits in the Volksmusik tradition--plus a number of Oktoberfest favorites. Here is a representative sample of what you may hear from us, depending on venue:

Traditional Austrian, German and Swiss Volksmusik dances, such as:

  • Gretlboarischer
  • Gamsjäger Marsch
  • Granatenpolka
  • Hey-Mann Polka
  • Im Örgelihuus
  • Echo vom Geisshimmel - and many more

Traditional Austrian, German and Swiss Volskmusik songs and Yodel-lieder, such as:

  • Bergvagabunden
  • Dem Land Tirol die Treue
  • I komm heute Nacht auf a Busserl zu Dir
  • Kufstein Lied
  • All was bruuchsch
  • 'S Träumli - and many more

Traditional Oktoberfest tunes, song and "Stimmung" singalong pieces, such as:

  • Rosamunde (Beer-barrel Polka)
  • Trinklieder (drinking songs) mix - Nach Hause gehen wir nicht, Mein Hut hat drei Ecken, Wer soll das bezahlen, etc.
  • Vogeltanz (Chicken-dance) - and many more.

All our music comes from authentic German Volksmusik instruments played live--plus, of course, our own singing voices. We do not employ MIDI sounds or electronic devices.

Around Christmas time, we add some advent and Christmas music, both instrumental and sung. This music is an important part of the Alpine German-speaking tradition, and it adds a warm Holiday atmosphere to any venue.

"Thanks for a great time Saturday night. The concert was so much fun. Tom and Elisabeth are definitely a dynamic duo!"

Authentic Alpine Music (Echte Volksmusik)

Authentic Alpine folk music has a very well-defined repertoire, whose tradition goes back at least as far as the early 19th century. Even newer pieces are composed to conform to the wonderful principles that has made this music a favorite with dancers and listeners for over 200 years.

A large part of our music is based on dance-rhythms typical of the area. Although Americans usually associate German music almost exclusively with the Polka, there are many other prevalent dances in authentic Volksmusik such as the Boarischer, the Landler, the Walzer, the Minuet, the Schottish, the Mazurka and others.

Swiss Volksmusik

Traditional Swiss music is influenced by the cultures of the various cantons; the German-speaking cantons, especially near Bern, Schwyz and other central parts of Switzerland, produce the type of music we play and sing.

Compared to Austro-Bavarian music, Swiss Landlerhits feature more challenging runs, embellishments and repeated notes, giving its melodies a very distinct character. One of the reasons is that a good number of important Swiss pieces were originally conceived for the clarinet, an instrument with extraordinary technical and melodic capabilities. Much like its Austrian and Bavarian counterparts, however, Swiss music is strictly danceable, with unmistakable rhythms like the Schottisch, Polka, Landler and (yes!) Fox Trot making it hard to keep one's feet still.

Oberkrainer Musik

Oberkrainer Musik was invented and popularized by the prodigious Slovenian composer and accordionist Slavko Avsenik, who has rightfully become synonymous with this style. In its full setting, Oberkrainer Musik features a tuba and/or bass, a semiacoustic guitar, a clarinet and trumpet, an accordion (typically a piano accordion) and one or more singing voices. Many pieces, however, can be played with a smaller number of musicians, thanks to their recognizable melody, their happy rhythms and the usually virtuoso instrumental part. Some of the most wonderful Polkas we play come from Oberkrainer Musik--such as Slavko’s Ich hör’ so gern Harmonika and Grossglocknerblick.

Classic Volksmusik Hits

Depending on venue, we play several popular pieces that are a coming together of the authentic Volksmusik and Oberkrainer sounds. Typical of this style are the early hits of the popular Tyrolean band Zillertaler Schürzenjäger, such as Postillionpolka, Stilluppa-Simal-Boarischer, Zillertaler Hochzeitmarsch and others.




Our Rhythms

The Boarischer

The Boarischer is one of the bounciest dances in the Alpine tradition, and one of our absolute favorites. With its name being dialect for Bayrischer (Bavarian), it is a leisurely, more hopping variation of the Polka, i.e. a dance in 2/4 time, not coincidentally also called Bayrisch Polka. In Austria it is also known as Bauernpolka, or Farmer’s Polka.

Dating from the mid-19th century, the Boarischer is danced in several ways, including the Offener Boarischer (open Boarischer) and the Figuren Boarischer (figure Boarischer).

The Landler

The Landler or Ländler is a 3/4 time dance originating in the final decades of the 18th century. It can be quick or as slow as a sweet lullaby, which gives it incredible versatility. Together with the Boarischer, it is one of the most widespread dances for authentic Alpine music, both Austro/Bavarian and Swiss.

The Landler is also the type of dance often used by Schuhplattlers, who take advantage of its slightly slower tempo to showcase the intricacies of their arm- and footwork. Similarly, quicker Landlers are often used by musicians to showcase technical prowess.

The Polka

The Polka became standardized in the first half of the 1800s--its name meaning “Polish” and originating, not coincidentally, in Eastern Europe. It is a quick dance in 2/4 time, and for many, it has become synonymous with German music--particularly Oktoberfest music. In the Swiss tradition, however, the name "Polka" designates a slower rhythm more similar to the Austro-Bavarian Boarischer.

The Waltz

The Waltz is a dance in 3/4 time, originating from the Minuet and the Deutsche Tanz of the 18th century. It has a strong flowing swing that makes it a favorite among dancers, and it was of course the battle-horse of the great Viennese composer Johann Strauss.

The Marsch

The Marsch (march) is recognizable by its military-like rhythm of 2/4 or 4/4. It is often used as the entry piece for dancers in traditional Alpine music, or even in Schuhplattling. Although they are dance-pieces, many marches also have lyrics in one or more of their sections--oftentimes some of the most joyful and anthem-like within the tradition.

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