Folk music collection Hanny Christen (Publishing House Mülirad)
A treasure trove of folk music
At the beginning there was Hanny Christen (1899 -1976), a researcher of local history and a collector of folk music from Basel-Landschaft. Between 1940 and 1960, Hanny Christen travelled across Switzerland several times, she met many musicians and copied their collections of dances, thus giving life to an exceptional archive of 11,874 melodies from the 19th and 20th centuries and from all parts of Switzerland, which she collected in 435 files. This huge repertory work fell into oblivion until Zurich musician and publisher Fabian Müller (winner of a Swiss Music Prize 2016) heard about it in 1992. He put together a team of volunteer researchers who studied and classified the material over ten years – without any institutional support – and finally published it with Mülirad-Verlag in 2002. The ten-volume collection has made one of the greatest treasures of popular music from the alpine region available to the public, giving traditional Swiss folk music an incredible impetus – especially to new popular music – which is still ongoing today. The Hanny Christen folk music collection has been the standard reference for the creation of popular music in all parts of Switzerland for over twenty years.