11. Mapping and Representing Musical Diversity in Switzerland: The Role of Musicians, Ethnomusicologists and Officials

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

Marc-Antoine Camp [+-]
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Marc-Antoine Camp received his Ph.D. from the University of Zürich (Switzerland) after studies in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and anthropology, where he also worked in the Archives of Ethnomusicology. Since 2008, Camp has been a researcher at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. His research and publications focus on music education, the transmission of musical knowledge, and the concept of intangible cultural heritage in Switzerland, Brazil, and China.
Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser [+-]
University of Music, Vienna
Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser, Ph.D., is specialized in organology. Her work includes an inventory of folk musical instruments in Switzerland (1971–1977), a Swiss contribution for the Handbuch der Europäischen Volksmusikinstrumente, and conceptualizing expositions (Kornhaus Burgdorf, Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg). She has published several books, over 200 articles, 35 records, and a selection of films about traditional music and musical instruments. Her work has been recognized with awards by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., the Bernese Cantonal Music Commission, with the Premio Giuseppe Pittrè of Palermo University, and the Walter Deutsch-Preis of the Österreichischen Bundesministeriums für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur. In 2000 she became Honorary Professor at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau.
Patricia Jäggi [+-]
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Patricia Jäggi has been a researcher at the Music School of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts since 2012. She completed her Ph.D. at University of Basel with a study on post-war listening cultures as exemplified by the sounds of Swiss Radio International for a project titled “Broadcasting Swissness,” supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Previously, Patricia Jäggi studied cultural analysis, German studies, art history, and general and comparative literature at the Universities of Bern and Zürich. Her research interests are sound studies, anthropology, and ethnography of the senses and of perception, as well as radio anthropology and history.
Dieter Ringli [+-]
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Dieter Ringli studied musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Zürich. He received his Ph.D. with a thesis on traditional Swiss music in 2003 and worked as a senior lecturer at the Archives of Ethnomusicology at the University of Zurich until 2008. Since 2001, Dieter Ringli has been a lecturer in the history of music at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Music School) and, since 2008, on aesthetics of popular music and ethnomusicology at the Zurich University of the Arts. He is an active musician in the contemporary folk scene of Switzerland with his band Drüdieter.


After Switzerland’s ratification of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008, governmental agencies began to implement the obligations and recommendations and published, in 2012, a national List of Living Traditions. The establishment of this list was managed through several steps of negotiations, involving representatives from cultural groups, cultural anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and officials from state agencies. The process sought to find a comprehensive definition of “Intangible Cultural Heritage”, suitable to accommodate diverse views on cultural traditions in Switzerland. Focussing on sounds, the authors look into this construction process of “Living Traditions” from varying angles: a review of previous collections of musical and cultural traditions in Switzerland, with which the recent concept of “Intangible Cultural Heritage” is compared; a report of the establishment of the List of Living Traditions in Switzerland; a critical assessment of this list with its inclusions and exclusions of musical traditions; a presentation of a virtual soundscape of “Living Traditions” to put in perspective the steady re-assembling of sensual elements in the course of traditions. The authors argue that a continuous re-definition of “Intangible Cultural Heritage” is crucial for a successful realization of this concept.

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Camp, Marc-Antoine; Bachmann-Geiser, Brigitte; Jäggi, Patricia ; Ringli, Dieter. 11. Mapping and Representing Musical Diversity in Switzerland: The Role of Musicians, Ethnomusicologists and Officials. Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2020. ISBN 9781781797594. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35835. Date accessed: 20 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35835. Mar 2020

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