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Festival celebrates call to the hunt

The Bernese Oberland will be this year's host for the hunting horn competition. Jungfrau Railways By-line swiss-image.ch

The theatre in Interlaken where performances of Schiller's William Tell are normally held will be the setting for the Swiss hunting horn competition on May 19.

This content was published on May 11, 2001 - 11:19

Dozens of hunting horn groups from across Switzerland will descend on Interlaken for the event, which is only held every two years. The competition gets underway in the morning when groups are required to play various marches, dances and fanfares.

The Swiss clubs represented at the competition in Interlaken say they are having difficulties recruiting young people to carry on the tradition.

The hunting horn experienced its golden age at the court of King Louis XIV of France in the 17th century, when hunting was fashionable among the European aristocracy.

Another century went by before it became a popular musical instrument, and a certain Anton Josef Hampel invented the technique of putting a hand in the bell of the horn to change its tone.

The hunting horns used by hunters today stem from the instrument used for signalling in the Middle Ages, which was developed further by Prussian army bands.

A concert at 4pm, given by all of the competing clubs, will bring this year's festivities in Interlaken to an end.

Reservations are not required.

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