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Folk Music from French-Speaking Switzerland

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The south-western cantons of Switzerland constitute the French-speaking part of the country. The people living here are renowned for their "joie de vivre", conviviality and high spirits. This music programme introduces you to their rich cultural world.

This content was published on September 1, 2003 - 13:24

The southern and western areas border on France and Italy, while the north and east link up with German-speaking Switzerland. The geographic location of French-speaking Switzerland explains the many influences behind its varied traditions. The Latin influences emanate from the great routes such as the Rhône Valley or the Lake Geneva region, the southern Alpine passes and the ridges of the Jura westward. On the other hand Germanic influences can be found in the northern areas.

Traditions and religion

Traditions are perpetuated in particular in the Alpine regions. So in the pre-Alps and the Jura, where the vine and cattle-breeding cultures have predominated for centuries. But religion, too, has played its role in the preservation of the cultural heritage. It is mainly the Catholic regions where such customs as carnival and parish festivals have survived.

Production information

Folk Music from French-Speaking Switzerland (1994-1998). Musica Helvetica MH CD 81.2. Produced for SRI by Patrick Linder and Christian Strickler.

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