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Intangible cultural heritage

Traditions, knowledge, craftsmanship techniques  
Photo: © UNESCO/James Muriuki

South Bohemian Brass Band Music in Brand-Nagelberg
Performing arts in Lower Austria, inscribed 2021

South Bohemian brass band music in Brand-Nagelberg is a musical tradition formed through close musical exchange with Czech musicians. This transborder collaboration, which still exists today, also led to the genesis of a unique playing technique and contributed to the spread of the treasury of songs still widely performed today, such as the famous “South Bohemian Polka”. South Bohemian brass band music is formative for the musicians in Brand-Nagelberg and the people from this region.

Numerous military bands were founded following the proclamation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The popularity of these bands contributed to the emergence of local bands, including in the immediate vicinity of Brand-Nagelberg, and heavily influenced their songs. After the 1950s, exchange had been established, particularly with the South Bohemian composer Ladislav Kubeš. ‘South Bohemian Brass Band Music’ as it is practised by the Trachtenkapelle Brand ensemble is characterised by a fairly ‘relaxed’ tempo and ‘soft’ interpretations of songs, as well as by the addition of a vocal duo or trio. Both the songs’ original lyrics and their German lyrics often revolve around the topics of love of one’s home, the joy of music, love for another person, and yearning.

This region’s Trachtenkapelle ensemble has been playing South Bohemian brass band music compositions at events and regular performances for decades. Reciprocal visits to exchange with other music groups, which are primarily located in the Czech Republic, contribute to safeguarding and developing this musical tradition. In the border region, the South Bohemian brass band music tradition has long been seen as a means to promote closeness, exchange, and understanding between people. In order to foster South Bohemian brass band music in future, a new formation has been founded called Kubešovanka alongside the Trachtenkapelle Brand ensemble.

Moreover, Brand-Nagelberg has been hosting the international brass music festival ‘Bohemian Dream’ since 2010. Brass bands from South Bohemia are regularly invited to this event and attention is consciously given to the exchange between the young Czech and Austrian musicians.



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