Environmental Perception and Activism through Performance:

Alpine Song and Sound Impressions

  • Britta Sweers
Keywords: Alpine yodeling, Switzerland, soundscape, Unspunnen, nature, environment, sustainability


As is argued in this article, a deeper understanding of the relationship between music and performance and environmental aspects in extreme contexts, such as the North and Alpine regions, provides insights into the constantly shifting human concepts of nature. By analyzing historical and modern accounts of nature-related music and performances in the Swiss Alpes, this article discusses the interconnectedness between local traditional performing practices, particularly yodeling, and landscape. It hereby aims at adding a critical and nuanced perspective on the often romanticized interconnectedness between nature and local cultural identity, as expressed by Alpine yodeling and extreme nature. While Alpine Switzerland is indeed exemplary of the process of landscaping through music and sound, it is actually a patchwork of a variety of musical articulations that each reflect environmental concerns and is shaped by the experience of extreme natural surroundings.

How to Cite
Sweers, B. (2020). Environmental Perception and Activism through Performance:: Alpine Song and Sound Impressions. European Journal of Musicology, 18(1), 138–159. https://doi.org/10.5450/EJM.18.1.2019.138