Thursday, July 23, 2009

German beer-hall yodel goes to court in Munich; Guardian, 7/23/09

Kate Connolly via Guardian; German beer-hall yodel goes to court in Munich:

"To the uninitiated it sounds rather like a cry for help from an Alpine goatherd who has trapped his hand in a barn door.

In the world of German folk music, however, it amounts to one of the most popular and lucrative refrains in the yodelling repertoire.

The money-spinning power of "horlla-rĂ¼-di-ri, di-ri, di-ri", the famous chorus of the Kufsteinlied, which is capable of making even the hardiest of lederhosen-clad Germans go weak at the knees, has been keenly felt this week in a Munich courtroom battle over who owns the copyright.

The heirs of Karl Ganzer, the Austrian composer of the 63-year-old beer-hall hit which is said to be Europe's most-played folk song, were yesterday successful in their attempts to sue the music publisher Egon Frauenberger, who claimed he had written the song's refrain and therefore had a right to a twelfth of the royalties.

The song is a staple of beer festival gatherings such as Munich's Oktoberfest as well as folk music shows which, because of their enduring popularity, are a mainstay of primetime television across the German-speaking world.

Royalties must be paid each time the song is performed in public."

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