„Trutz, Blanke Hans“ – Musical and Sound Recollections of North Sea Storm Tides in Northern Germany

Sweers, Britta (2020). „Trutz, Blanke Hans“ – Musical and Sound Recollections of North Sea Storm Tides in Northern Germany. Ethnomusicology Ireland, 6, pp. 1-25. ICTM Ireland

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Similar to other North Sea regions, the flat North German coastal areas have been shaped by severe storm tides and floods. Until present day, these extreme environmental phenomena have been playing a significant role in private and public memory. This article explores how these experiences are reflected in local cultural practices, particularly in traditional and popular music. As becomes apparent from a historical perspective, written and musical works that dealt directly the storm floods became only more clearly evident in the 19th century, such as Detlev von Liliencrons poem ballad “Trutz, Blanke Hans“ (1882/83). Songs dealing directly with storm floods only appeared more frequently in the 20th century. As is evident with German pop musician Achim Reichel and sea shanty band Santiano, von Liliencron’s ballad in particular became a central reference point. This article likewise explores perceptions of the actual sound of these events, which have been described as extremely or even physically loud, and which have been mostly responded by silence until present day. Analyzing the relationship between the actual threat, the sound environment, and musical practices, this article reflects on the localization of extreme environmental topics in human music making and the role of music within these extreme nature-related experiences

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Musicology
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)

UniBE Contributor:

Sweers, Britta


700 Arts > 780 Music




ICTM Ireland




Britta Sweers

Date Deposited:

03 Sep 2020 10:09

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:40

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