"Guggen" music

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Deutscher Text

uggen music has not belonged to carnival in Basel from the beginning. It consists of many different instruments. The most important ones are the drum, the kettledrum, as well as various brass and wind instruments. Between the songs, the group is marching to the rhythm of the drum roll and the kettledrum. As soon as the "Tambourmajor" (=drummer conductor) gives a sign, the brass and wind instrument players join in again with the next song. Different kinds of songs belong to their repertoire, such as Yankee Doodel or latest hits. It is not important to play well or even harmoniously as long as it is rhythmical. But the melody should still be recognisable, which puts people in a good mood.

The "Guggen" music players do not join the "Morgenstreich"; this event is reserved to the other instrumental groups ("Cliquen"). However, Tuesday evening belongs only to "Guggen" music. There is a "Guggen" concert, which takes place on the Barfüsserplatz and the Marktplatz. Before that, the different groups from Kleinbasel are marching from the Clarastrasse (Clara street) in the direction of the Marktplatz (market place) at about 7 p.m.. The presentations of each groups last about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, they are walking through the streets playing their songs until early in the morning.

A member of such a "Guggen" group must be very fit because they spend most of the time during the carnival on the streets and only few hours sleeping. Apart from that, they are not really averse to drinking. They very often go to bars and restaurants outside the city centre to have a drink, where they might also play one or two songs from time to time. A special experience.