Like in every other musical tradition, Bavarian music - ranging from traditional pub songs to highly advanced performance techniques - is constantly changing, subject to fashion and varying tastes, action and reaction.
As of the late 1920s Paul Kiem - former actor and Volkssänger (popular singer) - and Kurt Huber - professor for music and philosophy - as well as a circle of followers oppose the “clearance sale” of folk music by increasing mass tourism. Moreover, they also fight stereotypes, rudeness or political motivated folk music in Munich. Kiem Pauli demands to return to simplicity: folk music performances should only serve didactic means rather than be used for a self-portrayal or for monetary reasons. During the era of National Socialism and thereafter, these calm tunes, finally called Stubnmusik (parlor music) – played by zither, dulcimer, guitar, harp, double bass or the harmonic three-voice singing –d offered retreats form the bellowed battle songs and military marches of the Nazi period. The group of people gathering around Kiem Pauli, later on around Wastl Fanderl, is in existence up until the 1970s. They intended to be soft-spoken, noncommercial and political.
Until the late 1970s there was an agreement among the followers of old traditions and lovers of folk music: everyone who played traditional folk music had to do this in a modest way, did not perform for money, wore traditional costume, pinned up one’s hair, refused modern music like jazz, blues, rock, is of catholic confession and favored the Christian-Social Union of Bavaria, that itself was committed to keep up traditions. Quite opposite to the behavior of the Social Democratic Party at that time: Social Democrats campaigned for internationality, openness, progress, but neglected topics like tradition, native country, folk music since these values were considered to be too backward and by far too conservative.
There was a clear separation in the 1960s and 1970s: everyone with a conservative attitude had a short haircut and played folk music. If your hair was long, you wore jeans, listened to the songs of the Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan or even to English-American-Irish folk songs, that were in the vicinity of the Left or to trade union movements in Great Britain as well as in the US. Especially in Munich more and more students became fond of traditional folk music. Nevertheless, they did not want to submit themselves to the allegedly strict rules exactly how a song had to be sung or a dance had to be performed or which kind of traditional costume to wear. Many sons and daughters of conservative folk music families rebelled: some had already turned to the left-wing parties during times of political unrest, many of them defined themselves with their left or alternative attitude. In terms of music, they often took the liberty to change melodies, rhythms, add new texts and looked for any links to blues, jazz or free music. For the first time, Obacht 4 shows the history of Bavarian folk and world music between 1976 and 2016.