Munich Rathaus Glockenspiel.WAV
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March 4th, 2012

The Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich is a tourist attraction in Marienplatz the heart of Munich.Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V (who also founded the world famous Hofbräuhaus) to Renata of Lorraine. In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time of course.

This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflerstanz (the coopers' dance). According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich. The coopers are said to have danced through the streets to, "bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions." The coopers remained loyal to the duke, and their dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times.

The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day. At the very end of the show, a very small golden bird at the top of the Glockenspiel chirps three times, marking the end of the spectacle.

I recorded all this in February 2012, with an italian crowd nearby and some union members preparing themself for a demonstration. Thats why you can hear those whistles on the right. OKM microphones into A3 adapter into PCM-M10 recorder.


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