Schützenfest (H. Färber) [Sheet music] [Tutorial video]

“Schützenfest” is an instrumental polka which translates to “Marksmen’s festival“, and was written by Helmut Färber and recorded by Die Mooskirchner from Austria in 1992. Färber is a musician and vocalist who contributed compositions, vocals and clarinet playing for Die Mooskirchner for many years, and wrote many hits which are regularly played by Oberkrainer and Volksmusik groups in Austria and southern parts of Germany including “In Den Städtchen” and “Lass die Tränen”. This polka caught my attention when Nicolas Gregorič, a very talented Slovenian-Canadian baritone and guitar player told me about this song, and asked to do a collaboration with it several years ago. It’s a very energetic polka which features a trumpet and 2 clarinets providing the main melody in parts A and C, instead of the usual trumpet and clarinet duet.

Die Mooskirchner, hailing from Steiermark (Styria) in Austria, are one of Austria’s leading Oberkrainer style folk music ensembles, formed in 1975 as Mooskirchner Quintett and are still active to this day, with several high selling albums and a long line of high calibre musicians throughout the years. They have toured the world with their music, including an Australian tour in 2000 which included performances for Austrian and German ethnic clubs, plus a private performance at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, where George Harrison (The Beatles) was a member of the private audience, and took an immediate interest into this foreign style of music which he had never heard. Reportedly he had even performed on guitar with them for Austrian television broadcaster ORF during their closing credits to their F1 coverage (footage which I’d hope will eventually be uncovered and shared). I had the opportunity to unearth and share a small clip of Die Mooskirchner performing directly in front of a smiling George Harrison who was watching with great interest. According to accordionist and founder of the ensemble, Helmut Freydl, George Harrison was planning on a visit and collaboration with the ensemble, but unfortunately he had passed away before it came to fruition.

This polka was performed in A flat major, which I have condensed and arranged for accordion in both the original key, as well as G major for those to may find A flat challenging, meanwhile my tutorial video is in A flat major.

‘Learn to play’ package (includes sheet music)

Tutorial preview (A♭ major)

Learn to play (A♭ major)

📝 Sheet music pdf (A♭)
📹 Slow tutorial video (A♭)

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Sheet music

📝 Sheet music pdf (A♭ major)

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📝 Sheet music pdf (G major)

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Original recording by Die Mooskirchner in 1992

Live performance in Slovenia by Die Mooskirchner

Die Mooskirchner performing ‘Schützenfest’ in Australia at various ethnic clubs, as well as ‘Steirische Brauch’ at the F1

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