Sheet music – Robert Körnli

Robert Körnli (1903-1974) from Grenchen in the canton of Solothurn worked professionally as a mechanic in an industrial company. In addition, he was a full-blooded amateur musician: brass band, folk music, finally the alphorn. In the Northwestern Swiss Yodelers Association he was involved for decades as a juror and instructor. He is known mainly as a composer for alphorn. From the 1930s until his death, he created about 170 pieces.

Körnli’s work bears witness to the development of the alphorn in the 20th century. Until the 1960s, he wrote mostly solo tunes. During this period, compositions increasingly take the place of freely improvised individual performances. Later he concentrated on polyphonic pieces, which were not graded at yodel festivals until 1972. In the last years of his life, Körnli then composed several pieces called “Choral”. The word originally comes from church music (Greogorian chant) and describes a slow, monophonic melodic form which is intended to create a solemn, dignified mood; in the context of alphorn music, since Körnli, this has meant pieces for large formations.

Körnli had a clear idea of how alphorn music should sound: slowly progressing, pure harmonies – largely without alphorn Fa or Bb – in a fromally clear pattern. Many elements are repeated: phrases with an upbeat at the beginning and a fermata at the end, rising and falling dynamics, intro and closing sections. He likes to use the combination of a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note or a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note (probably played as trioles / swing). The pieces usually begin with the instruction “ruhig” (calm), “gross im Ton” (big in tone), “breit” (broad) or “tragend” (carrying). These can be seen as general instruction for playing Körnlis pieces. It is the aesthetics of intellectual national defense.

At the end of the 1980s, the Northwestern Swiss Yodelers’ Association took the initiative to document Robert Körnli’s work as completely as possible. Hans-Jürg Sommer invested hundreds of hours in the collection and restoration of the numerous loose sheet music. In 1992 these were reproduced as facsimile in the book “Vo de blaue Jurabärge – Alphorn- und Büchel-Melodien von Robert Körnli 1903-1974”. Only a few copies of this book are still in circulation – none is repertorized in Swiss libraries. Individual pages are passed around the alphorn blowers as photocopies of photocopies.

The aim of the project here is to make the work of Robert Körnli accessible again to as large a circle of alphorn players as possible. To do this, I reset all the pieces. The sheet music should thus gain in readability and with the appropriate programs rendering to audio or further processing is also possible (here a tutorial). In addition to the sheet music in pdf, I provide Musescore files ( MuseScore is a widely used open source music editing software); also available are the libraries in MusicXML and Midi. When setting the pieces, I had to make certain (subjective) decisions: Choosing from several versions of the same piece, interpreting unclear notation on repetitions, dynamics and tempo. I have given more weight to the most direct usability possible than to the meticulous historical documentation; I have written out repetitions and adapted line breaks to the structure of the pieces. In spite of all care I assume that I have made mistakes while setting; I am grateful for corresponding feedback!

The sheet music material is published here with the kind permission of the heirs of Robert Körnli. You may download it for personal use without restriction. However, the works are protected by copyright until 2044 and their use (performances, recordings) must be reported/licensed to SUISA.

Abendglocken   31941
Abendstimmung   21972
Abendstimmung auf Melchsee Frutt   1
Aelplers Traum   11952
Alpabfahrt   11943
Alpenglühn   1
Alperösli   1
Alpfee   11955
Alphorngruss   3
Alphorngruss vom Rütli   21972
Alphornruef – Von der Rhone bis zum Rhein   11973
Alpsäge   1/21935
Alpsäge-Choral   3
Am Bärgseeli   21956
Am Brünig Schwinget   21972
Am Rigischwinget   21972
Am Waldrand I   2
Am Waldrand II   21974
Andacht-Choral   11960
Anleitung für Anfänger   1
Bänz im Glück   21973
Bärgblueme   1/21971
Bärgfreude   1/31956
Bärgfriede   11939
Bärgfrüehlig   1
Bärgmorge   11955
Bi dä Alperose   21974
Bi der schöne Sennerin   11974
Bi der Schrattefluh   21972
Bi der Wättertanne   11972
Bim Bärgbrünneli   21973
Bim Blockhus   21972
Bim Försterhus   11972
Bim Holzchrüz   31972
Bim Inachte   1
Bim Rehbrünnli   21974
Bim Vernachte   11955
Bim Wildbach   21971
Bim Würzbrunn Chilchli   21972
Chilbisundig   11955
Choral für Aarberg   31973
Choral für Alphorn   31956
Choral für Reinach   31973
Chüejerbuebe   21973
Chum Chueli Chum   1
Chum Lobeli   1
Chumm Lobeli Chumm   1
Chum sä Chueli   11974
Dä vom Bärgli   1
Der Aargauer (Büchel)   1B
Der Adelbodner   11954
Der Berner Bär   1
Der Chielter   11942
Der Emmenthaler   1
Der Engelberger   11957
Der Friburger   1
Der Frickthaler   1
Der Geissbueb   21972
Der Gretzenbacher   1
Der Greyerzer   11959
Der Heimbärger   21974
Der Hergiswiler   1/31956
Der Leissiger   11968
Der Mai isch cho   21972
Der Märchler   11969
Der Rheinfelder   11970
Der Senn bim Bättruef   11974
Der Sennen Thalfahrt   11974
Der Sennerin zum Gruss   21972
Der Signauer   2
Der Urner   1/31955
Der Ustig wott cho   21972
Die Post im Wald   11972
Drei Eidgenossen   31974
Dreiklang von der Bondalp   1/31954
Dütsch und Wälsch   21973
Echoruef   11942
Echo vom Jura   11970
Echo von der Bondalp   11954
Edelweiss   11944
Edelwiss und Alperose   21972
Eine vom Haslibärg   31974
Em Senn sy Freud   11957
Enzian   11955
Erika   1
Feierklänge   31972
Festgruss   11962
Frei wie der Adler   21972
Frisch drauflos   11959
Fröhlichs Senneläbe   1/21972
Früehlig i de Bärge   21972
Fyrobig   11956
Gloggeglütz   1/31938
Gruss an die Heimat   31971
Gruss aus Zermatt   31974
Gruss vom Berner Oberland   1
Gruss vom Jura   1/31962
Gueti Lunä   11945
Gute Nacht   11967
Heimatklänge   2
Heimatklänge Choral   31972
Heimwehfluh   11949
Heimwehglüt & Heimwehtön   3
Heizue   11937
Hoch vom Lohner   11954
Jetz wie mer no eis blose   11974
Im Chueyer Chuttli   11973
Im Eigenthal (Alphorn)   11969
Im Eigenthal (Büchel)   1B1955
Im Justistal 1   11969
Im Justistal 2   21974
In Freundschaft   2+31949
Klänge von Ausserberg   11970
Längi Zyti   11974
Letzter Gruss   31974
Lobeli   11946
Lockruef   11968
Männertreu   21973
Meiezyt   1
Meilisalp   11968
Mein erstes Solo   11959
Mis Thun   21971
Morgengruss   1/31937
Mys Alphorn   11958
Obestärn   11974
Obigrot   1/31941
Rigi Sunnufgang (Büchel)   1/31941
Roti Bäggli   1
s’Alpeveieli   21973
s’Bättzytglöggli   21973
s’Brienzerbuurli   1B1973
s’Margritli   21974
Schauenburg   1
Sehnsucht nach den Bergen   11943
Senneläbe   11936
Silbermänteli   21973
Soldanella   21973
Sonnaufgang   1B1935
Ständchen   21972
Traum der Arve   1
Übermütig   11940
Uf der Alp   3
Vo de blaue Jurabärge   21973
Vo der Meilisalp   1
Vo Grenche bi Gott   21972
Vom Aelpli   1
Vom Althüsli   11969
Vom Berg ins Tal   1
Vom Brüggli   21972
Vom Pilatus   1
Vom Räbwäg   2
Vom Schloss Chillon   21972
Vom Stockhorn   11971
Vom Stockmätteli   11955
Waldandacht   11974
Weihnachten im Wald   2
Wenn d’Stärne schyne   21972
Wenn d’Sunne untergoht   11972
Wenn i de Bärge s’Alphorn tönt   11973
Wenn s’Echo vo de Felse tönt   11973
Wie schön isch’s i de Bärge   11972
Wildi Rose   21972
Zum Abschied   31971
Zwe Bärner   21972
Zwe Fründe   21972
Zwöi Murmeli   21973
Zwöi Schümeli   2B1972