Bergreihen [Bergreyen, Bergkreyen] (Ger.)
- John H. Baron
[Bergreyen, Bergkreyen] (Ger.)
German popular songs, mainly of the 16th and 17th centuries, about various secular and sacred subjects. The term was originally used for dance-songs from the Erzgebirge in Saxony. The songs are strophic, and many were sung at mountain festivals, usually with instrumental accompaniment. The vogue for them began with W. Meierpeck's Etliche Bergkreien geistlich und weltlich (Zwickau, 1531) and continued into the 18th century, when the term was replaced by Berglieder. Only two printed collections of Bergreihen contain music. One, Erasmus Rotenbucher’s Bergkreyen (Nuremberg, 1551), contains mostly sacred songs (possibly contrafacta of secular pieces), all for two voices. The other, Melchior Franck's Musicalischer Bergkreyen (Nuremberg, 1602), consists of four-part, primarily homophonic secular songs mostly in bar form; they begin with the tenor voice alone and include a few melismas, usually on the penultimate syllable of a verse, which may be only suggestions for improvised ornaments. For an edition, see G. Heilfurth and others, eds.: ...