HomeBlogsFlorian Städtler's blogFlorian Städtler Blog #1: Exploring A Cappella Diversity

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It took me quite a while (sorry, my dear CASA web admininstrator!) to get started with this article, my CASA blog debut. Appearing in that particular webspace where all these US vocal music luminaries have posted their thoughtful, eloquent and witty contributions, left me undecided and procrastinating. Can I add anything worth reading to all these clever a cappella thoughts and arguments?

Looking at the list of co-bloggers, I realized that I have one UBP (unique blogging proposition): I am not American. I am not even English.

I’m German.

Oops.

So, everybody knows that:

-my language is harsh and unromantic,

-I love cars more than anything (even beer),

-I never laugh,

-I love rules,

-I worship “The Hoff”,

-I am super efficient,

-I wear Lederhosen all the time,

-I only drink beer,

-I study forever and ever.

Did these CASA guys really think about this, when they asked me to write blogs for the CASA website?

After some more pondering and ruminating, I decided to make this the theme of my CASA blogging apprenticeship: Exploring the diversity of cultures that leads to different vocal music styles in different countries. And proving that despite my personal experience that there is of course some truth in regional and national stereotypes, it’s always worth to take a look beyond the first or second impression.

We over here have similar lists of clichés about almost all of the European countries’ identities, specialties, strengths and weaknesses. And for most of you who were born and have lived in the Unites States, you have an idea what the “10 most embarrassing American stereotypes” might be. This blog post was just randomly googled, no idea if any of the mentioned facts are valid. I’ve only been to the States four or five times and found myself in a totally different community. However, I realized that people on another continent, speaking a different language, having a different history, are in fact different.

I learned most about the truth and the ambiguity of both cultural and musical stereotypes by traveling abroad. By the way, that’s what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s greatest author and poet (compare with German stereotype no.1 above) found out centuries ago: “When you travel abroad, the thing you learn most about is your self.”

So my (self-assigned) mission for future blogs over here is to take a closer look at the things that make a cappella people, styles, communities, organisations from all over the world different. And prove that despite of many unifying features, there are always individuals who think, act and dream independently.

Guess how I learned most about how people act, think and dream? By meeting them and talking to them. So what I’m planning right now is to meet face-to-face or via Skype with people from countries all over the world to ask them about the things that are different where they come from.

You can look forward to written, audio or video interviews with fat Americans, boring Germans, macho Italians, tax-avoiding Greeks, aggressive Russians, pick-pocket Polish, cool Swedes, disorganized Brazilians, socially awkward Brits, drunken Finns, super-rich Chinese and many more “typical” international friends and colleagues.

Don’t expect me to be very “PC”, don’t expect my musings to be scientifically proven, but expect interesting personalities, opinions and mindsets that challenge your own beliefs and thinking.

If you want to talk about a cappella diversity and be part of this blogging experience, let me know. But only after I’ve put on my Lederhosen, drunk five beers, raced down to the Hoff concert and didn’t have any fun at all.

About the writer:
Florian Städtler, born 1970, is an agent, blogger, scriptwriter and event director based in Freiburg, Germany. Florian is founder and owner of SpielPlanVier EventMarketing www.spielplanvier.com including the vocal music portal Acappellazone www.acappellazone.com, founder of Vocal Blog www.vocalblog.acappellazone.com, and Chairman of the Board of the European Voices Association www.europeanvoices.org.

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