Hans Walz was InstrumentbuilderDoc
Folk music of the Harz (mountain chain in the middle of Germany) area has fascinated Dr.med. Hans Walz, especially when performed on historical Harz instruments like the “devils violin” or the “Hillebille”. The general practitioner and lung specialist who settled his office in the little town Stiege in the eastern Harz does not only like the music but builds these special instruments.
In 1997 he has received the “cultural reward Harz” for his activities as conductor of the “Stieger Walzmusikanten” (folk music group) and for maintaining old traditions.
Being 57 years old in 1997 he already moved to the east Harz in 1968 right after his medical degree and made his specialization there. After growing contacts to inhabitants of the area he began to make copies of the instrument “Rumpelpott” for children in 1976. Since then he intensified this new hobby always more. So he build instruments with strange historical names like “Harzer Köhlergeläut, Fadenreibtrommel, Hillebille, Gemshornschalmei or Teufelsgeige”.
Mostly the instructions were not only retrievable through special literature but only over elder citizens who had inherited this knowledge.
Through his copies he not only saved these instruments from being forgotten but also helped them to get new popularity confirmed the regional authorities.
He not only performs in the Harz with his ensemble but they have done tours to Brasile, Estland, Finnland, Polen, Hungary and Russia.
In 1997 they even did a tour to Peru.
See the german original in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt