The manufacture of violins is largely related to classical music. Around 1735, a violin manufacturing workshop was established in Bad Goisern, and violin music remains an important part of life today. No event in the Dachstein Salzkammergut would be complete without these famous stringed instruments, and so it is hardly surprising that there are still violin makers in Bad Goisern. [Translate to Englisch:] Around the year 1735, 3 families from the Ramsau neighbourhood began to manufacture violins.
The fathers involved their children from an early age in the business. There followed a great boom in the business, and these talented gentlemen travelled outside the area to deliver their goods. The violin manufacturers became more wealthy and would travel to Styria once a year to sell their violins at markets. The violins were built in a very simple style. By the end of the 18th century, the violin had become a popular musical instrument and played at all public events.
The number of manufacturers was in decline, and cheaper violins were being mass produced in Bohemia, and yet the violin remained an important part of local folk music. The Kefer Family continued to manufacture violins until around 1940. At the beginning of the 20th century, the violin had to compete with the accordion. Even in the 1920s, accordian players were being banished from local inns because just one musician could replace an entire violin group. But still the musicians were able to supplement their low incomes.
Nowadays violins and accordions are often played at the same time. Violin making has also become more popular, once again. And their are certain features which only a violin made in Bad Goisern can have: round shoulders, a long, open C-string, short corners, and F-holes far apart from one another.
There are around 100 violin manufactuers at present in Austria, and 4 of them live in Bad Goisern: Robert Grieshofer, Andreas Ott and Mizzi Costa, Gabriel Bauer and Christian Jablonski (the latter is actually a guitar maker, but can transfer his skills to the violin). It is hardly surprising, therefore, that in the neighbouring town of Hallstatt, there is a department for woodworking and the manufacture of musical instruments at the technical school.
One of the teachers is Christian Jablonski Every year, on the first Sunday in September, violinists from Bad Goisern and further afield assemble in Bad Goisern and play music together.