Gone unsung? Survey on situation and perspectives of choral music in corona times

What is the state of choral music in German-speaking countries after more than one year of corona, and how can it return to its former strength after the pandemic? Led by Prof. Dr. Kathrin Schlemmer (Chair of Musicology at the KU), this question will be explored in the study “Choral Music in Corona Times”. Choir directors, choir boards and those responsible for such ensembles from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been invited to participate in an online survey until March 23. The project team for the survey includes Tobias Brommann (Choir master at the Berlin Cathedral) and Prof. Jan Schumacher (University Music Director, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main), two well-known choir directors. They are joined by Ester Petri and Dr. Johannes Graulich, who head the Stuttgart-based Carus publishing house, a leader in the field of choral music.

“Many studies have shown that choral singing has a positive effect on people’s health and well-being. However, with the corona pandemic, singing has turned into a ‘high-risk sport’ virtually overnight. Choir rehearsals without minimum distance and hygiene regulations are potential superspreading events”, says Professor Schlemmer. Collective singing was either banned altogether or allowed only under certain conditions, depending on the region. Choir leaders have responded to the imposed restrictions with great creativity – for example, by converting to digital rehearsals or outdoor rehearsals. ”What is missing so far is a systematic study of how the German-speaking choral landscape is currently doing. We want to change that and also find out what kind of help is needed so that choir singing can once again become one of the most popular leisure activities after the pandemic”, the musicologist describes. The project team wants to focus on semi-professional and amateur choirs, but also professional ensembles are invited to participate in the study.

Among other things, the survey collects information on the development of membership numbers, the formats and frequency of rehearsals before and during the pandemic, and the spatial and financial situation. In addition, the researchers are also interested in what support choir managers believe is necessary to help with the new start after the pandemic.

Choir directors and managers can participate in the online survey of the study “Choral Music in Corona Times” until March 23. The survey can be accessed at www.soscisurvey.de/ChoCo2021/. It takes approx. 15 minutes to complete.