Here’s how it all began …
In 1998 bagpipe-maker Bodo Schulz and musician Andrea Hotzko decided to organize a workshop program named Spielkurs for bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies. Though both drone instruments had been reintroduced to Germany in the 60ies and were made and played again, in the 90ies they were far from their current popularity. Especially in the former GDR a lack of instrumental courses was evident.
In the end of September 1998 the first Spielkurs took place at Dahlenberg Manor. The referees at the time were Silke Reichmann de Salas (hurdy-gurdy), Ralf Gehler (bagpipes), Andrea Hotzko (Hümmelchen – a German small pipe from the Renaissance), Uli Stornowski (shawm), Bodo Schulz (reed-making) and Holger Hoffmann (ensemble). Luckily, even the first courses received good feedback, encouraging Andrea and Bodo to organize further venues. As early as following April of 1999 the next workshops were held. To increase the range of offered courses to also include other instruments regularly used in traditional music, this second edition introduced the category “SPECIAL”. Among this category were instruments like frame drum, harp, guitar, voice, violin, jaw harp, mandola, goblet drum and others.
Schon im April 1999 fand der nächste Spielkurs statt. Um die Angebotspalette zu erweitern und auch andere Instrumente, die in der traditionellen Musik häufiger anzutreffen sind, zu berücksichtigen, wurden schon zum zweiten Spielkurs die SPECIAL-Kurse eingeführt. Unter dieser Rubrik waren Instrumente wie z.B. Rahmentrommel, Harfe, Gitarre, Gesang, Geige, Maultrommel, Mandola, Darabuka usw. vertreten.
Since then, the workshops were held twice a year. In 2003 the Spielkurs moved from Dahlberg to the neighbouring village of Trossin, where it continued until 2014. Since 2015 the KulturGut Radis became our new home in the Dübener Heath. With the anniversary in 2018, the Spielkurs frequency was reduced to once per year.