The Orff

Orff Schulwerk documentation can be deceptive. The printed volumes do not represent instructions for an exact interpretation, but rather establish a musical design and structure. The same applies to the sound recordings of the Schulwerk that have been produced over the years. The audio recordings provide a model of the approach that references the printed scores, and also demonstrates the creative possibilities beyond them. They have the ability to draw out desire by demonstrating a starting point for individual creativity and group adaptations. In the words of Carl Orff, the recordings provide "an authentic documentation of Schulwerk in sound."

The recorded legacy of Orff Schulwerk dates back to a 78rpm recording produced in 1936 by the Jugendorchester der Gunther-Schule under the direction of Gunild Keetman. Since then, hundreds of vinyl, cassette, and CD recordings have been produced from professional and private institutions, as well as artists and ensembles from all over the world. This body of recorded music represents an important historical and pedagogical documentation of the approach. The Orff Schulwerk Discography (OSD) began in 2009 as an online database and audio archive. The purpose was to research, catalog, and digitally preserve historically significant audio recordings in danger of being culturally lost. In 2016, the OSD database was transferred to the database. Discogs is the largest and most comprehensive online music database and international marketplace. The heart of Discogs is a user-built database of music where labels, artists, ensembles, genres and formats are cross-referenced and searchable. The Discogs marketplace connects buyers and sellers across the world.

The OSD website now serves as a portal, providing multiple search options for those seeking Orff Schulwerk and Schulwerk related recordings. Inquiries are welcome by using the contact link below. Donations to this project are also appreciated and ensure that research continues and new recordings can be acquired and digitally preserved. If you wish to support this project, please click the Donate link on the side menu. Thank you for visiting.

Mark Francis
Seattle, Washington