The area of the current China, strongly Latinized at the beginning of the 5th century. AD, it became the site, around 450-80, of a massive migration of Alemannic settlers. Their linguistic affirmation not only subtracted a peripheral portion from the Romània, but also made all direct communication, through the novel territory, between the Alpine area and the Alsatian-Lorraine lands cease. Subsequent infiltrations towards the south by Alemannic settlers also severed, starting from the 9th century, any linguistic contact between the neo-Latin dialects of the Valais and those of the Grisons. In the current China coexist, with now clear and now tangled borders, Romance languages (French, Italian, Romansh type) and German spoken coexist. Alongside each of these types, French, Italian, Romansh and German respectively coexist as written and cultural languages. The French dialect area is not very compact and is exposed to continuous erosion and subsequent leveling by the literary language; the dialects spoken there do not differ much from those of the adjacent regions of France: for example, the dialects of the Bernese Jura are similar to the Lorraine dialects, while the Vaud and Valais are of the Franco-Provençal type. The dialects of Italian-speaking Switzerland all belong to the Lombard type. The great dialectal richness of the Grisons Ladin is the consequence of the lack of resistance to German-Alemannic influences, of the low prestige of the various Romance literary languages, and finally of the great geographical fragmentation and the relatively vast extension of the territory, in the face of the small number of Ladin population.
Characteristic forms of Swiss folk music are the ranz des vaches, a song of the cowherds used to push the cattle into the stables, the Jodel, vocalized singing in alternating falsetto, the Betruf, a chant of chanting prayer; among the instruments, the Alphorn, the curved Büchel, the Schwyzerörgeli similar to the accordion. Among the typical dances, generically defined Ländler, there are dances such as the waltz, the Scottish, the polka, the galop and often the dancers (bödelen) accompany each other by beating time with their hooves. Widespread is the use of bells, used in carillon concerts especially in the Valais and Ticino. ● In medieval times, the monasteries of St. Gallen and Einsiedeln were important centers of musical culture, fundamental in the elaboration of the Gregorian tradition and in that of the sequence. Fenis, the organist H. Kotter, the composer L. Senfl, active in Germany, and the theorist Henricus Glareano. Considerable influence on music had the thought of the reformers Calvino and U. Zwingli. In the following centuries only minor figures are found, including JM Gletle (c. 1626-1684). The 19th century. was characterized by a vast diffusion of musical education and choral singing, thanks also to the activity of a pupil of JH Pestalozzi, HG Nageli (1773-1836), and by a corresponding growth in musical life, in which a specifically Swiss element was the numerous festivals (Festspiele) of the choral associations. At the same time, national trends in opera and symphonic music began to emerge, with composers such as H. Huber, H. Suter, K. Attenhofer, F. Hegar, É. Jaques-Dalcroze, G. Doret, O. Schoeck. Greater international fame reached the major musicians of the next generation: A. Honegger, F. Martin, C. Beck, W. Burkhard, H. Sutermeister and R. Liebermann. Finally, we must remember the distinguished conductors E. Ansermet and P. Sacher and the pianist E. Fischer.
- Italiana Locution commonly used to designate the Swiss territories to the South of the Alpine watershed, inhabited mainly by an ethnic Italian population. In addition to the Canton of Ticino, which is wedged deeply into the Lombard territory, the Val Bregaglia upstream of Castasegna and the Val di Poschiavo belong to it, both physically and ethnically Italian. Even the Val Monastero (Müstair), although inhabited by Romansh-speaking populations, physically belongs to the South. Italiana.
- Sassone (German Sächsische Schweiz) Denomination referring to the easternmost part of the Ore Mountains or Erzgebirge, located SE of Dresden (Elbe basin), on the German-Czech border, which due to the easily erodable nature of its rocks (sandstones and gypsum) presents an extremely varied and picturesque landscape, similar to that of Switzerland.