19. Soundscape of Rauma

The town drummer Pyrman, or Pyry, lived in the Pyyrman house in Naulamäki. His forefather was a shoemaker, and the house was named after his family name. Drummer Pyrman was reputedly a smallish man with a soldierly posture and an exceptional drummer. Newspapers were not necessary in Rauma, Pyyrman announced the news with his drum to the townspeople. Whenever there was an auction, collective work, meeting, church service or governor’s reception, Pyrman drummed the news at the Old Town Hall. Pyrman also announced the end of the day in the evenings. He used his drums to declare, for example, a time of night silence or holiday peace. This tradition was still common in the late 1800s. His uniform consisted of brown pants, blue jacket, black scarf and a red-ribboned cap. Pyrman didn’t get much money from drumming, so he also painted the burghers’ gates and walls with red ochre. Waving a paint brush was rather dull for the drummer, but his mind brightened when he knew he would get to bang his drum soon.

In addition to the drumming, you could also hear other sounds and music in the town. In 1879, a brass band was established in the volunteer fire department. The town mayor Törnroth played the bass horn, and the other players were also important townspeople, burghers, officers and scholars. Singing was common in cultivated homes; you could often hear four-part harmonies echoing in the parlours. Nowadays, bass horn sounds can be heard from the Old Town Hall tower during Lace Week.

If you stand in the cliff in front of the Pyyrman house in Naulamäki, you can see the town’s two towers side-by-side: the tower of the Old Town Hall and the tower of the Church of the Holy Cross. This was a great place for Pyrman to watch and wait for a drumming opportunity.

It is said about Pyrmann that “he had a smile on his face, when he got to announce the town news with his__________”.

Write the correct word in the poem (15) as well.

pyyrman vähämalminkatu 12
Pyyrman’s house in the 1960s

 

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