The musical history of Basel, Switzerland dates back to the founding of the Augusta Raurica by Caesar’s general Munatius Plancus and the construction of an amphitheater where music, pantomime, and ballet performances took place after the city’s founding in 44 B.C. A diocese was established in Basel as early as the 4th century, and Gregorian chant was popularized there in the 9th century under the aegis of Haito (Bishop of Basel from 807 to 823). Little is known about the musical life of Basel in the first millennium; however, it appears to be similar to that of other bishoprics.
There were also several singing schools in Basel, and choral singing was practiced by monks. From the middle of the 13th century onward, the names of professional singers regularly appeared in the accounting books of the city’s church institutions, although the services of these musicians were probably already in demand earlier. Choral singing had become a permanent fixture in urban churches around the middle of the 15th century. Conrad von Zabern, author of Opusculum de monochordo (1462) and De modo bene cantandi (1474), apparently learned to sing at the Basel Cathedral. The surviving treatises and liturgical manuscripts belonging to the Carthusian, Preacher, and Dominican orders also document the diverse musical life of the urban monasteries.
Read on in an entry on Basel in MGG Online. Below is a video of contemporary choral singing at the 2023 European Festival of Youth Choirs held in Basel. Above is a panoramic map of Basel dating back to around the late 15th century.