Tag Archives: Denmark

Sound of the Faroes

faroe islands

The Faroese people sing a lot. The fact that young people from the Faroe Islands are extremely successful in the multitude of popular singing contests on television is not accidental.

The Faroese have always been diligent singers, especially regarding the various genres of traditional singing, which for centuries have formed an important part of Faroese culture. With the increasingly globalized everyday life of the past 50 years or so, music from all over the world has permeated everywhere, including the Faroe Islands; nevertheless, traditional Faroese singing and dancing are still alive and well in the 21st century.

Following in the wake of four separate volumes of Faroese traditional music, a new edition, Føroya ljóð í kvæðum, vísum, sálmum og skjaldrum/Sound of the Faroes: Traditional songs and hymns (Hoyvik: Stiðin, 2014) is a  single volume covering all of the topics. Part I is on Faroese dance with melodies for both kvæði and Danish ballads, part II is on spiritual singing and Kingo singing, and part III is on skjaldur. Each part describes the genres in question and offers a comprehensive selection of melody examples with an accompanying CD.

Below, the celebrated Faroese chain dance after the total solar eclipse on 20 March 2015.

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Filed under Europe, New editions

Dansk musikforskning/Danish musicology online

Dansk musikforskning/Danish musicology online (EISSN 1904-237X), an open-access peer-reviewed journal, was launched in 2010 as a platform for Danish musicologists.

Demonstrating the breadth of its scope, the journal’s first issue presented articles on the music of Carl Nielsen, hip hop culture, and original Broadway cast albums. The journal is edited by Mads Krogh, Martin Knakkergaard, and Søren Møller Sørensen.

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Filed under New periodicals

Hans Christian Andersen, music critic

As many people know, Hans Christian Andersen, whose children’s stories have proven to be his most widespread source of fame, was the most prominent Danish author of the nineteenth century. As fewer people know, he enjoyed a brief career as an opera singer and dancer at Det Kongelige Teater in Copenhagen, and in later years he went on to produce opera libretti for the Danish and German stage. He made 30 major European tours, and on each of these trips he regularly attended opera and concert performances, recording his impressions in a series of travel diaries; a well-informed listener,  his reflections comprise valuable sources for the study of music reception during this period.

Over the course of his life Andersen embraced and later rejected performers such as Liszt, Maria Malibran, and Ole Bull, and his interest in opera and instrumental music underwent a series of dramatic transformations. In his final years he promoted figures as disparate as Wagner and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, while strongly objecting to Brahms. Although these changes in taste might be interpreted as indiscriminate, such shifts in opinion were not contradictory—rather, they were quite logical given the social and cultural climate.

This according to “Music history as reflected in the works of Hans Christian Andersen” by Anna Harwell Celenza, an essay included in our recently published Music’s intellectual history.

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Filed under Literature, Reception, Romantic era

Det virtuelle musikbibliotek

Created under the auspices of the Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek, Det virtuelle musikbibliotek is an online database that provides a permanent, dynamic Web portal for music resources in public Danish institutions. The site, which is fully bilingual in Danish and English, includes a database of contemporary Danish music and composers, sound clips, sheet music (including facsimiles), bibliographies, discographies, a topical guide to special collections, and links to the full texts of articles in Danish music journals.

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Resources