Start Date

30-5-2011 1:30 PM

End Date

30-5-2011 2:00 PM

Description

In Danish state schools from elementary to upper secondary school music is part of curricula at all levels. It is widely accepted that both individuals and culture benefit from art subjects, creative activities etc. This type of motivation was sufficient support for maintaining music as a subject at all levels of the educational system from around 1960 to around 2000. This tradition dates back to the 1920s, when the first Social Democratic government in Danish history (1924-26), with Nina Bang as minister of education (probably the first female minister worldwide), in the field of music made an alliance with innovative concepts of music as a subject rooted in 1) “folkelig” music (a term associated with the Danish Folk High Scool movement and musically with composers as Carl Nielsen, Thomas Laub and others) and in 2) the establishing of music as a university subject founded on up-to-date paradigms in European musicology in the early part of the 20th century. When jazz entered the (musical) life of young Danish (high)school-children around 1930, it also changed the agenda of discourse in professional and academic circles engaged in music. Students, composers and performers caught interest in this new genre of music, and in Denmark this interest manifested itself in attempts to integrate jazz in the musical education of the youth. A unique genre, the so-called ‘jazz oratorios’, was created by the composer Bernhard Christensen (1906-2004) and the librettist Sven Møller Kristensen (1909- 91), and endeavors to establish courses in jazz in the public educational system were made by Bernhard Christensen and others as early as 1934. The term ‘jazz’ was avoided and the Danish term ‘rytmisk musik’ (‘rhythmic music’) was invented to emphasize the didactically qualified educational content of the activity and to avoid what was associated with jazz, especially by its opponents. This paper aims at taking stock of the situation in Danish music education during the last decade and at specifying the situation of ‘rhythmic music’ within this context.


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May 30th, 1:30 PM May 30th, 2:00 PM

"Rhythmic Music" in Danish Music Education

In Danish state schools from elementary to upper secondary school music is part of curricula at all levels. It is widely accepted that both individuals and culture benefit from art subjects, creative activities etc. This type of motivation was sufficient support for maintaining music as a subject at all levels of the educational system from around 1960 to around 2000. This tradition dates back to the 1920s, when the first Social Democratic government in Danish history (1924-26), with Nina Bang as minister of education (probably the first female minister worldwide), in the field of music made an alliance with innovative concepts of music as a subject rooted in 1) “folkelig” music (a term associated with the Danish Folk High Scool movement and musically with composers as Carl Nielsen, Thomas Laub and others) and in 2) the establishing of music as a university subject founded on up-to-date paradigms in European musicology in the early part of the 20th century. When jazz entered the (musical) life of young Danish (high)school-children around 1930, it also changed the agenda of discourse in professional and academic circles engaged in music. Students, composers and performers caught interest in this new genre of music, and in Denmark this interest manifested itself in attempts to integrate jazz in the musical education of the youth. A unique genre, the so-called ‘jazz oratorios’, was created by the composer Bernhard Christensen (1906-2004) and the librettist Sven Møller Kristensen (1909- 91), and endeavors to establish courses in jazz in the public educational system were made by Bernhard Christensen and others as early as 1934. The term ‘jazz’ was avoided and the Danish term ‘rytmisk musik’ (‘rhythmic music’) was invented to emphasize the didactically qualified educational content of the activity and to avoid what was associated with jazz, especially by its opponents. This paper aims at taking stock of the situation in Danish music education during the last decade and at specifying the situation of ‘rhythmic music’ within this context.