How Denmark’s Monarchy Influenced Its Music

Monarchs wield considerable influence in the places where they rule. It is not quite common however to think of such influence in the context of music. In Denmark, its monarchy had a big role in the evolution of its music.

Christian I was known to have engaged a permanent corp of trumpeters when he was crowned in 1448. Soon after, corps of court singers and instrumental ensembles were in place. During the reign of Christian III, the chapel royal was using a combination of works from Italian, German, French, and Dutch masters. 

One of Denmark’s most renowned composers, Mogens Pedersøn, was among the beneficiaries of Christian IV’s solid financial support for training local musicians as well as bringing the foreign music masters into Denmark. Pedersøn was taught by Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice, who was one of the most influential musicians during that time.

At the time of Frederik III and Christian V, music for theatre rose to popularity primarily through lavish court ballet performances as directly influenced by Louis XIV of France. The interest in opera also rose during this time. Although the interest in it waned for some time after the theatre was gutted by fire, it was another monarch, Frederik IV who caused the building of a new opera house in Copenhagen. Clearly, the efforts of these monarchs in creating interest in music is not lost even to this day.

From the so-called golden age of Danish music  during the 19th century up to this age of electronic music, the Danes have exhibited their unending love for music albeit in different forms. Music has always been an important component of daily life of people in Denmark. The hundreds of amateur choirs found all over the country singing traditional and folk music is a significant proof of that.

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