Danish Folk Music and Instruments

Music is an important part of most Danish people’s lives.  Music is played at family celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.  It is a custom for guests to write their own songs for those that are celebrated.  Choirs are another important musical tradition.  Many of these choirs specialize in traditional Danish songs or folk music.

Traditional folk music of Denmark uses fiddles and accordions.  Danish fiddlers usually play in groups.  Fiddle and accordion duos play the rhythmic Nordic folk dance music.  The oldest variety of this music is called pol, which has been played for more than 170 years.  The Danish Folk Council promotes folk music within Denmark and throughout other countries where Danish people live.  Today, there are over 12,000 folk dancers that belong to more than 200 local clubs in Denmark.  They enjoy folk music and folk dancing.

The lur is a national symbol of Denmark.  This wind instrument is a long horn (1.5-2 meters) without finger holes.  It can be straight or curved in various shapes.  The instrument can be made of metal (bronze) or wood.

There are two national anthems.  Der er et Yndigt Land meaning There is a Lovely Land is more common.  This song is sung at sporting events.  The other is Kong Kristian Stod ved Højen Mast (King Christian Stood by Tow’ring Mast) used on official occasions when the royal family is represented.

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