Dutch Music Part II

Dutch Music 2


At the beginning of the 20th century, Dutch music found a connection to the international movements in a variety of ways, with composers such as W. Pijper and H. Badings merging the diverse styles and techniques into an individual tonal language and H. Andriessen in church music with its simple anti-romanticism Tonal language established a new tradition. The German occupation (1940–45) marked a sharp turning point in Dutch musical life, which only gradually found its way back into the international scene. Important post-war composers include K. van Baaren , who worked with twelve-tone technique, and H. Kox with his sound-oriented music, for which he coined the term »cyclophony«. T. de Leeuw , whose works deal with non-European influences and who is therefore considered a pioneer of a kind of “world music”, has also left an important mark as a music teacher and director of the Nederlandse Radio Unie NRU (now part of the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting).

Contemporary Dutch music is characterized by a stylistic pluralism in which (post) serial and electronic techniques exist alongside a new simplicity (e.g. in Theo Loevendie, * 1930) and a neo-romantic tonal language. One of the most versatile composers of Dutch modernism is L. Andriessen, who was inspired by I. Stravinsky and developed a specific form of minimal music. Since the 1960s, there has also been greater freedom, especially among younger composers, in the use of musical means (including aleatoric music, graphic score). In addition, there was the use of spatial-acoustic setups, multimedia processes and various open forms, including at P. Schat and O. Ketting . The works of Ketting’s student Klaas de Vries (* 1944)are primarily inspired by literature, and representatives of electronic music include Badings v. a. Ton Bruynèl (* 1934, † 1998), Dick Raaijmakers (* 1930, † 2013) and Jan Boerman (* 1923, † 2020).

The musical centers are Amsterdam (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, which has won several awards as the best symphony orchestra in the world; De Nederlandse Opera (since 2014: De Nationale Opera) and Stadsschouwburg; Holland Festival founded in 1947 as a forum for all the arts of music to dance; Grachtenfestival), the Dutch pop metropolis The Hague and Rotterdam, which enjoys a global reputation thanks to its philharmonic orchestra and as a mecca for techno fans (techno parade, nucleus of hardcore techno »Gabber«) or as the host of North Sea Jazz and Dunya -World music festivals. There are also renowned music conservatories in all three cities. J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion – a work that is highly valued throughout the Netherlands – made a name for itself.

According to hyperrestaurant, new music in the Netherlands is particularly supported by the DONEMUS foundation (“Documentatie in Nederland voor Muziek”) founded in 1947 in Amsterdam. In Bilthoven there is the “Gaudeamus” contact center for young musicians and every year new Dutch compositions are presented at the “Nederlandse Muziekdagen”. The Schoenberg Ensemble, founded in 1974 by Reinbert de Leeuw (* 1938, † 2020), is also dedicated to the music of the 2nd Viennese School. In 1960 a studio for electronic music was established at Utrecht University (renamed the Institute for Sonology in 1967) and in 1970 a studio for electro-instrumental music in Amsterdam.

The Netherlands also enjoy an international reputation in the area of historical performance practice. Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp (* 1906, † 2000) and Hans Brandts Buys (* 1905, † 1959) with the Musica Antiqua (founded in 1935), G. Leonhardtwith his Leonhardt Consort and F. Brüggen did pioneering work here. The Early Music Festival has also been held in Utrecht since 1982. The internationally known Dutch artists include: the pianist Ronald Brautigam (* 1954), the opera singers Gre Brouwenstijn (* 1915, † 1999), E. Ameling , John van Kesteren (* 1921, † 2008) and Arnold van Mill (* 1921, † 1996), the conductors W. Mengelberg , B. Haitink and E. de Waart as well as the so-called Dutch waltz king A. Rieu .

Folk music

Like art music, Dutch folk music also lives from a lively exchange with its European neighbors, above all with France, Germany and England. This applies inter alia. for the wooden shoe or clog dancing, which is inspired by the French contredanse as well as the Welsh clog dancing and to which A. Lortzing set an acoustic monument in his famous opera “Zar und Zimmermann”. The limited mobility of the wooden shoe dancers is responsible for the fact that the focus in these dance styles is on the bass instead of the melody voice, which usually determines the quieter pace. After the decline of folk music in the 19th century, the targeted research into songs and dances ensured a renaissance in the 20th century, especially through the commitment of Ate Doornbosch (* 1926, † 2010), who also broadcast Dutch folk music via radio. In addition, various contemporary artists enliven the folk music traditions: for example the songwriters Gerard Van Maasakkers (* 1949) and Boudewijn de Groot (* 1944), the violinist and folk music researcher Jos Koning (* 1950) with his group “Twee Violen en een Bas”, the 1977–1985 active band “Dommelvolk” or Henk Scholte with his band “Törf”. In the 21st century, Dutch folk music and dances are particularly alive in Friesland, where the “Farmer’s Wedding”, carried out by so-called Scotsploech groups, has been held every year in the village of Joure since 1955. Bands like »Folkcorn« are also ensuring a renaissance of folk music, supported by institutions like the Dutch Folksong Archive in the Meertens Institute (Amsterdam). The Geusenlieder (Geusen) and the moralizing Levenlieder (Lebenslieder) z. B. by André Hazes (* 1951, † 2004) and the socially critical Luisterlieder (glossy / splendid songs), with which a. H. van Veen got known.

Pop music and jazz

As in other countries on the European mainland, Anglo-American pop music dominates in the Netherlands, whose influences are influenced by artists such as Ad Vanderveen (* 1956), JW Roy (actually Jan Willem Roy, * 1968) and Ad van Meurs (* 1953?) On each merged in various ways into a national style known as “Americana”. The country has also produced something of its own in rock music. The bands of the 1960s were also known under the catchphrase »Nederpop«: »Cuby and The Blizzards«, »Golden Earring« and »Shocking Blue« (which even had a hit in the USA in 1969 with »Venus«); »Focus« about the guitarist J. Akkerman as well as the flutist and keyboard player Thijs van Leer (* 1948) was successful with ambitious music, including jazz and art music; Especially in Germany the band “Ekseption” with its organist Rick van der Linden (* 1946, † 2006) became very popular with rock arrangements of countless works of art music. The British New Wave also changed Dutch rock music, but the country’s rock musicians were always accomplished instrumentalists and irony was the constant stylistic device of their music; In this sense, “Vitesse”, “The Nits”, “Tutti Frutti”, “Buddy Odor Stop” and the “Gruppo Sportivo” of the highly talented guitarist Hans Vandenburg (* 1951) Representative of an independent and original rock music. In hip-hop and techno, Dutch music also made its own contributions (hardcore techno direction gabber) and in some cases also gained international renown, for example the duo “2 Unlimited”. Since rock and pop music is viewed as an art form in the Netherlands, it also receives state funding; So-called pop collectives are available to interested musicians in a dense network.

Many musicians from the lively jazz scene in the Netherlands also attest to international standards: the drummer Han Bennink (* 1942) and the pianist Misha Mengelberg (* 1935, † 2017), who also experimented with electronic music and new forms of musical theater; the saxophonist Willem Breuker (* 1944, † 2010) with his Kollektief orchestra, founded in the early 1970s, as well as the funk jazz interpreter Candy Dulfer (* 1965) and her father Hans (* 1940). On the other hand, Caro Emerald (* 1981) can tell from the swing of the 1940s and 1950sto inspire. The Nederlands Jazz Archief in Amsterdam has made it its business to document the activities of the entire Dutch jazz scene.

Dutch Music 2