Choral singing and socio-musical attitudes. A pilot project on choral singing under change

Project: Research

Layman's description

Choral singing is today a significant leisure activity in a wide range of population groups. Sweden has come to be seen as one of the most successful choir countries in Europe. In order to investigate how the view of choral singing in Sweden has changed over the past century, the situation in the 1930s and 1940s, the 1970s and the present are considered. The developments in Sweden are compared wit

In the first decade of the 21st century, there seems to once again be a social consensus that choral singing supports individuals’ musical and social development and that it creates a sense of community, which benefits the development of society as a whole. However, attitudes to choral singing have varied over the past century. While in Sweden people were speaking of the ‘Swedish choral miracle’, Theodor Adorno in Germany claimed that the Nazis’ use of choral singing had discredited the genre for a long time to come.

The major international spread of and demand for Swedish choral music is often associated with Eric Ericson’s successes and contributions to Swedish choral singing. In 2008 he was awarded the Swedish Government’s newly-instituted Promotion of Sweden Award. In addition to individuals’ contributions, the film and media industries have also discovered choral singing as an interesting subject in recent years. Television programmes such as Clash of the Choirs have raised the profile of the genre and in films, the theme of choirs has been used to represent symbolic values in society, for example in the French film Chorists (2003) and the Swedish film As It Is in Heaven (2004).

The aim of this project is to investigate how the view of choral singing has changed over the past century. The positive views of choral singing in Sweden today are not a natural phenomenon but rather have developed through various debates since the 1930s.
Effective start/end date2009/01/012010/12/31


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