Kingotone & Brorsonsang

Helen Rossil: "Kingotone og Brorsonsang - folkelig salmesang i Danmark

Fra salmebøger og lydindspilninger"

This dissertation investigates folk hymn singing traditions in Denmark in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which are rooted in the congregational singing from times of the Reformation. The melodic and vocal style of these traditions are closely connected to the hymnals of Thomas Kingo (1634-1703) and Hans Adolph Brorson (1694-1764). The folk hymn singing mainly thrived in environments of revivalism. The traditions were transmitted until modern times, where five musicologists made audio recordings with the groups of people who could still sing in the old style.

The dissertation draws on theory in the intersection of hymnology - with emphasis on the hymnals and the liturgy - and ethnomusicology - with emphasis on music as practice, agency, memory, and experience. In this interdisciplinary field, issues of hymnal-culture and audio recording are investigated. The dissertation explores four cases of Kingo- and Brorson singing, developing a method that combines the diachronic axis of the analysis, which explores processes of tradition and memory, with a synchronic axis that explores the social and religious interaction of participatory singing at a given moment of time. The study especially focuses on the way in which the singers vocally and musically experience and embody the social and confessional community, first of all in terms of the texture of the singing. The dissertation identifies features of unison, of heterophony and of dense textures. The study also investigates how the musical experience can stimulate not only community, but also conflicts in the relationship to others. The dissertation concludes that the study of sounding music can lead to new views on history, and that Danish history of song culture is more multifacetted than is commonly known.

Key words: Traditional hymn singing, hymnals, chorale books, revivalism, participatory performance, liturgy, Kingo and Brorson.

Below is a playlist with sound recordings used in my dissertation.

Soundcloud: Music examples in Kingotone og Brorsonsang