Bland velocipedmarscher och pingpongpolkor

Utgivning av idrottsrelaterad mellanmusik i Sverige fram till ca 1939


  • Kaj Ahlsved Åbo Akademi



middle music, programme music, sheet music publication, popular song, sport associations, cultural history of sport


Towards the end of the 1800s, interest in sports and physical education increased in Sweden. One consequence of this is that music linked to sports in many different styles and by a disparate group of composers of character pieces and dance music became available for sale in the music market. The purpose of this article is to study the ‘sports music’ published in Sweden as a form of middle music and to discuss the music’s relationship and connections to sport as a programme (‘theme’) and social context for music. Thus, the article explores the dimensions of music about and for sports.

Based on material consisting of 85 pieces of sheet music for piano (marches, polkas, waltzes, popular songs [“Swedish schlager”] etc.), the article shows that the music was both intended for domestic music making and was also arranged to be played by orchestras at private and public events as part of the sports life. These musical arrangements brought the music closer to the context it purports to describe or be dedicated to. At the turn of the century, many of the composers seem to have had personal interest in sports or a connection to the sports associations. From the 1920s onwards sports became an increasingly common theme for popular songs, while interest in the publication of instrumental piano music dedicated to sports associations declined.




Referera så här

Ahlsved, K. (2024). Bland velocipedmarscher och pingpongpolkor: Utgivning av idrottsrelaterad mellanmusik i Sverige fram till ca 1939. Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning Swedish Journal of Music Research, 106(1), 31–64.




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