Wilhelm Stenhammar och folkmusikfrågan


  • Dan Olsson




Wilhelm Stenhammar, folk music, folk music movement, phonograph, Yngve Laurell, Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv


This article focuses on composer Wilhelm Stenhammar’s relationship with the nascent Swedish folk music movement, namely the individuals, networks and organizations committed to preserving folk music in Sweden.  The matter is briefly discussed by Bo Wallner in his biography of Stenhammar (1991), and his conclusion is that Stenhammar is ‘standing beside’ this movement. Unlike several contemporary colleagues he did not, for example, actively participate in the production of written records and, according to Wallner, seems to have lacked personal contacts with ‘experts’ on the subject. The present article is based on new or previously overlooked facts leading to a modification of Wallner’s conclusion. In the 1910s, Wilhelm Stenhammar was one of those who actively got involved in the issue of the possibilities of the phonograph in the documentation of folk music. He was in personal contact with Yngve Laurell, assistant at The Swedish Museum of Natural History, who had been educated at the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv. By engaging donors Stenhammar greatly contributed to Laurell being able to carry out phonograph recordings of Swedish folk music during several years. In 1914 Stenhammar was also one of eleven prominent figures in Swedish cultural life who signed an appeal for ‘a phonogram archive for folk music’ with the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv as a likely model. Placing Wilhelm Stenhammar beside the contemporary folk music movement without contacts with experts in the field is therefore wrong. By making Laurell’s recording work financially possible, his involvement also gained historical significance for the genre.

Keywords: Wilhelm Stenhammar, folk music, folk music movement, phonograph, Yngve Laurell, Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv.




Referera så här

Olsson, D. (2023). Wilhelm Stenhammar och folkmusikfrågan. Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning Swedish Journal of Music Research, 105, 187–202. https://doi.org/10.58698/stm-sjm.v105.19201




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