Authors: Morten Michelsen
Abstract: The National Danish Radio broadcast its first show in April 1925. It was a musical soiree consisting of European light classical music. During the following years the repertoire broadened, even though Danish media historians claim that the radio’s educational zeal favoured art music. Based on a newly acquired access to full radio programmes and surviving shows preliminary investigations suggest that this is not quite true. This paper will discus some of the changes in Danish musical culture 1925-40 when radio took on a still more central role as musical gatekeeper and trendsetter. A Bourdieu-inspired understanding of the musical culture as a conflictual field will serve as a general frame of reference in the analysis of negotiations between genres, here especially popular and light music in relation to art music and old dance and entertainment music in relation to new genres of popular music (including jazz). The results of such negotiations may be traced in the music (stylistic influences, general repertoire changes) and in the discourse on music (debates in the programme committee and in the public sphere) and may reveal relations and shifts between different power positions within the field.