Music for the exhibition
The History of Sweden

Historical Museum, Stockholm 2010


In May 2010 the Historical Museum in Stockholm opened its new permanent exhibition The History of Sweden.

The museum asked the Ensemble Laude Novella if they could record music as it may have sounded in a Swedish upper-class environment during the 13th century.

Unfortunately no such music has survived, and it was probably never even written down at the time; so the ensemble created a number of instrumental pieces in the way that was normal at the time, reworking and repurposing church music written in the Swedish middle ages to honour St. Erik.

These include two estampies, a form of dance music characterised by short improvised phrases each followed by a recurring refrain.

Newly composed Renaissance music

Danish dancers commission music from Swedish musicians

bassa danza

On several occasions the Ensemble Laude Novella has been commissioned by the Danish dancing master Jørgen Schou-Pedersen, an internationally-recognised expert on renaissance dances, to produce newly-composed music to the Italian Bassa danza.

In the surviving dance manuscripts from the 15th and 16th centuries, there are sometimes only instructions about how the dance was performed, which steps were used, and how many; sometimes the harmonic basis, the tenor line, is given, but in performance a more fluid upper part was improvised above the tenor.

Caterva, Consolata och Malum are three dances which are completely new, though composed according to the practice of the Italian renaissance. You can also hear how the Ensemble Laude Novella plays renaissance dances composed in the 15thC: Legiadra, Moza di Bischaie and Anello .