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Berggreen, Andreas Peterlocked

  • Sigurd Berg

(b Copenhagen, March 2, 1801; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1880). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer. He began composing and playing the flute while still in school. After his matriculation he studied law for a time, but influenced by the composer C.E.F. Weyse he soon dedicated himself to music and attracted attention in 1823 with a cantata for the 200th anniversary of Regensen, the students' college in Copenhagen. Over the next few years he composed several more cantatas as well as incidental music for the Royal Theatre. From 1838 he was organist at the Trinitatis Kirke, and from 1843 singing master at the metropolitan school. He held both posts until his death; they led him to an intensive occupation with church and school singing. He composed a notable set of hymn melodies, many of which are still used in the Danish Church, and edited many collections of partsongs for schools, containing several of his own compositions. He also made an important collection of Danish and foreign folksongs and melodies. In 1858 he was appointed honorary professor and in 1878 granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Copenhagen. From 1859 he was inspector of singing in the Danish schools. Although a self-taught musician, he became a distinguished teacher of music theory; among his pupils were Gade and Peter Heise. Late in life he published his complete songs and some other earlier vocal compositions. He also wrote a biography of Weyse and edited the periodicals Musikalsk Tidende and Heimdal.

Berggreen's original compositions are strongly indebted to Viennese Classical models. His folkloristic work was bound to the musical point of view of his time: he attempted to arrange folk melodies according to the traditional harmonic system, often at the expense of their original melodic character. Although his collections are thus without the scholarly method one finds in modern research, they have been valuable in stimulating interest in early folk music and for the Scandinavian peoples' consciousness of their musical roots.


(selective list)

all printed works published in Copenhagen


Compositioner for sang og claveer (Copenhagen, 1872–4) [all with pf acc.] [B]


Billedet og busten [The Picture and the Bust] (Spl, A. Oehlenschläger), Copenhagen, Royal, 1832, B iii

Incid music for tragedies (Oehlenschläger)

Dronning Margareta, 1833, Tordenskjold, 1832, Socrates, 1835, all Copenhagen, Royal, B ii


Cantate til Regensens 200 aars jubilaeum, 1823 (1823)

Cantate til Prins Ferdinand og Prinsesse Carolines bryllup (wedding cant.), 1829 (1829)

Cantate til Bogtrykkerkunstens jubelfest [Cantata for the Printers' Jubilee], 1840, B ii

Cantate til Oehlenschlägers mindefest, 1850, B ii

Cantate ved Kong Frederik VII død, 1863 (1863)

Other works

Forspil til psalmemelodierne, org (1867)

Thèmes variés, gui (n.d.)

Fantasie over en norsk fjeldsang, fl, orch (1875)

Songs and partsongs, B i–ii


Folke-sange og melodier, faedrelandske og fremmede, i–xi (Copenhagen, 1842–55, enlarged 2/1861–71)

Melodier til den af Roeskilde Praesteconvent udgivne psalmebog [Melodies for the Roskilde Psalter] (Copenhagen, 1853–6, 7/1889)

Aeldre sangmusik af forskjellige componister, i (Copenhagen, 1875), ii–iii (Copenhagen, n.d.)


  • C.E.F. Weyse's biographie (Copenhagen, 1876)


  • DBL (E. Abrahamsen)
  • C. Skou: Andreas Peter Berggreen (Copenhagen, 1895)
  • E. Dal: Nordisk folkeviseforskning siden 1800 (Copenhagen, 1956)
Dansk biografisk leksikon (Copenhagen, 1887-1905)