Dansband: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stylistic origins Country, pop, rock, swing
Cultural origins 1970s Sweden
Typical instruments guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, saxophone, accordion, steel guitar
Mainstream popularity Nordic countries, Continuous from 1970s. The maximum peak of mainstream popularity was reached in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Other topics
Bingolotto - Dansbandskampen - Music of Norway - Music of Sweden - Svensktoppen

Dansband ("Dance band") is a Swedish term for a band that plays dansbandsmusik ("Dance band music"). Dansbandsmusik is often danced to in pairs. Jitterbug and foxtrot music are often included in this category. The music is primarily inspired by swing, schlager, country, jazz, and rock. The main influence for the rock oriented bands is rock music of the 1950s and 1960s.

The terms "dansband" and "dansbandsmusik" were coined around 1970, when the music developed into a style of its own in Swedish popular music. The music has developed primarily in Sweden, but has spread to neighbouring countries Denmark, Finland (the Swedish speaking regions) and Norway. When the music came to Norway it was first called "Svensktoppar" (from the Swedish radio music chart Svensktoppen, which was a major arena for dansband music before its rules were changed in January 2003).

A dansband often travels by bus, performing several times every week year-round, outdoors in the summertime and indoors in the wintertime. Performing may also occur inside a boat.

Several dansband are named after their singer, sometimes shortened, followed by orkester (orchestra = band). The tradition origins from the old dance orhestras, often named after their Kapellmeister. Many times, "s" is replaced by a "z" in dansband names. Some dansbands are named after earlier members.

The main audience for dansband music nowadays (2007) is middle-aged adults. The music is often performed live by the bands at venues where the main interest of the audience is to dance, rather than to watch the performance on stage. However, albums and singles are also recorded.



Music of Swedish music abroad
Pop • Rock • Hip Hop • Dansband
Media and Performance
Music charts Sverigetopplistan
Music festivals Where the Action Is • Hultsfred • Way Out West
Music media MTV Sweden
National anthem Du gamla, Du fria

Dansband lyrics are often brightly characterized, and are mostly about love, friendship and peace. Other lyrics are about dancing. Some of the song texts are inspired by national romanticism, with lyrics about things such as old memories from the past, or about nature and native districts. Dansband lyrics about love often remind of pop, where the song's I-person declares that he/she loves the song's "you-person", but are often also more focused on growing old together, and live together until one of them dies. Norwegian dansband Ole Ivars have also, much with humor, written lyrics who are more about society than traditional dansband lyrics.

The lyrics are often in Swedish in Sweden, and in Norwegian in Norway.

In the 1990's, special "dansband songwriters" broke through, among themLasse Holm, Gert Lengstrand and Torgny Söderberg. For many years, the same person wrote songs for most bands, but soon dansband musicians became more involved in songwriting [1].



1970's: Dancing in Folkets park

Before "dansband" became popular, many jazz orchestras played a "schlager inspired" dance music. Many people believe that the development of the "dansbands" during the 1950s and 1960s depended on the decreasing interest for jazz, it being replaced by pop and rock as the most popular music among young people. Many Swedish "dansbands" of the time were known as pop groups during the 1960s, (a gestation period shared with the showband scene in Ireland, which had many similarities with its Nordic counterpart, especially in the influences referenced in creating a 'homegrown' music scene such as Jazz, American & British Pop music, Swing & Country)

Kikki Danielsson broke through with Wizex in the 1970's.
From the late 1970's until the late 1980's, disco music and nightclubs became a major competitor to dansbands in Sweden.

The "golden era" of dansband music was the 1970s, with bands like Thorleifs, Flamingokvintetten, Ingmar Nordströms, Wizex and Matz Bladhs. At most in Sweden, there were around 800 full-time working "dansbands", in the late 1990s this number was down to around 500.

Lotta Engberg scored major dansband successes in Sweden during the "re-birth" of the genre between the late 1980's and the early 2000's, at first with the band of her former husband and later with her own band.

The term "dansband" was coined in Sweden in 1976, to sound more modern and tougher than the dance orchestras earlier, but later many of them have begun to call themselves live band [2].

In 1977, the song "Beatles", performed by Swedish dansband Forbes, won the Swedish Melodifestivalen 1977 and finished 12th in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977.

1980's: Dancing in the boat, town hotel and dansband decline during the years of disco

By 1976-1977 pop groups like ABBA, The Bee Gees and Boney M., with disco, dominate dance floors and record charts. Some dansbands, like Sten & Stanley, tried to "become a turncoat", performing own disco covers, and follow the disco fashion as stage equipment. However, most succeses failed and Danceband death became a term. Several dansbands were disestablished, and sonn only the full-time bands would remain. Dominating dansband at that time were Matz Bladhs and Vikingarna. Performance often occurred inside boats and town hotel, with male members appearing in a suit, which for many years would become a dansband stereotype. Among young people, these dansbands were considered "nerds". At this time, a dansband sound standard would appear.

In 1987, the song "Fyra Bugg & en Coca Cola" (re-named "Boogaloo" because of commercial controversy about the lyrics), performed by Swedish dansband singer Lotta Engberg, won the Swedish Melodifestivalen 1987 and finished 12th in the Eurovision Song Contest 1987. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Lotta Engberg gained popularity in the Nordic region with a sound including several catchy and joyful melodies as the lead singer in Lotta & Anders Engbergs Orkester.

1990's: I afton dans, re-birth and strong media attention

In the late 1980's, the decline of disco once again gave dansbands more space. They became more seen in media. Sveriges Radio begun broadcastings of "I afton dans" from several dancing places, and cafe programmes in Sveriges Television invited dansbands as house bands. The early 1990's alwo saw a new period of popularity for Sven-Ingvars.

In 1993, the song "Eloise", performed by Swedish dansband Arvingarna, won the Swedish Melodifestivalen 1993 and finished 7th in the Eurovision Song Contest 1993. Arvingarna had a more pop and rock-oriented dansband sound, and gained popularity among many teenagers.

In 1999, Wizex singer Charlotte Nilsson performed the song "Tusen och en natt", with lyrics in English known as "Take Me to Your Heaven", winning both the Swedish Melodifestivalen 1999 and the Eurovision Song Contest 1999.

Vikingarna was one of the more popular dansbands in Sweden before being disbanded in 2004, but during the late 1990s and early 2000s, they also toured Germany and recorded albums in German.

After substantial decreased dansband music in radio and television in Sweden during the early 2000s, while the popularity remained, the dansbands declared themselves being discriminated in August 2007, since Sveriges Radio speaks for playing many different music genres, especially if the songs are written or performed by Swedes. The dansbands reported Sveriges Radio to Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV in the so called "dansbandsupproret" ("dansband rebellion"), which was given a lot attention by mass media. However, Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV decided a few days later not to take up the matter.

Svensktoppen and Bingolotto

The Swedish Sveriges Radio hitlist Svensktoppen had a strong dansband dominance between 1993 and 2002. When the rules were changed in January 2003, allowing songs in other languages than Swedish, the dansband music started to decline and was replaced with ordinary pop and rock. Dansband music also dominated the musical interludes in Bingolotto until Leif "Loket" Olsson resigned as presenter in 1999.

Notable bands

Notable songs


  1. ^ Livets band, Leif Eriksson och Martin Bogren, Prisma 2008, page 65-68 - Ett eget skrå
  2. ^ Livets band, Leif Eriksson och Martin Bogren, Prisma 2008, page 76 - Diskofällan
  3. ^ http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berth_Idoffs


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address