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The Progressive
Tonality of Carl Nielsen

Nielsen was born in Nørre-Lyndelse in 1865 and died in Copenhagen in 1931. He was a Danish composer, conductor and violinist.

In 1884, he began studies at the Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen, two years after having already established a string quartet. At that conservatory, his teachers were Gade (music history) and Rosenhoff (theory).

Highlights in Neilsen’s life included being a violinist in the Royal Opera orchestra (1889-1905), conducting at the Copenhagen Music Society (1915-1927) and becoming the director of the Royal Danish Conservatory (1930).

Apart from Neilsen’s technical fluency in harmony and counterpoint, he is still known for his ‘progressive tonality’, a term used to describe a composition that commences in one key but ends in another.

An Amazing Nielson Fact

Neilson’s works grew in international popularity after World War Two.





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Piano Music | Chamber Classical Music | Inspirational Orchestral Music | Classical Composers | Name That Music | Free Composition and Piano Lessons | Piano Music Notes | Learn Music Theory | Finale Music Writing Software | Composing Music to Films | Writing Classical Score | List of Instruments | Music Sound Recording Studios | Multitrack Recording Process | Music Mixing Advice