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Sønderho musik sønderhoning på Fanø

The Sønderho music and dance tradition

The skipper town of Sønderho lies there, sheltered by the dunes to the west, bearing witness to a bygone era and culture – with its small thatched longhouses and a network of narrow roads and winding paths.


As a visitor to the town, one might be tempted to assess this community based on a museum-like and antiquated scale, but in fact, people live in the houses, and the town is in the midst of a development where even some families choose a simpler life and perhaps a less stressful everyday routine, becoming part of the small village.


With Sønderho's maritime background and history, there is definitely an exciting and interesting, different story to tell. Sønderho is, among other things, the only community in Denmark with a living and highly vital music and dance tradition that can be traced back approximately 300 years and has never fallen out of use. The music, dance, and the town's inhabitants are also referred to by the same name, namely "sønderhoninger" - practical and straightforward.

Jeg er så fro, jeg er så glad – jeg er min egen herre’ Mellem2gavle
00:00 / 02:12
De 3 brudestykkerPeter Uhrbrand
00:00 / 05:27

Inspiration from foreign cultures

As the men were sailors and thus cosmopolitans who travelled familiarly in foreign parts of the world, life's references became quite different and varied compared to, for example, a Mid-Jutland farmer on the "ridge". Foreign countries are foreign cultures - foreign cultures are foreign customs and music, and there is no doubt today that the island's traditional music has "merged" with fragments and phrases from the music of maritime destinations all over the globe, which the sailors have heard in taverns and festive gatherings.

Schooner brig Karen of Sønderho 1868.

Teasing Rhythm

Sønderho music is characterized - and distinguished by - being very dreamily lyrical and rhythmically teasing in a 2/4 beat that does not immediately lend itself to the dance's 3-part structure. Fortunately, there exists a life and a qualitative world outside the narrow confines of logic, which is further encouraged by the encouraging fact that theory and practice sometimes do not go hand in hand.

A Unique and Living Tradition

The local dance music has, for the most part, and throughout the period for which written sources have been found, been primarily played and carried by the Sonnichsen and Brinch families. This family connection and cultural identity may be the strongest and most important factor regarding the sustainability and consistency of this unique and living tradition. It has remained vital and sharp up to the present day, and continues to be the inspiring centerpiece of the "party" for musicians and dancers, as well as for Sønderhos identity.

Musicians by Lorenzen_edited.jpg


Trap Denmark about Fanømusikken

The Royal library about Fanømusikken

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