Music of the Netherlands

The Netherlands has multiple musical traditions. Contemporary Dutch popular music (Nederpop) is heavily influenced by music styles that emerged in the 1950s, in the United Kingdom and United States. The style is sung in both Dutch and English. Some of the latter exponents, such as Golden Earring and Shocking Blue, have attained worldwide fame.

Sometimes partly based and raised upon the tradition of Indo-Rock, new acts with a mixture of Mainstream pop music, Dance, Jazz, Funk and Soul emerged in the mid 80's. Many of them were and still are performing in and/or outside The Netherlands, and some of them gained (international) recognition, which would sometimes also result in a collaboration with major players from the United States or United Kingdom. An early example of these could be Massada, a band with strong Moluccan roots, in the tradition of Santana.Some of the most successful artists among them were Mai Tai, Lois Lane, working with Prince, Julya Lo'ko, and saxophone player Candy Dulfer, also working with Prince, Dave Stewart and Pink Floyd. The mid-90's saw the rise of Total Touch, with singer Trijntje Oosterhuis.

Another popular genre of Dutch music is known as "Levenslied", meaning "Song of/about life". These songs have catchy, simple rhythms and melodies, and are always built up on couplets and refrains. Themes are often sentimental and include love, death and loneliness. Traditional Dutch musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are essential to levenslied, though in recent years many levenslied artists also use synthesizers and guitars. Artists in this genre include Koos Alberts and the late André Hazes and Willy Alberti.

Dutch techno, hardstyle, gabber, trance and other styles in electronic dance music conquered the world. Most of the best-known DJs in the EDM scene (and the world) hail from the Netherlands, including Tiësto, Don Diablo, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Sander van Doorn, Fedde le Grand, Hardwell, Showtek, Afrojack, Oliver Heldens, Ran-D and Martin Garrix all of whom consistently rank high in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs and other rankings. The Amsterdam dance event (ADE) is the world's leading electronic music conference and the biggest club festival for the many electronic subgenres on the planet. These artists also contribute significantly to the mainstream pop music played over the airwaves all around the world, as they frequently collaborate and produce for many notable artists.

Also hip-hop in the Dutch language (nederhop) is very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium.[citation needed]

Classical and contemporary classical music

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (May 1562 – October 16, 1621) was a Dutch composer, organist, and pedagogue whose work straddled the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras. Sweelinck was a master improviser, and acquired the informal title of the "Orpheus of Amsterdam". Over 70 keyboard works of his have survived, and many of them may be similar to the improvisations that residents of Amsterdam around 1600 were likely to have heard. Even his vocal music, which is more conservative than his keyboard writing, shows a striking rhythmic complexity and an unusual richness of contrapuntal devices.

His influence was international. Some of his music appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, which otherwise mainly contains the work of English composers. Sweelinck wrote variations on John Dowland's internationally famous Lachrimae Pavane, and John Bull, the English keyboard composer, wrote a set of variations on a theme of Sweelinck, indicating the close connection between the different schools of composition across the North Sea.

Jacob van Eyck (ca. 1590–1657) was a blind recorder and organ virtuoso, who composed a unique collection of flute music.

Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer (1692–1766) was an accomplished baroque composer, whose work Concerti Armonici erroneously was attributed to Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Igor Stravinsky used Unico's music for Pulcinella.

Alphons Diepenbrock (September 2, 1862 in Amsterdam - April 5, 1921). He created a musical idiom which, in a highly personal manner, combined 16th-century polyphony with Wagnerian chromaticism, to which in later years was added the impressionistic refinement that he encountered in Debussy's music.

Willem Pijper (1894–1947) is generally considered one of the most important figures in modern Dutch music. Between 1918 and 1922 he grew into one of the more advanced composers in Europe. In each successive work he went a step further and, from 1919, Pijper's music can be described as atonal. However, Pijper remained a composer of strong emotional character, to which his Third Symphony (1926) bears witness. In Pijper's later works the harmonic expression seems at times to approach monotonality. As a teacher Pijper had a great influence on modern Dutch music, teaching many prominent Dutch composers of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. He was senior master of instrumentation in the Amsterdam Conservatoire, and from 1930 until his death in 1947 he was Head of the Rotterdam Conservatoire.

Ton de Leeuw (born Rotterdam, 16 November 1926 - died Paris, 31 May 1996) is known for his experiments with microtonality. He wrote one opera, Antigone (1990–1991).

Lex van Delden (1919–1988) was an important composer.

Louis Andriessen (born Utrecht: June 6, 1939) is a composer whose early works show experimentation with various contemporary trends: post war serialism (Series, 1958), pastiche (Anachronie I, 1966–67), and tape (Il Duce, 1973). Andriessen's mature music combines the influences of Stravinsky and American minimalism. His harmonic writing eschews the consonant modality of much minimalism, preferring post war European dissonance, often crystallised into large blocks of sound. Large-scale pieces such as De Staat [‘Republic’] (1972–76), for example, are influenced by the energy of the big band music of Count Basie and Stan Kenton and the repetitive procedures of Steve Reich, both combined with bright, clashing dissonances. Andriessen's music is thus anti-Germanic and anti-Romantic, and marks a departure from post war European serialism and its offshoots. He has also played a role in providing alternatives to traditional performance practice techniques, often specifying forceful, rhythmic articulations, and amplified, non-vibrato, singing. Other notable works include Workers Union (1975), a melodically indeterminate piece "for any loud sounding group of instruments"; Mausoleum (1979) for 2 baritones and large ensemble; De Tijd [‘Time’] (1979–81) for female singers and ensemble; De Snelheid [‘Velocity’] (1982-3), for 3 amplified ensembles; De Materie [‘Matter’] (1984–88) a large four part work for voices and ensemble; collaborations with filmmaker and librettist Peter Greenaway on the film M is for Man, Music, Mozart and the operas Rosa: A Horse Drama (1994) and Writing to Vermeer (1998); and the recent La Passione (2000–02) for female voice and ensemble.

Significant composers after Andriessen include Klaas de Vries (b. 1944), Jacob Ter Veldhuis, a.k.a. JacobTV (b. 1951), Guus Janssen (b. 1951) and Cornelis de Bondt (b. 1953).