Lohengrin : The Wagnerian Opera that Inspired the Construction of Neuschwanstein Castle

While it’s a fact that Bavaria’s famous Neuschwanstein Castle is largely influenced by King Ludwig II’s ardent admiration of “The Knight of the Swan” opera, there is little English literature about the related German folklore on which the narrative of the opera was based.

Setting aside the controversies shrouding the history of Schloss Neuschwanstein (Hohenschwangau) this article focuses on “Lohengrin” or “The Swan Knight” that inspired King Ludwig II to build his legendary fairy tale castle. Neuschwanstein, which means New Swan Stone, actually referenced the first stone laid at the site to formally start the construction project some time in 1869.

About Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” Opera

“Lohengrin” is a romantic 3-act aria composed and written by German musician and librettist Richard Wagner. The narrative of the opera was based on a medieval German folklore about a mysterious knightly figure who rode on a swan-drawn boat in his rescue of a captive damsel. In Wagner’s “Lohengrin” opera, which was catalogued as Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis (WWV) 75, the Swan Knight and the noble lady he rescued fell in love and got married.

However, he had one request of his lady love, which was that of not asking about his origins or of taking any action to to find out where he came from. However, the noble lady’s curiosity got the better of her that she broke her promise, which caused the Swan Knight to leave her and never to return.

While many of Wagner’s musical compositions for “Lohengrin” are often performed as individual concert pieces, the most popular and frequently played worldwide is the Bridal Chorus. This is the chorus sung by the women while accompanying the lead female character to her bridal chamber after the wedding. The chorus gained immense popularity after it was given a marching tempo and used as the processional music at the wedding of Prince Frederick of Prussia to  Princess Royal Victoria (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of England and prince Albert.)

Since then, it was used in many wedding procession across the globe, and eventually became known by its colloquial American title “Here Comes the Bride.”

“Lohengrin” was actually the core inspiration of the many paintings commissioned by King Ludwig II as interior decors of the Neuschwanstein Castle. One of the main attractions of Schloss Neuschwanstein is the grotto or man-made cave and its artificial waterfalls and color-shifting stage lights. King Ludwig II also had a wave-producing machine installed to make the theatrical effects more realistic looking. The Bavarian king was reported to have spent many hours imagining himself to be the Swan Knight inside the man-made cave, while on board a gondola.

Richard Wagner on the other hand benefited from the Bavarian King’s patronage of his operatic compositions. Despite the rumours about the true relationship between King Ludwig II and Richard Wagner, it was something that the fairy-tale loving people of Bavaria prefer to overlook since it’s all part and parcel of the legacy that he left behind.

Music Influences that Inspire Swedish Children to Become World-Class Musicians

Many famous Swedish artists in the music realm, from singers, to instrumentalists, songwriters and music video producers serve as inspirations to Swedish children.

While the likes of ABBA, Roxette, Robyn, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia (a.k.a. The Swedes), Ghost, and Tove Lo, have gained international recognition as performers, songwriters Max Martin. Shellback, Red One, Johan Renck, Jonas Åkerlund and the late Denniz Pop are famous as behind-the-scene, chart-topping songwriters and music video producers for Backstreet Boys, ‘N Synce, Usher, Pink, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

Music is etched in the hearts and minds of Swedish people starting from infancy, as most Swedish parents love to croon lullabies and sing children’s songs to their babies and toddlers. Modern-day Swedish parents even make it a point to buy 2-way communication baby monitors so they can remotely soothe their baby back to sleep by singing lullabies even while in another room. The best-in-tests baby monitors (babymonitor bäst i test) produce not only high definition images but also high quality audio.

Factors that Help Shape the Future of Aspiring Swedish Musicians

Truthfully, there are different factors that impact Swedish children’s interest in music that come from various sectors.

The Kommunala Musikskolan or Kulturskolan, are widely popular municipal music and arts schools that lots of children are interested in attending even if they aren’t compulsory. These music schools are sponsored and administered by local municipalities to give children access to music lessons and various music instruments. In having a chance to try out different instruments, they eventually choose one that to which they can apply their natural talent.

The Sveriges Körförbund or the Swedish Choir Union, is a union that represents around 600,000 Swedish choir singers, making the country one of the distinguished group of choir-dense nations. Their interest in choir singing follows a deep-rooted culture of singing folk songs as a choral tradition, particularly during Midsummer and Christmas festivities.

The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet), is a government agency that provides support to artists and musicians belonging to different categories. The agency not only do bestow yearly music awards, but also gives annual grants totaling up to SEK 2.5 billion.

Startup Swedish musicians can pick and apply among the 10 various grants offered by the government agency. Ay the height of the coronavirus pandemic, The Swedish Arts Council extended financial help to Swedish musicians affected by the cancellations of local and international music events.

Export Music Sweden is a non-profit entity whose main mission is to support budding songwriters, musicians, companies, and recording artists. The support is also available to those eyeing to go international as a means to promote Sweden’s music industry.
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The Importance of Supporting Metal Roof Systems with Sound-Proofing Solutions

Metal roofs have gained popularity in Florida, especially in coastal areas where they have been proven as highly resistant against various weather elements. However, be in the know that if you’re looking to have metal roofs as primary roofing materials, your roof system must include soundproofing insulations. Otherwise, you’ll have to put up with the loud unnerving pounding sounds of heavy rain, sleet or sometimes hail stones. During a hurricane, metal roofs tend to produce frightening rattling sounds once the high-speed winds start lashing on your home.

Despite the many benefits of metal roofs, sheltering inside a home covered with metal sheets during a storm can be an unpleasant experience. Carrying on with ordinary conversations is difficult as voices can be drowned by the sound of heavy rains tapping on the roof.

Thunderstorms and tropical storms are ordinary fares in Florida, and they can happen at night when you’re supposed to be fast asleep. If there is no sound-proofing system to deaden the amplified thunderous clapping sounds above your head, going back to sleep would be difficult. Since such weather conditions happen almost regularly in Florida, the quality of your and your children’s sleep can be affected. As we all know, poor sleep habit tend to moods and ability to think and perform well.

So if you’re considering metal roofs as roof replacement, or if you’re buying a home with metal roofs, make sure that there’s adequate sound proofing installations before settling in. If you have chosen a home is in the Tampa Bay Area, ask about soundproofing options from reputable roofing companies like The Roofing Company (https://www.tampabayroofs.com/). Bear in mind that for sound proofing insulations to work effectively as noise barriers, the roof system itself must be properly designed, assembled and installed.

Examples of Sound Proofing Systems for Residential Homes

To give you an idea about the sound proofing options that you can add as noise barriers in your metal-roofed home, bellow is a list of some examples:

Roof Underlayments – Roof underlayments for soundproofing works best for new metal roofs. It’s a proactive solution for reinforcing the integrity of a roof system against moisture penetration and water infiltration. The extra layers of tar or felt paper attached to the metal coverings is also the first line of defense against the noise created by metal roofs.

Attic Insulation – Insulating the attic with high density cotton batting. Since its the space next to your roof, attic insulation is oft recommended. Primarily, they are thermal applications to help maintain the right temperature in your home. They can also act as sound barriers, as the batting placed between wall and ceiling frames can deaden the noise created by metal roofs during natural weather disturbances.

Sound Proofing installations – If zero noise is important to your occupation, attic insulations might no be enough. Sound-proof the walls of your music studio or your bedrooms with decorative acoustic panels. Alspo, make sure the doors and windows are sound-proofed as well. This includes making sure there are no gaps or openings that will let in sound waves coming from the outside.

If you’re still in the process of choosing a roof style or looking at the available houses presented as choices, make sure the style of the roof is appropriate for the kind of weather condition that frequently occurs in the Florida area.

Steep styled roofs are less likely to create loud pounding sounds since rain water will hit the roof deck at an angle. As opposed to flat roof metal roofs that sit flush; having no difference in height that can somehow deflect the loud tapping sounds created by rain falls. However, steep roofs are vulnerable to high winds if the home is located in a hurricane-prone area.