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It is hard to pinpoint an exact identity on Dutch pop music. It roughly falls apart in two segments. Pop and rockmusic, which is mainly sung in English. And Kleinkunst & Levenslied which is mainly sung in Dutch. The two hardly ever mix. Exceptions were the period before Nederbeat (until 1967) and the period between 1980 and 1985.

One can speculate what the exact reason is for this split but my guess is plainly economics. Holland is a small country aka a small market, English sung Nederbeat turned out to be highly succesfull outside Europe…you can do the math. It was in sync with music fashion of the time to copy English beat groups and we turned to be very good at it. Like Sweden has ABBA as it’s millstone, Holland has Nederbeat with popmusic up until now trying desperately to sound and look like English or American pop groups.

The rockscene discards Levenslied (and in a lesser way Kleinkunst) as inferior music. In effect this genre tends to look the other way round to Germany and France. Oddly enough artists who do succeed in mixing the two, like for instance Doe Maar, Marco Borsato and Bløf, are in fact the most popular pop artists in the Netherlands today.

On the web:

Website of the Dutch rock & pop institute: http://www.hollandrocks.nl/
The dutch hit charts: http://www.dutchcharts.nl/





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