Carl Fredrik Ringvall (1848−1910)


Carl Fredrik Ringvall, born on 9 May 1848 in Stockholm and died on 14 August 1910 in the same city, was a military musician, clarinettist and bandmaster, later on music director, with Gotland’s Infantry Regiment from 1890 to 1897. He composed popular shorter pieces and took part in various theatre orchestras in Stockholm. For several years he succeeded his father, Fredrik Wilhelm Ringvall, as head of the afternoon concerts at the entertainment venue Berns in Stockholm.


The Ringvall family

Carl Fredrik Ringvall was born on 9 May 1848 and died on 14 August 1910 in Stockholm. He was the son of Albertina Wilhelmina Lundvall and alto trombone player in the Hovkapellet (the Royal Court Orchestra), Fredrik Wilhelm Ringvall (1825−1893), who was also a military music director with the Hälsinge regiment and conductor of the afternoon concerts at the entertainment venue Berns in Stockholm. The Ringvalls were a well-known musical family: one of Carl Fredrik’s brothers was the operetta singer Axel Ringvall (1860−1927), and another, Oscar W. Ringvall (1845−1916), was a harmonist (military musician of lower rank) with the Svea Life Guards between 1858−1866, took part in the orchestra of the Dramatiska teatern (the Royal Dramatic theatre) 1865−1866, and, in 1867 emigrated to Minnesota, via London. In the US, he became known as a clarinet soloist, conductor and professor. Carl Fredrik Ringvall and his wife, Kristina Carolina Juliana Hamberg (1849−1910), had several children, one of who, Georg Ringvall (1880−1935), was music director for the Navy Band in Karlskrona from 1915 to 1935.

In military service

Carl Fredrik Ringvall began as a horn player and music pupil in the Second Life Guards (Göta livgarde, I 2) on 4 April 1862. He was then 13 years old, an age that was normal for military music pupils. In May 1869, he transferred to the Västgöta regiment (I 6) with clarinet as his principal instrument. In connection with this event, the 21-year old composed Avskedshälsning till Andra Livgardets musikkår and Souvenir, hälsning till Västgöta regementes musikkår, designated as op. 66 and op. 68 respectively − an example of how marches were often composed as occasional music.

Ringvall served in I 6 until July 1876, first as a ‘spel i nummer’ (private musician). In February 1876 he was promoted to fältmusikant (non-commissioned music officer). After a short period in the orchestra of the Nya teatern among other places, he entered the band of the Skaraborg regiment (I 9) where he was promoted to fanjunkare (sergeant major) in July 1880, then five years later to fältmusikant.

In March 1890, Ringvall was employed – at the age of 41 − as a fältmusikant and bandmaster with the Gotland infantry regiment (I 27), which had been established in 1887. He left this position and was succeeded by Rudolf Wesslén in the summer of 1897, at around age 50, a common age of retirement of non-commissioned music officers. Ringvall had never obtained a music degree but received the ‘music director’s title, honour and dignity’ at I 27 in 1895.

Musical activity

Many musicians and music directors in the regimental bands from around the country lived in Stockholm, particularly in the then recently constructed part of Östermalm. They formed the mainstay of the city’s theatre and restaurant orchestras during the winter season, and so did also Carl Fredrik Ringvall. Within the city’s musical life, he had the reputation as a skilful clarinettist, ensemble musician and conductor, as well as a prolific composer of shorter music pieces. Additionally, he was a skilled orchestrator and arranger.

As early as 1869, he reportedly played in August Meissner’s orchestra at Berns. At times, like his father, he played music at various entertainment venues and succeeded his father as the conductor of the afternoon concerts at Berns from 1893 to 1895, a function which was then taken over by foreign orchestras. He was a member of the orchestra of the Nya teatern in 1876 and 1882–1887, as first clarinettist at the Vasateatern during 1887−1892, as well as at the Svenska teatern 1899−1900, also making a brief appearance in the orchestra of the Dramatiska teatern under Björn ‘Nalle’ Halldén in 1909. Prior to that, he would have played music at Blanch’s café, at Kristallsalongen under the leadership of Georg Lumbye, as well as conducted at Mosebacke ‘during several years […] in the variety shows as well as on the terrace during the summers’.

Ringvall’s composing was related to his music duties. Some 60 pieces of music for military band have been found, of which a large part were published in piano versions: potpourris, waltzes, polkas, ‘a whole lot of brisk marches’, quadrilles, mazurkas, galops and minor pieces such as the incidental music Intermezzo. He also arranged music for the Vasateatern, and some of his orchestral arrangements, for example of piano pieces from Peterson-Berger’s Frösöblomster, appeared in print.

Ann-Marie Nilsson © 2015
Trans. Jill Ann Johnson


‘Carl Fredrik Ringvall’, Musikern, no. 32, 1910 (19 Aug.), p. 254.
Kjellander, Bo (ed.): Gotlands nationalbeväring och regemente, band II: Personer och traditioner, Stockholm 2005, p. 248.
Musikern, no. 44, 1908 (30 Oct.).
Svanberg, Johannes: Anteckningar om Vasateatern 1886−1895, Stockholm 1895.


Skaraborgs regemente, Musikkåren Serie D1, Handrulla 1871−1896;
Gotlands infanteriregemente, Regementsexpeditionen Serie D II:a vol. 1 Handrulla 1886−[1890];
Åke Edenstrands arkiv, C 1:3-4, C 2:2-3; C 4:2.

Various musical material in public archives, particularly from Krigsarkivet, and in private ownership (the author).

Summary list of works

Incidental music (Intermezzo), music for wind instruments and/or in piano version (potpourris, marches, dances and music for entertainment).

Collected works

Music published in versions for piano
40 knop, galopp för pianoforte. Stockholm: Julius Bagge, 1887.
Amaranthpolka för piano. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht. 1883.
Cléo, valse lente. Hommage à Mademoiselle Cléo de Mérode. Piano 2 händer. Stockholm: Carl Gehrman, n.d.
Gitanella, vals för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, n.d.
Hjerta mot hjerta, vals för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist
Kgl. Gotlands infanteriregementes paradmarsch för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1895.
Midsommar! Marsch. i: All världens melodier nr 26, Årg. 1/1900. Stockholm: 1900.
Min älskling, polkamazurka för piano. ‘Utförd af de större orchestrarne i Stockholm’. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1886.
Pubacks-Kupletten (Emil Norlander).
En ros, polka för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, n.d.
Under svenska fanor, marsch för piano. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, 1899.
Vid sjutton år, polka för piano. Stockholm: Carl Gehrman, n.d
Västgötapolka. Stockholm: Carl Gehrman 1926, in: Populära danser.

Music published in versions for piano and wind octet
The versions for wind octet (military octet) found in handwritten for in archives (Krigsarkivet, Marinens musikkår Karlskrona or other archives) and in private ownership respectively (the author and Jan Thor, Täby) [number in archives + number in private ownership].
Clara Happé-kadrilj för piano. Stockholm: Huss & Beer, 1881.
Cotillonpolka för piano, Innocence-orden vördsamt tillägnad. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, n.d.
Ella Wilson-Marsch för piano. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, n.d.
Formering till bataljoner! Marsch för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1886. [Rec. at Caprice CAP 21529, Oktetten Ehnstedts Eftr.]
Gamla gardet, marsch för piano. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, 1880.
Gymnasten, marsch den 24 april componerad och professor Frithiof Holmgren tillegnad. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1883.
Hippodrom-marsch för piano. [Latest 1886.] Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, 1900.
Karneval-polka för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1890.
Kring julgran, hambopolska för piano. Stockholm: Carl Johnn, n.d. [Rec. at Swedish Society SCD 1151, Oktetten Ehnstedts Eftr.]
Kring majstång. Hambo från Norrland, arr. för piano. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht [1900].
Misse-polka för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, n.d.
Nalle-marsch, kapellmästaren Björn Halldén tillägnad. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht [1894].
Pommery-polka för piano. Stockholm: Huss & Beer, 1881.
Roxana-polka över motiver ur operetten ‘Turkarne’ af Hervé. Stockholm: Huss & Beer, 1880.
Till fru Louise Fahlman i anledning af hennes uppträdande i ‘Lilla Slarfvan’. Polka för piano. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist, 1886. – För oktett: Lilla Slarfvan.
Se go da lell, i: Vald samling dansmusik och marscher för mässingssextett arrangerad af C. F. Ringvall. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, 1901. – För oktett: Se gu'da lell.Västgötapolka.

Music so far found only in versions for wind octet (military octet) n.d.
Amerikansk sport-galopp.
Avskedshälsning till Andra Livgardets musikkår (‘op. 66’), 1869.
Ellen, polkamazurka.
Fanny-polka, spelad i Gellrichs kvällskonsertprogram på Blanchs' café (Poster 1 March 1889).
Fältmanöver, marsch.
Förgät mig ej, polkamazurka.
Hälsning till Visborgs slätt, marsch.
Ingalill, val.
Intermezzo. [Played as intermission music at the Vasateatern (Poster N:o 825, 28 Nov. 1887) and at the Svenska teatern tp Tanqueray’s second wife, drama in 4 acts by Arthur Pinero (Poster 14 Sept. 1899).]
Kling-Bom! polka.
Korvetten Eugenies honnörmarsch − för tidsbestämning: ‘Eugenie’ var klassad som korvett 1877−1888.
Leve översten!
Leve konungen, marsch.
Malle-marsch, ‘comp. och Malle tillegnad’.
Pim!Pim! marsch.
Potpurri över finska sånger.
Svenska polskor (potpourri, arr.).
Sylfiden, gavott.
Thorwalds marsch.
Souvenir. Hälsning till Västgöta regementes musikkår, 1869.
Ta mig tvärt om livet, schottis.
Vid sjutton år, polka.

For brass sextet
En ringlinjetur kring Stockholm med spårvagn, potpourri.

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger: Vid Frösö kyrka, Sommarsång, Danslek ur ‘Ran’, Serenad,
Dalmarsch. For orchestra.
Helsingelåtar. For orchestra.
Björneborgarnes marsch. For orchestra.
Hellström: Fiskarvals från Bohuslän. För orkester, n.d.
Musik till Vasateaterns uppsättning i november-december 1888 av operetten Den nye
Mikadon i 3 akter efter operetten Kosiki, arr. av Carl Fredrik Ringvall efter melodier ur Mikadon av Sullivan, Kosiki av Lecocq och andra operetter. [Hereto Svanberg:
Anteckningar om Vasateatern 1886−1895. Stockholm: Gust. Carlssons bokhandel 1895.]
Namysłowski: Kuba Jurek (arrangemang for piano). Stockholm: Abr. Lundqvist, n.d.
Björneborgarnas marsch och Finska rytteriets marsch. Arrangement for piano, two violins and cello.

Works by Carl Fredrik Ringvall

There are no works by the composer registered