Music archaeology

Medieval keyed fiddle found in Poland

By Gjermund Kolltveit / August 28, 2015 /

During last week’s meeting at ICTMs Study on Music Archaeology (Biskupin, Poland) Polish researchers presented what appears to be the oldest keyed fiddle found. This was the find of a soundboard of an instrument – from excavations in Wolin, at the Baltic coast. The find dates from the period between the end of the twelfth…

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ICTM Study Group Conference in Poland

By Gjermund Kolltveit / August 20, 2015 /

This week the 14th symposium of ICTMs Study Group on Music Archaeology is being held in the archaeological museum of Biskupin, a beautiful village north of Poznan. The museum is located at a site with extensive and rich excavations, and holds reconstructed buildings from the Neolithic onwards to the Middle Ages. A perfect place for…

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Rytmeforedrag på Sommerøya (Norwegian only)

By Gjermund Kolltveit / August 18, 2015 /

Lørdag kl 1600 blir jeg å høre på elektronikafestivalen Sommerøya i Oslo, med et foredrag om fortidas rytmer. Jeg tar utgangspunkt i det interessante funnet av det om ser ut til å være et 20 000 år gammelt rytmeorkester av mammutbein. Funnet er fra Mezin i Ukraina. Sommerøya blir arrangert på Sukkerbiten, som ligger ytterst…

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The Lyre Bridge from Skye on “The Day of Archaeology”

By Gjermund Kolltveit / July 24, 2015 /

Today is “The day of Archaeology”, which originated in England. In addition to that, Great Britain celebrates the “Festival of Archaeology” (12th to 27th July). For those of us with special interest in archaeological finds of musical artefacts, today is the perfect day to recall one of the most interesting discoveries of recent years: a…

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My article in Aftenposten Historie is out!

By Gjermund Kolltveit / May 26, 2015 /

Issue No. 5 of the popular magazine Aftenposten Historie is on sale today. There you will find my article on the earliest history and evolutionary roots of music. The article is accompanied by a lot of illustrations and fills eight pages. I focus on the first archaeological finds of musical instruments in the earliest period…

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Lecture in Tianjin

By Gjermund Kolltveit / April 15, 2015 /

Yesterday I gave a lecture at the Conservatory of Music in Tianjin. I was invited by my friend Professor Fang Jianjun, who is the leader of the musicology department and also the Vice president of the Conservatory. It was a pleasure, and it and was attended by a lot of interested students and teachers. The…

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Jew’s harps from the Bronze Age!

By Gjermund Kolltveit / April 11, 2015 /

I have now travelled for some days in the Northern parts of China. In Chifeng (Inner Mongolia) we could not find the jew’s harp we were searching for. Today we suceeded more, at the City Museum of Chaoyang (Liaoning), were we saw two well preserved jew’s harps from the Bronze Age, from the earliest phase…

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On the way to China

By Gjermund Kolltveit / April 7, 2015 /

Today I travel to China to give a lecture at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music – and to look at what seems to be the earliest jew’s harps ever found. The jew’s harps are from excavations in the northern part of the country, in the provinces of Inner Mongolia, Liaoning and Hebei. The oldest finds…

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New bronze lur replicas

By Gjermund Kolltveit / April 6, 2015 /

The trombonists Jens Chr. Kloster and Gaute Vikdal has arranged, in collaboration with the bronze caster Peter Jensen in Copenhagen, the reconstruction of two playable bronze lurs. This is the first time anyone in modern times has succeeded in recreating this amazingly advanced craft process. The manufacturing process is called “lost wax method”. One element…

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A warm welcome for Jordas skjulte toner

By Gjermund Kolltveit / November 20, 2014 /

The book is now out and available on the market. The response so far has been overwhelming! Thanks to all who contributed to the book, and to those who came to the book launch of the Historical Museum in Oslo. It was a success, with a lot of people attending. It became a memorable evening,…

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