Studies of Ancient Nordic Music 1915–1940

S. Mirelman (ed.), The Historiography of Music in Global Perspective, Gorgias Press, Piscataway, N.J.: 145–175 (2010)

The pioneers who contributed towards the formative period of Scandinavian musicology (ca. 1915–1940) were highly interested in ancient music. This essay describes these individuals’ approaches and methods, seeking to place their work in the context of the cultural, political, and academic ideas of the period. Some of the scholars were notably influenced by nationalism, whereas others were more concerned with a common Nordic musical heritage. Moreover, Nordic identities were often parallel to national identities. The interest in ancient music in this period was sometimes related to evolutionary theories. More often, however, the scholars tended to view the history of music as a decline, from an ancient golden age to the present, where only remnants from ancient times survive. The pioneers discussed in this essay include Angul Hammerich, Hortense Panum, Otto Andersson, Tobias Norlind, Christian Leden and Geirr Tveitt.