A Selection of Previous Research Projects

From medieval ballads to the advent of the gramophone. Svenskt visarkiv has conducted research about Swedish folk music and related subjects since the beginning of the 1950s. Several of the major projects are presented here.

Bach’s Proportional Parallelism (Bachs proportionella parallellism)

The phenomenon of proportional parallelism has, until recently, been ignored as an element in Johann Sebastian Bach’s compositional technique. This research project examines the historical development of this compositional practice. Read more.

Voices from the Outside (Utanförskapets röster)

The project was based on chapbooks, recordings, and interviews from the middle of the nineteenth century up until around 1970. The focus was on songs of and about the blind, songs of the unemployed and striking workers, as well as prison songs. Read more.

Det är Sverige just idag

From land of the lucky to the assembly of idiots: discourses on contemporary Swedishness in popular music. The study is conducted by Dr. Melanie Schiller. Read more.

Effects of Cultural Politics on Artistic Selection

Every creative artist in modern society, sooner or later, ends up in a situation where aesthetic ideals are confronted by economic limitations. This can include the grant requirements for awarding of financial support, or value in a commercial market environment. This project explored the effects of state-funded cultural support on free-lance musicians. Read more.

Pluralize or Polarize

Why do state institutions and agencies collect and document music, art, or other aesthetic expressions? What is the underlying motivation? Is it aesthetic values, or distinct ethnic or national identities that are emphasized? Read more.

Music for listening or music for doing?

What are the present-day conditions for active music-making by non- and semi-professionals? A project about singing as a part of life and everyday aesthetics. Read more.

Gestaltung, Identity, and Integration (Gestaltning, identitet, integration)

Within the research project “Gestaltning, identitet, integration,” Anders Hammarlund studied the Jewish cantorial tradition in Sweden. The project focused on the cantor and music researcher, Abraham Baer (1834–1894), and his activities in the synagogue in Gothenburg. Read more.

The Swedish Medieval Ballads (Sveriges medeltida ballader)

The scholarly publication of the Swedish ballad tradition, Sveriges Medeltida Ballader, was a project that stretched over several decades. The first volume in the series was released in 1983 and the project was completed in 2001.

Ethnomusicological Foundations (Musiketnologiska grundvalar)

The project, Musiketnologiska grundvalar (1998), included both the digitization of Swedish Radio’s (Sveriges Radio) collection of folk music recordings, as well as a research project about hymn singing in the folk tradition. The report, Folklig koralsång. En musiketnologisk undersökning av bakgrunden, bruket och musiken (Folk Hymn Singing: An Ethnomusicological Study of the Background, Use, and the Music), written by Margareta Jersild and Ingrid Åkesson, was published in 2000.

Music’s Early Mediazation in Sweden (Musikens tidiga mediering i Sverige)

The project “Music’s Early Mediazation in Sweden” (Musikens tidiga mediering i Sverige) took place during the years 2001–2003. It included a survey of the influences of cylinder and gramophone recordings on music and musical life, as well as digitalization and registration of material on cylinders housed in, among other places, Swedish Radio (Sveriges Radio), and the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga biblioteket).

With the Voice as an Instrument (Med rösten som instrument)

In 2008, archivist, Ingrid Åksesson, presented the results of her doctoral research in the dissertation, With the Voice as an Instrument: Perspectives on Contemporary Swedish Vocal Folk Music (Med rösten som instrument. Återskapande, omskapande och nyskapande som förhållningssätt inom nutida svensk vokal folkmusik). The study examines how contemporary folk singers, both practically and conceptually, relate to their predecessors within the Swedish folk music tradition. The project was based on interviews with, and recordings of, a number of active folk musicians.