Level of Study
Objectives and Content
This course examines Grieg¿s music and his historical and cultural significance during the 19th and 20th centuries up to the present. Taking popular mythologies of Grieg as national-romantic composer and icon of Nordic music as a point of departure, the aim of this course is to revisit Grieg¿s production and reception in the broader context of Norwegian and European cultural history. We will learn more about the sources of Grieg¿s musical thought according to contemporary musical models from Schumann to Gade and Liszt, and his encounters with intellectuals such as Bjørnson and Ibsen. We will also listen critically to various performers¿ interpretations and investigate the responses of critics and audiences.
Further, we will follow Grieg¿s trails through European metropoles as a composer-performer, learning more about the history of some of his most famous and less popular works within different genres.
An important topic will be the reception history of Grieg and how it has been shaped and reshaped after his death by new generations of composers, critics, scholars, and musicians.
Following the dramatic historical developments in the 20th century, we will learn more about Grieg¿s significance in Norway¿s musical life, cultural politics, cultural diplomacy and branding. Grieg as part of local, national, and global musical culture is highlighted by public events such as the Grieg centenaries, as well as in the numerous and ongoing adaptations of his music in jazz, pop, rock, and the movies.
Finally, we will learn more about the professional dissemination of Grieg¿s musical heritage at the Grieg museum Troldhaugen, the Grieg archive, and the Grieg Research Centre.
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes:
- can critically consider the relation of Grieg¿s music to concepts such as style, identity, history, memory, landscape, authenticity, autonomy etc.
- can explain Grieg¿s effect on national musical life and its international influences
- can situate the reception of Grieg within the broader context of Norwegian cultural history
- can discuss musical traditions and inherited musical concepts from a critical, present day perspective
- can collect, systematize, and interpret various musical materials and historical sources with critical awareness
- can employ analytical and historiographic skills and knowledge in own interpretive practice
- can participate in the development of new (digital, practical) means of musical dissemination and mediation
- can discuss critical musicological issues with reference to different theoretical frameworks and methodologies
- can reflect on cultural and historical premises of own aesthetic judgements
Required Previous Knowledge
Completed first-semester study.
Access to the Course
The course is open for all students at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures; seminar for presentation of the term paper.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
- Attendance at lectures and seminars.
- Obligatory advising in connection with writing the term paper.
- Obligatory seminar for presentation of the term paper. The student will give an oral presentation of their written work.
All mandatory instruction must be completed and approved before the exam. Absence of more than 20% leads to loss of right to take the exam. All obligatory activities must be completed and approved before taking the exam. Approved compulsory activities are valid for 2 semesters after they are completed.
Forms of Assessment
Term paper of ca. 5000-6000 words. This paper will be either a reading (analysis/interpretation) of specific musical works, performances or theatrical stagings; or a discussion of a research question in which the task is to set the music within a specific cultural, social or historical context. The term paper can be written in Norwegian or English.
Internal evaluation with at least two examiners.
Letter grade from A to F.
Reading list of approximately 1000 pages.
The literature list will be available by 01.06. for the Autumn semester and 01.12. for the Spring semester.
The course will be evaluated in accordance with the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.
The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
The Grieg Academy - Institute of Music at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.
The study adviser can be contacted at: