Centre for Grieg Research

Transforming the Nordic

'Transforming the Nordic - Music and Politics in Norway 1930–45' is a research project established at the Grieg Research Centre in cooperation with the Department of Music at Universität Münster and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Edvard Grieg 1943

Main content

The aim of the coordinated project "Nordic Music" - Resistance, Persecution, Collaboration, and Reintegration in Norway’s Music Life 1930–1960 initiated by Arnulf Mattes (UiB) and Michael Custodis (Universität Münster) is to re-examine the role of music in Norwegian nation state building after 1905 in the context of European, nationalist movements of the first half of the twentieth century. 

Within the coordinated German-Norwegian project various interrelated research topics are to be explored from new angles and illustrated by a wide range of case studies. The project’s aim is to revisit the role of music in cultural memory and national historiography by studying musical works, practices, and agencies in context of the social networks and political hierarchies in Norwegian musical life. A main ingredient is the comprehensive understanding of the transformation of the ‘Nordic’ in music, culture, and politics from a geographical category, utopian idea, and nostalgic dream into a weapon of political propaganda during the 1930s and 1940s. 

DFG grant for partner project at Universität Münster

The partner project at Universität Münster 'Nordic Music Politics - The German Dominance of Music in Norway 1930–45' received a three year research grant from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Project duration: 2017–2020.
Further, the cooperation with DFG and Universität Münster includes exchange of teachers and students (ERASMUS+), the organization of joint workshops and international conferences in Bergen and Münster, a shared database, and co-edited publications. 


  • Winter semester 2018:
    Joint student workshop series. 
    Music and Politics in Norway 1930–45.
    University of Bergen and WWU Münster.
    Supportet by UiB SPIRE-grant.
  • Winter semester 2018: 
    Assoc. prof. Arnulf Mattes visiting scholar.
    WWU Münster.
    Supported by ERASMUS+ staff mobility grant.
  • Fall term 2017:
    Prof. Custodis visiting scholar.
    Grieg Research Centre, UiB.
    Supported by Trond Mohn.
  • Fall term 2016: 
    ERASMUS student exchange program established.
    University of Bergen and WWU Münster.

International conferences and seminars