Fiddling for Norway: Revival and Identity

Fiddling for Norway: Revival and Identity

Fiddling for Norway: Revival and Identity

Fiddling for Norway: Revival and Identity

Synopsis

Fiddling for Norway is an engrossing portrait of a fiddle-based folk revival in Norway, one that in many ways parallels contemporary folk institutions and festivals throughout the world, including American fiddling. It is a detailed case study in the politics of culture, the causes and purposes of folk revivals, and the cultivation of music to define identity. The book begins with an investigation of the people and events important to Norwegian folk fiddling, tracing the history of Norwegian folk music and the growth and diversification of the folk music revival. The narrative takes us to fiddle clubs, concerts and competitions on the local, regional, and national levels, and shows how conflicting emphases--local vs. national identity, tradition vs. aesthetic qualities--continue to transform Norwegian folk music. Goertzen utilizes a large anthology of meticulously transcribed tunes to illustrate personal and regional repertoires, aspects of performance practice, melodic gesture and form, and tune relationships. Ethnomusicologists and readers who fiddle will enjoy both the music and the stories it tells.

Excerpt

Imagine yourself in Norway. You probably will picture a fjord or river in front of mountains, with a village or small town, and a scattering of more distant houses in the narrow strip of arable land between water and rock. The homes are not large, but they are quietly stylish, sturdy, and well kept. The people you see move with purpose but without strain. They know many or most of the people they see at the grocery store. Notably absent in this picture is evidence of poverty, sloth, crime, and other social ills. Air and water seem clear, and, while our view of the community includes a few businesses and perhaps a factory or two, industrial detritus is notably absent.

Is this some willfully concocted pastoral ideal? If so, it is not the exclusive property of outsiders: more than a few Norwegians believe this is what Norway is, and innumerable locations indeed fit the description. Nature is far from kind--resources are few, and weather often brutal--but Norwegians are used to coping. (A common aphorism has it that "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.") The mountains and watercourses are beautiful, they are everywhere, and they are everywhere loved. Many a Norwegian placed by work or other circumstance in a city leaves his or her heart--and some relatives--in a rural hamlet, and returns there whenever possible. And many own or have ready access to a hytte (cabin), or at least a boat, and nearly everyone skis (during the weeks around Easter, so many Norwegians are skiing that the economy seems to be on vacation too).

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.