The Nature of Nordic Music  book cover
1st Edition

The Nature of Nordic Music

Edited By

Tim Howell

ISBN 9781138207189
Published September 19, 2019 by Routledge
272 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

The Nature of Nordic Music explores two distinctive yet complementary understandings of the term ‘nature’: the inherent features, characters and qualities of contemporary Nordic music, and how the elemental forces of nature, the phenomena of the physical world (landscape, climate, environment), inspire and condition creativity here.

Within a broader debate about the meaning of ‘Nordicness’, 12 case studies challenge our assumptions about a ‘Nordic tone’ to reveal a creative energy that is diverse and cosmopolitan in outlook. Each of the three parts of the book – ‘Identities’, ‘Images’ and ‘Environments’ – accommodates an eclectic array of musical genres (classical, popular, jazz, folk, electronic).

This book will appeal to anyone interested in Nordic music and culture, especially students and researchers.

Table of Contents


1. Nordicness in Scandinavian music: A complex question Michael Fjeldsøe & Sanne Krogh Groth

2. Escaping Nordic musical exoticism?  Hans Weisethaunet

3. In search of the Nordic electroacoustic Andrew Bentley & James Andean

4. Starting from scratch: Nation-building and the creation of an Icelandic choral tradition Árni Heimir Ingólfsson


5. Not Nordic Enough? 'Nordic Cool' as a Janus-headed strategy for artistic inclusion and expulsion  Henrik Marstal

6. And Björk of course – the image of Icelandic music Margrét Sigrún Sigurðardóttir

7. Cold commodities: Discourses of decay and purity in a globalised jazz world  Haftor Medboe

8. Folk and popular music in the Nordic countries Tor Dybo


9. Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in the Water Soundscape Composition Contest  Meri Kytö

10. Nordic drone: Pedal points and static textures as musical imagery of the northerly environment Juha Torvinen & Susanna Välimäki

11. Telling the time: Communication and temporality in Nordic new music Tim Howell & Richard Powell

12. Sigur Rós: Talking timbre Michael Rofe

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Tim Howell is Professor of Music at the University of York, UK, where he specialises in the analysis of new music. As an internationally recognised authority on the music of Sibelius, his research has now broadened to encompass contemporary Finnish music. His major publications include After Sibelius: Studies in Finnish Music and Kaija Saariaho: Visions, Narratives, Dialogues.