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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Tra­di­tion­al Nor­we­gi­an Music and its The­or­ies

  • Year of study: Year 1, over one semester (spring).
  • Final assessment: Assessment from the course instructor.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Music in Music Theory Programme.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The student will work on developing an understanding of the music theory of traditional Norwegian music as well as acquiring practical aural and music arranging skills within the same genre.

There will be a focus on topics related to tonality, intonation, transcriptions, rhythm/rhythmical understanding, stylistic time measures, idiomatic two and three-part melodic phrases on Hardanger fiddle, scordatura, various types of ensemble playing and music arranging.

The relation between traditional Norwegian music and classical music/art music will also be a relevant topic.

Learning objectives

On completion of this course, the student is expected to

  • be able to make use of aural skills actively when working with folk music
  • possess knowledge of the use of musical principles in folk music
  • possess knowledge of musical structure and tonality and be able to analyze and transcribe folk music
  • be familiar with music arranging and instrumentation techniques for different styles within traditional Norwegian music


The teaching material will be based on traditional Norwegian music and research within this field. The student will be engaged in developing theoretical and aural skills when working with transcriptions, analysis and music arranging. Musical characteristics in traditional Norwegian music (i.e. asymmetry, understanding tonalities and variation forms) will be a central topic.


The course is normally organised as a combination of seminars and lectures. The course is normally held in the spring semester. The students are expected to undertake a significant amount of self-study between the lessons.

Course requirements

  1. The student should demonstrate skills in theory/aural training in two oral and practical tests.
  2. At the end of the semester, the student should submit a folder containing at least two musical analysis and two transcriptions (or similar) from the teaching material in the course.
  3. The student should submit a reflective note on musical principles in traditional Norwegian music with a length of 2000–3000 words.

Deadline: The course requirements must have been met and approved by the course coordinator by 15 April.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be met in order for the student to be given a final assessment.

The student will be judged on the basis of the learning objectives for the course. The assessment is expressed in the form of a pass/fail and is determined by the course coordinator on the basis of an overall evaluation of the learning outcomes achieved by the student during the course.


The same rules apply to reassessments as to ordinary assessments.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Sep 7, 2022