På jakt etter folkemusikkskalaen : et overblikk
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNorsk folkemusikklags skrifter nr. 22, 2008, s. 27-59
In theories dealing with tonality in Norwegian and Scandinavian folk music, there has been a special focus on the assumed “old-agey” non-diatonic intervals, also referred to as floating or neutral intervals or blue notes. In the first part of the 20th century, the search for typical Norwegian scales came into focus. Explanations of the origin of non-diatonic intervals differ. Catharinus Elling and O.M. Sandvik refers to cultural processes, while others, like Erik Eggen and Eivind Groven finds the origin of the tonal preferences in physical, nature-given conditions and theories about acoustics. Thus, until recently, there seem to be an agreement regarding a seven note octave-equivalent scale system. Some scientists have been describing the tonality in terms of formulas and modes, like Liv Greni’s article about the lullaby tradition in Setesdal. The Swedish scholars Sven Ahlbäck and Johan Westman focus on how intonation of intervals is close connected to melodic formulas. This concerns an important point; do an assumed scale or mode represent anything autonomous by traditional players or singers, or is this only something scholars / educated musicians make theories and abstractions about? There have been only a few attempts of quantitative approaches on the field. Hampus Huldt-Nystrøm’s effort to describe diversity between Norwegian and Swedish tonal languages is one example, and later Bjørn Aksdal, with the support of a computer-aided method, have tried to describe historical layers within fiddle music, where tonal matters were among the variables. With a few exceptions, idiomatic features of the fiddle instruments do not seem to be focused on in discussions about tonality.