A Microhistory of Congregational Music-Making in Överselö, Stallarholmen 1754
In 1754 an organ was built in Överselö Church whose purpose was to accompany the congregational singing. My question in this project is to investigate how the accompaniment of the specific congregational singing in Överselö sounded. Sweden adopted its first common hymnal in 1695/97. However, it is not clear from the text of that book how it was used. To reach a higher level of knowledge and understanding of the subject, several components were needed; knowledge from written sources in the field, basic research in materials from the actual church and surrounding areas in Sweden, deepened knowledge about figured bass playing in eighteenth-century Sweden and a prepared experiment for the artistic research. Using artistic research one can make important contributions to the quite unexamined field of knowledge of hymn accompaniment in the eighteenth century. The art of hymn accompaniment is mostly an art of improvisation, which makes it hard to examine using only the tool of musicology. But by learning figured bass playing in the way it was taught in eighteenth-century Sweden and by conducting studies into the way in which hymns were sung one can prepare and evaluate hymn accompaniment using the kind of contextual experiments I have shown in this study. In my study I have deepened the knowledge about interludes, tempo, figured bass in hymn playing and asked questions about who was leading the congregational singing and the role of the organist in the service. The strength of the micro-historical method in this type of study is that you can trace real persons in a specific time and place and their connections to each other. One single micro historic examination does not give the whole picture but since the method “asks large questions in small places” it contributes with new knowledge to the whole: in this case, a clearer picture of how the influences from Germany reached central Sweden and affected the musical traditions here. The results that come out of this kind of project can contribute to the interpretation in several fields of music, such as hymn accompaniment, improvisation and also interpretation of eighteenth-century music.
Degree Project Master of Fine Arts in Music with specialization in Organ and related keyboard instruments (2.942Mb)
Gren and Stråhle organ
Handwritten chorale books