Tradition, Identity and Learning Learning Swedish Folk Music: A study on communities of musical practice

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


This is presentation of a research project that investigates the learning and teaching of Swedish folk music as it unfolds across different contexts of transmission. Studies have shown that spaces for the transmission of Swedish folk music involves many aspects of social life (von Wachenfeldt, 2015, Eriksson, 2017, Eriksson, 2019). At the same time other pragmatic factors frame the transmission taking place (Tullberg, 2017). In the light of this, we are directed towards Communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991, Wenger, 1998), a theoretical perspective that is considering social dimensions of learning. While this theoretical framework was further developed in relation to musical communities (Kenny, 2017), the present study aims at tailoring this theoretical perspective to allow for a deeper understanding of the complex processes of learning traditional music with all its connotations of tradition and nationality, together with their (perhaps false) dichotomies of modernity and regionalism/globalism, respectively. The term tradition itself signifies various perceptions of meaning associated with the music (Tullberg, 2018), and ethnomusicological research highlighting the complexity of this loaded term is in itself a point of departure for the present study (see Rice, 1994). The present study is a continuation of a pilot study (Sæther & Tullberg, 2019) and widens the scope in order to investigate a spectrum of learning contexts: (i) higher music education, (ii) folk high school, (iii) weeklong summer courses, and (iv) workshops during folk music festivals. This diversity of contexts aims at exploring how the content and practice of transmission are dependent by parameters such as the participants background and ambitions, and frame factors such as economy and facilities. Empirical material will be collected through participative observation, interviews and surveys and this presentation will outline early results.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 5
EventNordic Network for Research in Music Education 2022 Conference - University of Jyväskylä/Online, Jyväskylä, Finland
Duration: 2022 Apr 52022 Apr 7


ConferenceNordic Network for Research in Music Education 2022 Conference
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Music
  • Pedagogy


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