Visans kontinuum - Ord, röst och musik. Studier i Olle Adolphsons musik och framförandekonst

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of this study is to investigate relationships between words, music and voice in contemporary swedish popular ballads – <i>visa</i> – as it is realized in the works of Swedish artist, singer/songwriter Olle Adolphson (b 1934).

Entering the world of entertainment in 1956 he quickly became one of the most prominent representatives of the literary branch of popular song in Sweden. His work is characterized by charm, poetry and precision in the linking of words and music.

A biographical sketch of Adolphson´s career and artistic persona introduces this study. Thereafter, investigations are made of relationships between word and music along a continuum from speech to song through text, speech, music and performance.

The second part focuses on if and how relationships between the timbres of words and melody in song can be identified. Then a section follows with analyses of music by Olle Adolphson from a general musicological point of view, where various aspects of word/music relationships are studied in the light of the results of the previous section. In the last part of the dissertation the attention is moved to interpretation and use of the singing voice in the actual recorded performances.

The study explores the possibilies of connecting recent voice research with musicological and humanistic studies of Adolphson´s songs and of the interplay between words and music in his work.

Relationships between text and tone arises as soon as they are linked with each other in song, and this study suggests that many of these relationships are far from hazardous. The present study implies that many complex patterns of word/music relations are simultaneously active in popular song, and that this complexity is present in both rythmic, melodic and signifying senses, and needs to be taken fully into account in all its aspects by academic research.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Musicology


  • word/music relationships, timbre, singing, performance, voice, formant, acoustics, phonetics of music., Musicology, Swedish popular song, Olle Adolphson, Musikvetenskap, contemporary ballad, biography, composer, visa, career
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Greger Andersson, Supervisor
Award date2002 Jan 1
  • Musicology
Print ISBNs91-89192-13-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2002-01-01 Time: 10:15 Place: Inst för konst- och musikvetenskap, Box 117, 221 00 Lund. Sal 314 External reviewer(s) Name: Sundberg, Johan Title: Prof. Affiliation: [unknown] ---

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