Research Project


Rethinking "Finnish" Music History
Transnational construction of musical life in Finland from the 1870s until the 1920s

Duration: 1.9.2011–31.12.2014 (72 man-months)


Research Plan

1. Background
2. Objectives

2.1. The Emergence of "Finnish" musical language
2.2. Emergence of Music Festivals
2.3. Beginnings of Musicology in Finland
2.4. Changes in Musical Taste

3. Research methods
4. Researchers and research environment
5. Mobility plan
6. Researcher training and research career
7. Expected research results and possible risks
8. Key literature


The project interprets the development of Finnish musical life at the end of the age of autonomy from a transnational perspective. It makes a critical evaluation of earlier nationalistic research practices where the flow of music history was viewed as inevitable development – a product of the work of talented composers, powerful authorities and collective patriotism. From the outset, the project deems the formation of the national art of music and musical life of the 1800's as a transnational process, which migrated, adjusted and translated the styles, institutions, conventions and performance practices of western music to be a part of the cultural life of the Northern Grand Duchy. The project does not author history of Finnish music, but rather history of music in Finland.

The project utilises a micro-historic research method where the central methods are network analysis, close reading, source criticism and counterfactual thinking. The development and change of cultural canons is also observed to great extent. The transnational process of the development of musical life is examined with four points of focus: the formation of a "Finnish" musical language, the beginnings of national music research, national music festivals and the changes in concert repertoires and musical taste. The research is based mainly on archival material available in Finnish and overseas archives, and other central sources are contemporary literature, periodicals and the recordings, sheet music and scores of musical works.

1. Background

The historiography of music in Finland has long been dominated by a research paradigm which lays emphasis on the evolvement of a "national" music culture. The focus of historical research has most often been on the music of Finland, or, to shift the emphasis slightly, on the history of "Finnish" music. This kind of nationalistic tone has been prevalent in all kinds of writing of the history of Finnish music, independent of its genres. In other words, be it historiography of Finnish art music, folk music, jazz, rock, choral music, military music, or religious music, the point of departure has most often been the "Finnish-ness" of the music. Scholars of Finnish music history have taken a point of departure, in which an emergence of a particular kind of national music life in Finland at the end of the 19th century is taken for granted. This new phase in Finnish music history has been seen to give rise to the first professional orchestras, the conservatory, patriotic concert repertory, and a genuinely Finnish musical language, highlighted by the national genius – Jean Sibelius in particular.

The most prominent model of explanation in the historiography of Finnish music has been teleology. This means that the past has been looked at from the viewpoint of the present, the outcome of the historical process. The "rise of Finnish music", in other words, has been seen as a necessary and unavoidable process, of which the present provides the proof. This "spring flooding of the Finnish art music" (Haapanen 1940, 94) was, according to this essentially Hegelian teleological view, "caused" by national geniuses, who in turn were moved by a collective Volksgeist. The national tone and scholarly viewpoint is still surprisingly prevalent in many Finnish music history textbooks, encyclopedias and even research (see Kurkela 2010a for more detail).

We approach the domain of Finnish music history from a different angle. Setting aside the myth of the birth of "Finnish" music life as a Hegelian narrative, we argue that the emergence and formation of the Finnish music and music life was, in fact, a transnational process through which the musical styles, institutions, conventions and performance practices of the continental 19th century Europe were transferred to Finland, transformed into the existing institutional frames of music, and "translated" to satisfy the needs of the bourgeoisie. For this reason, we are not researching the history of Finnish music but rather the history of music in Finland, which was a Grand Duchy and part of Russian Empire until 1917.

The research of our group lays emphasis on the last decades, beginning from the 1870's, of the Grand Duchy of Finland. That period in history is crucial for the emergence of the nation state in 1917. Almost all institutions on which the music life in the independent Finland was built – public concerts, orchestras, music theatre, conservatory, musicology, music criticism, music festivals, instrument and sheet music market and music publishing – saw their birth during that time period. None of them was formed indigenously or independent of international influence but rather in constant interaction with continental music life and new aesthetic ideas brought from Europe by Finnish music intellectuals and composers.

The theoretical point of departure of the project is based on critical ("New") musicology, a paradigm in which the past and the evolvement of classical music has been looked at from new, critical angles. In more detail, Philip Bohlman's and Katherine Bergeron's (Bohlman 2004; Bergeron & Bohlman 1992) work on deconstruction and re-evaluation of musical nationalism and canons, William Weber's (2008) work on the "great transformation" of musical taste, as well as Derek B. Scott's (2008) study of the 19th century "revolution of popular music" – are of particular importance for our own approach. Further, we aim at demonstrating in detail how the aesthetic and ideological changes in classical music of the late 19th century had a direct impact on the Finnish classical music scene. This, of course, did not always take place smoothly and without fraction: the conditions in a peripheral country at a distance from the Western European music centers caused some peculiar reformations of the continental ideas in organizing the local music life in Finland. In other words, new practices adapted from music metropolis (e.g. London, Wien, Paris, Berlin) were re-instituted in Finland in new form, strongly associated with Finnish language, folk tradition and limited resources for the reproduction of music.

The members of our research group have done preliminary work for this project in various seminars and through scholarly publications. This earlier work deals with the de-canonization of music history (Kurkela & Väkevä 2009), historical formation of musical genres (Heikkinen 2008a and 2008b), the deconstruction of the ideological heritage of nationalistic historiography of music (Kurkela 2010a), the deconstruction of "Finnish-ness" in music (Heikkinen, forthcoming), the relationship between music and youth organizations in early 20th century Finland (Kurkela 1989; Rantanen 2009), the changes in concert repertories during the 19th century (Kurkela, forthcoming) , historical roots of Finnish music criticism (Mantere 2001) and methodology of historical ethnography of classical music Mantere (2000 and 2006).

2. Objectives

In this project, we propose a non-teleological and transnational interpretation of the emergence of the music life in Finland at the turn of the 20th century. This entails a view in which we do not look at the process from its endpoint – "the Finnish music" – but rather from the point of view of musical agents of the time. Their ideological inconsistencies, gaps, controversies and shortcomings are present in the picture we try to construct – the historical process is not seen as "inevitable" but rather as resulting from grass-root level activity within which many alternative and sometimes mutually opposite choices were available.

Even though our interest lies in the birth of the "national" music culture, our scope is not limited locally to Finland. It is our view that musical ideas and practices were mediated by transnational webs of individuals' communication (correspondence, travel, books). We try to find out how those webs were constructed, how ideas and practices transferred to Finland and how they were transformed into what became the Finnish music life. We also scrutinize the dissemination of the continental music literature to Finland and its impact on early writing of music in this country. We take into account the particular political and ideological conditions that prevailed in the Grand Duchy of Finland. This was a period of great tension, fractures and struggle – related to the question of language (Finnish vs. Swedish), for instance – between various groups and individuals.

We scrutinize four aspects, all central for the construction of Finnish music life, in detail:

1) The emergence of "Finnish" musical language (e.g. in newspaper criticism, concert repertories, liner notes and music itself);
2) Emergence of music festivals, celebrating the "Finnish" music;
3) Emergence of musicology and beginnings of Finnish music historiography;
4) Changes in musical taste, distinction between "high" and "low" music in concert repertory.

2.1. The Emergence of "Finnish" musical language

One of the national goals in 19th century Finland was to raise the Finnish language into the status of a civilization language. This goal was supported by funding original literature and the translation of classics of world literature.

In a way, classical music was "translated" as well. This took place in a twofold process: the styles and conventions of 19th century (German) music were adapted to Finnish music; and Finnish folk music was, through arrangements and orchestration, sublimated into art. This union of "high" and "low" was hoped to bring about a "Finnish musical language" which, like other arts, would raise Finland into the same stage as other civilized nations.

We explore what the relationship was, in one hand, between the 19th century "Finnish" art music and folk music, and between art music and "light" music (e.g. salon music) on the other. Citations of folk tunes can be found in Finnish music as early as the 1840's, but this was not enough to make them display real "Finnish-ness" in their musical language. It has been argued (see Haapanen 1940 for an early reference) that this took place not earlier than 1892, which is when Jean Sibelius's symphonic poem Kullervo was, in the contemporary Finnish music criticism, recognized as "Finnish music". "Finnish-ness" had an obvious political signification in the new political situation which, in the case of Kullervo, is particularly noteworthy bearing in mind that Sibelius's use of folk music material is scarce. In our opinion, this myth regarding the "emergence" of Finnish music should, however, be deconstructed. This could be done by, for instance, highlighting earlier efforts of building "national musical language" (e.g. Filip von Schantz's Kullervo Ouverture, Robert Kajanus's Finnish Rhapsodies).

In our research of this topic, we follow primarily Gelbart's (2008) distinction between "art music" and "folk music" as historical inventions. We explore how the continental 19th century patterns of thought – nationalism, music as "language above language" – were mediated into Finnish music and translated into musical practice. The crucial period for the emergence of "Finnish-ness" in music was the 1880's and 1890's.

2.2. Emergence of Music Festivals

Early song and music festivals in Finland have been scarcely studied. The few earlier studies (Smeds & Mäkinen 1984; Smeds 1987; Särkkä 1973) have emphasized the national romantic ideology underlying the organization of the festivals. In our project, we aim at providing a more diverse picture of the early festivals by a scrutiny of the organizers' transnational connections to Europe and other music life in Finland.

From the very beginning the management of the festivals aimed at recruiting the leading figures of the Finnish musical life to the festivals. The presence of these persons had great impact on the nature and character of the festivals, raising the public status of the festivals both musically and ideologically. They also had many international connections, which showed in the planning of the festival programs. On the other hand, the festivals provided the opportunity for the young composers to introduce their new music to the public and advance their careers through this kind of self-promotion.

We also try to get a grass-root level view onto the influence of the festivals. The popularity of the festivals was enormous and the enthusiasm also spread to the countryside. In cooperation with various societies and youth organizations the music festivals contributed significantly to the spread of choirs and wind bands throughout Finland. To get a more detailed picture of this process, we look at the influence of the bigger, national music festivals on the more local ones, organized in the countryside. One interesting aspect of looking at this relationship is the microhistory of the musicians: how did they experience the events? Did the repertory change according to the different festivals? What kinds of ideological intentions did the smaller music societies have in organizing the local festivals?

The third topic of research is the structure of the festivals. The early music festivals were, in the late 19th century, a new phenomenon in Finland which had a huge collective significance for the participants. Thousands of people came from various parts of the country. The main event in the festivals was a singing and playing contest to which all Finnish amateur bands and choirs were invited. A new feature in the contest was that people from all social classes were participating in the contest. In other respects the festivals seem to have been a combination of two separate elements: singing festivities and popular festival (Smeds & Mäkinen 1984). The popular festival featured program that did not necessarily have any relation to music. Singing festivities, however, consisted mainly of high-standard music program, which seems to be a feature adapted from larger European festivals.

The emergence of music festivals in Finland was, as we see it, a transnational process the impact of which was felt all over the Finnish music life at large. Our main question to answer here is this: how did the networks of the individuals and societies affect the character, substance, and cultural impact of the festivals? The period of research begins in 1881 and ends in 1908, which is when Oskari Merikanto's opera Pohjan neiti was performed in the festivals held in Viborg.

2.3. Beginnings of Musicology in Finland

This research project provides a careful analysis of the emergence of the academic study of music in Finland, beginning from the year 1899 until the year 1923. The first professor in musicology (Ilmari Krohn) was appointed in 1918 at the University of Helsinki, Åbo Akademi followed with a delay of half a decade (1923). The Society of Musicology had been established as early as 1918 by Ilmari Krohn, who had also been active during the years 1910-1914 as the chair of the Finnish branch of Internationale Musikgesellschaft, a society founded in 1899 by Otto Fleischer, whose aim was a federation of musicians and musical connoisseurs of all countries and which has been instrumental mainly in furthering musicological research.

More specifically, for the most part of this project, we scrutinize the work, as well as the intellectual, social and cultural contexts related to it, of three Finnish musical intellectuals at the turn of the century: Ilmari Krohn (1867-1960), Martin Wegelius (1846-1906) and Otto Andersson (1879-1969). It is our argument that through a careful analysis of the "life and work" – research, correspondence, diaries, contemporary commentary in Finland and abroad – of these three individuals, one can get a good picture of how Finnish musicology came into being and on what kinds of intellectual and cultural bedrocks the early research within the discipline was based. This kind of metahistory of Finnish musicology has not been sufficiently studied. Something, however, has already been done: Niklas Nyqvist's (2007) dissertation on Otto Andersson, Erkki Pekkilä's (2006) research on Ilmari Krohn's influence on the study of folk music in Europe, Matti Huttunen's (1993) work on the beginnings of historiography in Finnish musicology, and Hannu Salmi's (2005) work on Wagnerism in Finland are good background material for our project.

The scientific paradigm of Krohn and his students, the first generation of Finnish musicologists, was very much oriented to the study of folk music. This is because academic research in the early decades of the 20th century was seen to serve national purposes – a goal towards which they worked in other spheres of musical life as well: composing, music criticism, music pedagogy, popular education. Armas Launis (1884-1959) wrote his dissertation in 1910 (Über Art, Enstehenung und Verbreitung der estnisch-finnischen Runenmelodien) on rune melodies, Otto Andersson, in 1923, wrote his on a Finnish folk instrument Bowed Harp (Stråkharpan). Toivo Haapanen, one of the pioneers in early historiography of music in Finland, was a slight exception to this rule – his 1924 dissertation Die Neumenfragmente der Universitäts-bibliothek Helsingfors can be situated in the field of Medieval studies.

The birth of Finnish musicology was obviously a transnational process – all aforementioned intellectuals had a broad affiliation with the leading musical and academic European high society, which shows in the remaining correspondence and other literary documents of them, stored in various archives in Finland. The scholarship of Finnish musicologists was international from the very start: Ilmari Krohn and Otto Andersson, for instance, attended the first international symposia (1904 Leipzig, 1906 Basel, 1909 Vienna, 1911 London, 1914 Paris) giving papers on their scientific findings.

2.4. Changes in Musical Taste

This part of our project focuses on the change of music repertory in public concerts during the (time) period 1870–1910. More specifically, we scrutinize archival documents, in order to uncover the patterns, as well as ideological and aesthetic basis, for the choice of repertory in public concerts in Helsinki, Viborg, Turku and Tampere. Concerts held in smaller towns are also analyzed as comparative material. As the performers are concerned, we are interested in the transnational construction of the concerts themselves: the celebrated European top artists Wieniawski, Reisenauer, d'Alberti, Auer, Jesipova, and Wilhelmj – just to name a few – gave concerts in Finland on a regular basis, and studying abroad was seen as a necessary element in the professional education of the most talented musicians in Finland. At the beginning of the 20th century musicians in public orchestras were, for the most part, amateurs, but there were educated musicians working in the first professional symphony orchestra (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra), in military bands and restaurant orchestras. The ranks of the first professional orchestras consisted mostly of musicians from central Europe and the scores they used were ordered from abroad. All this led to the fact that the Finnish concert institution followed, with a few decades' delay, the same trends of concert programming that were at work in European metropolis. (cf. Weber 2008; Scott 2008.)

A preliminary study as regards the earlier repertory has already been executed (Kurkela forthcoming; see also Lappalainen 1994), and we can already point to certain patterns of change during the period. The international virtuosi were seen in Finland at least from the 1830's onwards, and their repertory in concerts in Finland corresponded to the ones abroad. For the most part, concerts were "benefit" concerts and the aesthetic basis for the choice of repertory was sufficient variety and symmetry within the program (Weber 2008, 13–18; 40–42). In other words, the usual form of the repertory was a miscellany of pleasing and entertaining music. Assisting performers, guest soloists and local amateurs, were used regularly. Symphony concerts in Finland became more common in the 1860's, which is also when Viennese classical canon of Great composers emerged. Parallel to this process, a part of the concerts featured lighter repertory, which ultimately led to the separation between "serious" symphonic repertory and mere orchestral entertainment – Strauss waltzes etc.

The central research questions are these: to what extent did the establishing and professionalization of public concerts have an impact on the separation between the different types of concert repertories, between "art" and "entertainment"? To what extent did this same process unfold in the repertories of international virtuosi – was the distinction between "art" and "entertainment" as visible as in orchestral concerts?

Another important issue we raise in our project is the interaction between "art" and "entertainment". How did the emerging entertainment industry change the profile of public concerts at the turn of the century? Before the jazz era, "light" and "serious" music were based on a similar aesthetic, and the same musicians played both repertories. Crossing the stylistic and genre borders was part of being a professional musician and also a prerequisite for the transnational production of music – all professional musicians could play many kinds of music and also did so, traveling across Europe giving concerts, creating contacts and drawing inspiration and new ideas from their foreign colleagues.

The third problem area in this part of the project is related to popular education, a central modus operandi of nationalistic politics of the emerging nation state Finland at the turn of the century. The new national music life was harnessed to serve its purposes, and a whole variety of popular concerts and "people's concerts" were organized during the period. On first glance, the repertory in those concerts was based on the "entertaining variety" principle, but to answer to the question whether or not the "educative" agenda of these concerts was to familiarize the lower classes with the grand achievements of western civilization, the canon of great music, further research is needed.

3. Research methods

Studies employing transnational perspectives have exploded in quantity in the third millennium. Within cultural studies, sociology, history, political science, anthropology and media studies, just to mention a few scholarly paradigms, a widespread interest in economic, social and political linkages between people, places and institutions has been prevalent for more than a decade. This tendency, of course, follows a concurrent interest in globalization in these same disciplines and public discourse. As Steven Vertovec (2009, 2) argues, transnationalism is an outcome of globalization, a perspective from which it becomes possible to understand the complex, multicultural and mediated interaction between people, places and institutions.

In this project, we argue that transnationalism is a useful theoretical tool with the help of which it becomes possible to understand the music culture of 19th century Finland, then an autonomous Grand Duchy and part of Imperial Russia. In our view, the formation of the national music life in Finland was, in fact, a transnational process, in which the styles, institutions, conventions and practices of western classical and popular music were transferred to music culture in Finland. This process entails a mode of "translation" of the patterns, ideals and values of the high 19th century art music of the continental Europe, German in particular, into the existing cultural frames in Finland.

The greatest theoretical and methodological challenge in our project is to tackle the difficulty of writing non-theleological national history. Taken broadly, theleological explanation models can not be totally avoided when looking at the past from the viewpoint of the present, taking into account the Finnish music life that the historical process has culminated in. However, through the microhistorical research of the grass-root level activity, as well as the international networks in which the agents operated, of the 19th century Finnish music life the "grand narrative" of "Finnish music" can be questioned.

Accordingly, the central method in our project is microhistory. We define the term as historical research of temporally, locally and quantitatively limited phenomena: individuals, societies, organizations. The point of departure in microhistorical research is often in exceptional events or individuals, "typical exceptions" or "exceptional normals". Through this kind of unusual data we can draw hypotheses and make interpretations of such societal phenomena, which occur in everyday life but do not leave traces in the historical documents. In addition to this, studying the "exceptional" can reveal the invisible, often taken-for-granted barriers, through the interrogating of which we can better understand prevailing cultural and social norms. (Elomaa 2001, Ginzburg 1996 & 2007, Levi 2001, Peltonen 1996 & 1999.)

Undertaking microhistorical research requires thorough analysis of the historical sources available. Engaging in a dialogue with the research material is a constant, on-going process in which the scholar's questions and hypothesis are in a state of flux. This enables the microhistorian to reach new kinds of conclusions and get new kind of understanding of the topic. The (micro)scope of research provides an opportunity to locate new significant phenomena, to probe and challenge previous theories, and make new generalizations. In the research of the historical source material, integrity in the source criticism is necessary. Also, we maintain that microhistorical research at its best is never limited solely to the microlevel. Even though the scope is limited, the microlevel has to be seen in constant interaction with the macrolevel. These two should not be seen as opposites to one another but rather as dimensions of the continuum of reality. (Alapuro 1994, Peltonen 1996 & 1999.)

Through a microhistorical focus, we can also grasp the social networks of groups and individuals. In previous research of social networks, the structure of society has most often been presented as a web of agents, related to each other by various bonds. These bonds can be friendship, trade, allying or any other form of interaction. In the research of these kinds of networks, then, the object of research is not limited to an individual, societal structure or institution, but rather the network itself is seen as bringing the gap between individual and his larger contexts. (Alapuro 1998, Lappalainen 2005.) Through this kind of research, we explore the contribution of individuals for maintaining the musical institutions, as well as the conditions in which these individuals operated, setting the limits and norms for their professional activity. In this part of our project, we base our research on the theories of social networks proposed by Robert Putnam (1993, 1995), Pierre Bourdieu (1986), James S. Coleman (1988, 1990) ja Bruno Latour (1988, 2005).

Another heuristic method to avoid the theleological fallacy is to probe counterfactual historical processes. We are not writing actual counterfactual history, but rather mapping out the possibilities available for our subjects at a given time. "What if" -kinds of question help us to conceptualize and outline the various possibilities that the historical agents had available for them. What if, for instance, Finnish musicians would have gone to St. Petersburg instead of Leipzig or Berlin to study? What impact would that have had on Finnish music life? Why did this, nevertheless, not happen? In counterfactual probing, we methodologically stick to the possibilities that we know, from the historical documents, the agents themselves were considering because of this kind of reasoning leads to increased credibility in research – those options, in a certain way, were "real" for the people themselves. (Ferguson 1998.)

Formation of a musical genre, as we see it, is related to the formation of the canon. Genre itself is often defined through its agents: "classical music", for instance, was in the 19th century defined as the music composed by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Embedded in this kind of delineation is the idea that canon serves as an aesthetic yardstick for all music – it sets the standards of Great music (Bergeron & Bohlman 1992). In our project, we look at this process of canon and genre formation in the 19th century Finland and look for its transnational affiliations. We are interested in how social and aesthetic distinctions between "serious" and "light" music came into existence, what were the continental ideas related to the divide, and what the contribution of networks of individual agents was to this process. Further, we will discuss the affiliation of other genres, like church and military music, to this divide. Good research material for this can be found in contemporary newspaper criticism, concert programs and liner notes, and early musicological research in Finland.

The project will not produce a significant amount of new research material, because it is based for the most part in already existing archival material. In the use of the material, we obey the possible restrictions and copyright law. The most important archives for our research in Finland are The National Archives of Finland and Provincial Archives, The National Library of Finland, Finnish Literature Society, The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Sibelius Academy Library, Finnish Jazz & Pop Archive, Sibelius Museum.

The most important archives abroad for the project are these: The Estonian Historical Archives (Tallinn), Tartu Lääne Regional Archives (Haapsalu), Archive of the Royal Academy of Music (London), Centre for Performance History/The Royal College of Music (London), British Library (London), Musikmuseet (Stockholm), Riksarkivet (Stockholm), Archives Nationale (Paris), Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig), Deutsches Musikarchiv (Berlin), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Wien).

4. Researchers and research environment

Professor Vesa Kurkela is the head of the project and will take part in all of its subprojects. He will focus in particular on the fourth subproject (see above), the research of the aesthetic and ideological change in Finnish concert institutions in the late 19th and early 20th century Finland. Kurkela has published extensively on his earlier research of Finnish music history in the era of autonomy, as regards the artistic and political exploitation of folk music (1989 and 2010b), changes in performance practice (1999), and nationalistic music historiography (2010a).

Dr Markus Mantere is currently the Academic Coordinator of the Graduate School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Sibelius Academy. Since January of 2010, Mantere is also an Adjunct Professor of Musicology at the University of Tampere. In 2003–2007 he worked as a Research Assistant at the Department of Music Anthropology at the University of Tampere. Mantere defended his PhD at the University of Tampere in 2006 with distinction (grade of the thesis Laudatur), and in 1999–2001 he studied as a Fulbright scholar in the United States, at Brown University. Mantere has published his earlier research on historical roots of Finnish music criticism (Mantere 2001) and methodology of historical ethnography of classical music Mantere (2000 and 2006). He is a member of the board of the Finnish Musicological Society and the Editor-in-Chief of the only peer-reviewed journal in musicology in Finland, Musiikki. Mantere's research in this project will focus on the subproject 3, the establishing of musicology in Finland.

Dr Olli Heikkinen studied musicology at the University of Jyväskylä and defended his PhD dissertation on the ontology of audio recording in 2009 at the Research Center for Contemporary Culture. Before this, he has worked as a lecturer at the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences and the University of Tampere, and also been active as a free-lance musician, composer, columnist and instructor. Heikkinen has published his research on the ontology of music, history of popular music and aesthetics of audio recording. In this project, Heikkinen will focus in particular on subprojects 1 and 4, the emergence of "Finnish" musical language and changes in musical taste.

Saijaleena Rantanen finished her MA in ethnomusicology at the Department of Music Anthropology of the University of Tampere in 2007. She currently works as a research assistant at the Department of Folk Music in the Sibelius Academy and is finishing her PhD thesis on the relationship between music and non-profit organizations (societies, youth organizations) in the 19th century Finland. Rantanen has published two articles (Rantanen 2009 and 2010) on her research topic and also worked as a co-editor for a scholarly anthology (Kurkela, Laitinen & Rantanen 2010) on the history of music of Ostrobothnia. In addition to this, Rantanen has a long experience as a performing musician and as a coordinator and producer of various music events. Her particular focus in this project is the subproject three, Emergence of music festivals.

Sibelius Academy provides the project an ideal operation environment, both in terms of research infrastructure (libraries, archives, technical support) and colloquial support by experts of scholarship of Finnish music history (e.g. professors Veijo Murtomäki and Heikki Laitinen). A particularly important colleague within the university is professor Anne Sivuoja-Gunaratnam, whose research project on the musical production of the Finnish Theatre in 1873–1879 (funded by the Academy of Finland in 2010–2012) is thematically affiliated with the project proposed here. In addition to this, our project has affiliations with a number of distinguished specialists in the research of 19th century music history.

5. Mobility plan

The transnational and microhistorical points of departure in the project necessitate a number of short-term archival visits abroad, to old European music metropolises (Leipzig, Paris, Berlin and Vienna) where the protagonists of our project studied and worked. Tallinn and Tartu are also important points of excursion because the early Finnish music festivals were inspired by the ones organized some years earlier in those Baltic historical cities. The most prominent archives for our project are listed above, under the heading "Research methods".

6. Researcher training and research career

The project is affiliated with the Doctoral Program of Music Research and all fellows of the project work as instructors and advisors within the program. It is our goal to associate PhD-students, on external funding, to our project.

7. Expected research results and possible risks

The outcome of the project will be presented in national and international conferences, research articles, books and journal articles. In more detail, the project will produce 3–4 scholarly monographs, an anthology and 8–10 refereed articles in international publications. During the years 2012–2014, we organize in cooperation with our institutional partners, three symposia out of which one is international. We set great priority on popularizing the outcome of our research because of its potential fascination for the general public in Finland. In addition to print media, we use electronic media (radio in particular) as a medium for our work.

Reconsideration of the national music history in Finland is particularly relevant now that Finnish music in general is claiming an unforeseen prominence in the international music market. Our project will show that the present transnational mediation of Finnish music is, in fact, not a recent phenomenon – as some commentaries have claimed – but rather something that should be scrutinized against the historical backdrop of the late 19th century Finland: the point in history when the base for the Finnish music life was constructed. Musical ideas and innovations crossed national borders, a number of European musicians, composers and other musical intellectuals were key figures in the developing of Finnish music, and music-making and concert life was strikingly cosmopolitan.

Our project will show that Finland was an integral part of Europe and its music life as early as 100–150 years ago. European integration was, particularly among the bourgeoisie and educated classes, almost as diverse as it is now. The capital of the empire, St. Petersburg – which lies only about 30 kilometers from the Finnish border – was truly an international metropolis. Western influence on music came either directly from Germany or via St. Petersburg. We argue that the base for international exchange and interaction in Finnish arts and letters was established as early as the late 19th century, and the outcome of our project will contribute to the Finnish cultural self-esteem in the new (post)modern global situation, in which the "national" is often seen as a reflection of an underlying transnational process. Scrutinizing the "multi-cultural" past of Finnish music also supports the agenda of cultural pluralism, pervasive of the Finnish cultural politics of the day.

In all research of history, the specificity of the results and the depth of interpretation is dependent on source material. The most considerable risk of our project is that not all relevant source material is available for scrutiny, in which case the critical description of the transnational emergence of "Finnish music life" will not be as thorough and comprehensive as outlined in the proposal above.

8. Key literature

Alapuro, Risto 1994. Suomen synty paikallisena ilmiönä 1890–1933. Helsinki: Hanki ja jää.

Alapuro, Risto 1998. Sosiaaliset verkostot ja kollektiivinen toiminta. Uudet ja vanhat liikkeet. Eds. Kaj Ilmonen & Martti Siisiäinen. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Bergeron, Kathrine & Philip V. Bohlman (eds.) 1992. Disciplining Music. Musicology and its Canons. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Bohlman, Philip V. 2004. The Music of European Nationalism. Cultural Identity and Modern History. Santa Barbara – Denver – Oxford: ABC Clio.

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