Studia Musicologica Norvegica celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018. It was Norway’s first professor of musicology Olav Gurvin (1893–1974) who established Studia Musicologica Norvegica in 1968. A few years earlier, the Norwegian Musicological Society was founded, which has since been responsible for the editing and publishing the journal since. As a Norwegian journal of musicology Studia has been closely linked to the further institutional development of music research in Norway. The original intention was to establish a professional forum, where contributors affiliated with Norwegian musicological institutions would have the opportunity to convey the full range of music-related subjects. As a «yearbook», the task of Studia was not only to consolidate the academic community in Norway and to create a national identity, but also to be a channel aimed at an expanding circle of readers in the other Nordic countries, and not least the general audience of music educators, musicians, critics and so on.

The first edition from 1968 consisted of a mixture of smaller and larger articles, both in Norwegian and English. Gurvin himself opened with an English-language introduction to the Hardanger fiddle’s history. It was followed by an essay about some musicological applications of the «sonograph», a spectographic tool, the author Ola Kai Ledang believed «has not gained the attention it deserves among music researchers». The first issue further consisted of various analytical readings of Norwegian music and music-philological findings (Kjell Skyllstad on Grieg’s studies in Leipzig; Hampus Huldt Nystrøm on Norway’s oldest coral book; Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe on a newly discovered orchestra score of Nordraak; and Gurvin on an early Norwegian motet discovered in Uppsala). Composer Kåre Kolberg’s article about «New terms in the theory of music» stands out as a discussion of the new serial systems of composition, which at this time was a hot topic.

Eight years later the next issue came out, then with Nils Grinde as editor. Since 1976, Studia has been published annually, with editors and editorial committees shifting in a three-year cycle representing the musicology institutions, the Universities of Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen and the Norwegian Music Academy.

Universitetsforlaget has been the producer of Studia from the very beginning, the same applies to the Research Council of Norway. Since 2004, Studia has been available at Idunn, the Universitetsforlaget’s digital publishing platform. By 2017, Studia has transitioned from being a traditional subscription journal to an Open Access journal in digital format, in line with the Norwegian Research Council’s policy to make scientific publishing more accessible.

With this, Studia Musicologica Norvegica should be well equipped for the future, to convey the rapid development of the increasingly diversified and specialized field music research has become. The task will be to address local discourses and topics of national interest by preserving Norwegian as a research language, and at the same time reassessing and reframing national cultural heritage through critical approaches and international perspectives.

This year’s issue of Studia Musicologica Norvegica opens with a contribution that takes up a dark chapter in the history of Norwegian military music, which in 2018 celebrates its 200th anniversary. In 1818, five Norwegian garrison towns each founded their own military bands: Fredrikshald (Halden), Christiania (Oslo), Kristiansand, Bergen and Trondheim. Since then, they have fought a steadfast struggle for survival. In the article «Between Tradition and Politics. Military Music in Occupied Norway (1940–45)», Michael Custodis, Professor of Musicology at University of Münster, investigates, based on extensive archival studies, the (re-)organization of military music under the German occupation regime, as well as its importance for the military resistance movement, and even its occurrence in prison camps such as Grini nearby Oslo. Custodis is also head of an ongoing research project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) on Germany’s influence on Norwegian musical life during World War II, which the author of the next article is affiliated with, too: Ina Rupprecht, Ph.D. fellow, follows up in her article on «Norwegian Military Music and Edvard Grieg – an approach» by sharing the findings she made in search of Edvard Grieg’s music in the Armed Forces Museum’s music archives.

Apropos Grieg, who celebrates his 175th anniversary this year: the next article, by Bjørnar Utne-Reitan, «Edvard Grieg’s Exercises in Harmony and Counterpoint», is about Grieg’s apparently ambivalent relationship to the Leipzig conservatory, told in the composer’s own anecdotes about what he (not) might have learned as a composition student in Leipzig. A familiar topos in earlier Grieg research, Grieg’s relationship to the Leipzig conservatory was also examined by Erlend Hovland, Associated Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music, in last year’s issue of Studia. Whilst Hovland’s article on the narratives of Grieg research took a historiographical meta-perspective, Utne-Reitan’s contribution is confined to the reading of the documents that illustrate Grieg’s relationship with the Leipzig conservatory tradition. Based on the results of his master’s thesis at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Utne-Reitan gives the first systematic account of the exercise books that came into being during the theory education Grieg started in 1858 as a fifteen-year-old, under no less than three teachers. The exercise books have, by the way, recently been digitized, and thus made available to the general public by the Grieg Archive in Bergen.

The following article, «From Pessimism to Socialist Realism. The Symphonist Nikolaj Myaskovsky (1881–1950)» gives a comprehensive introduction to this relatively unknown Soviet-Russian composer. Asbjørn Ø. Eriksen, Professor of Musicology at the University of Oslo, is Norway’s leading expert in Russian music, especially the symphonic tradition, and has previously published on the subject, including in Studia, on that occasion about Rachmaninov’s 3rd symphony. Myaskovsky’s name has long been in the shadow of his contemporaries, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. In recent years, Myaskovsky has met renewed interest, which led to new recordings of his not less than twenty-seven symphonies. Eriksen examines the musical peculiarities of central works from Myakovsky’s oeuvre in careful analytical readings and places them in a style-historical context. The article further discusses the composer’s troubled reception history, which is particularly interesting calling into mind the Soviet Union’s ideological climate. As his contemporaries, Myaskovsky also had to adapt his compositional strategies to the doctrine of socialist realism. Eriksen’s thorough review of this extensive oeuvre requires an equally generous space. Accordingly, his article is therefore followed by a second part, to be published in the next issue of Studia.

With Kai Arne Hansen’s article «Sangfoni: Magical Realism, Game Learning and Identity Exploration in Children’s Audiovisual Music Culture», this issue of Studia concludes. Hansen is Associate Professor at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, and specializes in research in popular music and identity. His article contributes to a relatively new and growing research topic devoted to audiovisual aspects of child culture. Sangfoni is a very popular TV series based on famous Norwegian children songs, launched in 2016 by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), and in 2017 it was nominated for the Spellemannsprisen in the category «best children’s and youth programmes». Hansen investigates, from a Norwegian perspective, this quite unique effort of promoting music for children in the intersection of pedagogy and entertainment, by applying an interdisciplinary methodology.

The editorial team of Studia Musicologica Norvegica wishes to thank all the peer reviewers who have been involved in the evaluation of submitted articles. In addition, it wishes to thank the staff at the Universitetsforlaget, which, with its professional support, has contributed to the production of this year’s number.