Músík og sag ehf.
June 20, 2008

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Músík og saga ehf.Musa, is founded around various projects related to Icelandic music, music history and research. Some of these projects are already finished (e.g. Art2000, the Icelandic National Anthem Web, and Icelandic music in the 20th Century), others will be on-going (e.g. Ismus, 1000 Years of Music in Iceland, Music Schools in Iceland and the CAPUT web site).

Most projects are stored accessible under <musik.is>, which is already close to exhaustive resource on Icelandic music on the Internet.

Musa offers range of services to anyone interested in Icelandic music, music history or research: general information, lectures, workshops, research, teaching material or contact with specialists on various aspects of Icelandic music.

» Musa appreciates any questions or comments.

Brief News:

Oct. 10, 2005
Development of Ismus has now been moved to Lausn hugbúnaður ehf. Unfortunate delays that have plagued the project for over a year are thus hopefully past history. We have now finished digitising Icelandic Folksongs, the monumental book from 1906-09 by rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson. Also in its final stages is rewriting of Ismus that will make simultaneous search possible in all parts of the project. A search for a particular song could then result in reference to the song in The Folkloric Sound Archive or the Sound Archive, in rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson's book and even also in Manuscripts and Print. Scholars and laymen that want to research the Icelandic musical culture will then have access to powerful and unique tool.

Public announcements about the "New Ismus" should be expected before the end of the year.

March 1, 2004
Musa has published Lim músík – Námsefni í tónlist fyrir framhaldsskóla (Course material in Music for High School).

Feb. 10, 2004
Work on the "Munnleg geymd" project has advanced significantly during recent months (see news from Sept. 5, 2003). A tentative opening date has been set to February 29.

Jan. 15, 2004
In a discussion of solfage in the historical section of the Danish Gads Musikleksikon (2003), a picture from an Icelandic music manuscript is shown (page 1565). It is mentioned that the manuscript, Appendix from 1755 by Olafur Brynjolfsson, is available in its entirety in Ismus.

Sept. 29, 2003
October the 12th, 2003 the Icelandic Music Heritage Museum at Stokkseyri did open its first exhibit, "The Organist", focusing on the pioneers of the region in music and instrumental playing.

The purpose of the Music Heritage Museum is to document, protect and exhibit Icelandic music history, old and new, and increase awareness of its importance.

Sept. 13, 2003:
Three interesting items have in recent months been added to Ismus <musik.is/ismus>: Instruction to play a langspil... from 1855 by Ari Sæmundsson – Hallgrimur Helgason describes this book as the first music education text printed in Iceland (accessible via “Manuscripts & Print” – “Prentaðar bækur, Grallari, Hólabók o.fl.”). Officium of Saint Thorlac (AM 241, a manuscript from about 1400) and Lectionarium Romanum from the 12. century (most likely the oldest music manuscript known to have been in Iceland).

Sept. 5, 2003:
Today Musu and Vefsyn hf. <www.vefsyn.is> signed a co-operative agreement on the "Munnleg geymd" project – to open public access to the folkloric tape collection of the Arni Magnusson Institute in Iceland. In recent months close to 100 hours of material have been digitised from tapes and Vefsyn vill now design a database that will make this material accessible. The goal is to open the database to the public via the Web before the end of this year.

April 22, 2003:
The Graduale (Grallarinn), a book of psalms, was the primary source of religious music in Iceland for over 200 years. It was first printed 1594 and reprinted 17 times until 1779. A new book of psalms was printed 1801 by Magnus Stephensen (1762-1833). An Appendix to the 6th edition, printed 1691, contains a seven page instruction on singing written by Thordur Thorlaksson, bishop at Skalholt. This brief text, printed unchanged with all subsequent editions, was the only instruction in singing available in Icelandic until 1801 when Magnus Stephensen printed his book of psalms.

For several months now Musa has worked at making this 6th edition of the book accessible in the Ismus database <musik.is/ismus>. This work is now complete. To view the book, choose "Manuscripts & Print" and type "Graduale" (or "Grallarinn") into the "Manuscript search". Individual songs can also be found via song search.

Feb. 16, 2003:
At 14:00 pm yesterday, a meeting was held to found the Icelandic Music Heritage Museum. Musa, together with other interested parties, has for some months now worked at promoting interest for a museum of this sort, and had considerable success. A five member board will now take over this work and develop the idea further. October 12, 2003 has been set at the official founding date.

Feb. 10, 2003:
Musa has received a grant from the Icelandic Parliament for the Munnleg geymd project that will provide access to the folkloric tape collection of the Arni Magnusson Institute in Iceland.

Dec. 1, 2002:
Today, Musa received a grant from The National Bank of Iceland to prepare the foundation of the Icelandic Music Heritage Museum - further news forthcoming shortly. Musa did also today receive a grant that will enable us to start working on a database that eventually will make accessible to the public the entire folkloric tape collection of the Arni Magnusson Institute in Iceland. This resource, roughly 2.000 hours of sound recordings, contains ballads and other types of folk songs, along with other oral compositions in both prose and verse: various poetic genres, all sorts of folk tales, and descriptions of folk customs. For schools, people interested in folklore and the general public, access to this material is of a tremendous interest.

Oct. 12, 2002:
The Aviation History of Iceland is now featured on Sunday evenings at the National television (RUV).
This is a documentary series in four parts that tells the story of the adventurous aviation history of Iceland, right from the beginning of the 20th century to the modern day. The series does include some previously unpublished archive material as well as interviews with some of the pioneers and creators of the Icelandic aviation history. She series is produced by Saga Film but Musa is credited as musical a advisor to the project.

Oct. 11, 2002:
Musa  participates in a festival at Stokkseyri October 12th celebrating 109th anniversary of Pall Isolfsson, an instrumental figure in Icelandic music live in the 20th century. Bjarki Sveinbjornsson will in a speech discuss ideas concerning Icelandic Music Heritage Museum at Stokkseyri and an exhibit of Pall Isolfsson will be formally opened but Musa was instrumental in its creation.

8. okt. 2002:
Íslenska menntanetið chooses Musik.is as the web site of the month in October.

Oct. 5, 2002:
Musa  designs a web-page and participates in the organisation of the concert series "15:15" which is held by the CAPUT-ensemble, the concert series Ferðalog, the Ethos string quartet and the percussion ensemble Benda.

August 30, 2002:
Musa is now actively promoting the idea of an Icelandic Music Heritage Museum that would collect, preserve, display and promote awareness of Icelandic music culture in all ages.

August 17, 2002:
The Ismus-web <musik.is/ismus> has now been completely redesigned. Translations of basic information in English will be announced shortly.

March 14, 2002:
The Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture supports two projects of Musa:

  1. Munnleg geymd - and effort to open access on the Internet to about 2000 hours of folklore and music that is currently housed at the Arni Magnusson Institute in Iceland.
  2. The digitisation of rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson's collection of Icelandic folksongs ("Íslenzk þjóðlög"), first published in Copenhagen 1906 - 09.
February 2002:
Musa  manages 15:15, a concert series of the CAPUT-ensemble, held Reykjavik City Theatre – see <musik.is/caput>.

February 2002
Musa  manages 15:15, a concert series of the CAPUT-ensemble, held Reykjavik City Theatre – see <musik.is/caput>.

February 7, 2002:

Musik.is  discussed favourably on a popular radio program on the National Broadcasting Services.

January 31, 2002:

Musik.is  gets favourable reviews in  At,  a TV program for young people on the National Broadcasting Services.

January 2002:

Musik.is  discussed in two page article in Skolavardan, a magazine published by the Icelandic Teachers Association: "The man behind musik.is".

December 2001
Musa  manages  MALAMELODIA,  a concert series of the CAPUT-ensemble, held in Reykjavik Art Gallery, Hafnarhusid– see <musik.is/caput>.

November 2001
Musa  composes a report for the Icelandic Ministry of Science, Education and Culture on the current state of affairs regarding information distribution on Icelandic music on the Internet.

November 2001
Nordic Sounds  (No. 3 / November 2001), published by NOMUS (Nordic Music Committee), publishes an article about the Ismus-database that  Musu  is building: "Icelandic music heritage online".

December 2001
Musa manages MALAMELODIA, a CAPUT concert series that took place at the Reykjavik Art Museum at Hafnarhusid– see <musik.is/caput>.

November 2001
Musa issues a report for the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, on the current state of information distribution regarding Icelandic music on the Internet.

August 15, 2001
Musa has acquired permission to publish Göran Bergendal's book, New Music in Iceland, on the web. This publication will to a degree come towards a critical lack of information on Icelandic in English.

August 11, 2001
Musa opens a new web site: Music related texts, where in one place access is provided to:
  • links to all Icelandic texts that relate to music and we have found on the web (selected foreign sites are included)
  • bibliography of all music related university thesis written by Icelanders
  • bibliography of music related reports that we know of.

All comments are appreciated.

July 21, 2001
Musa opens a Web on Reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson from Siglufjordur. "Icelandic folk music", Bjarni's monumental work was published 1906-09 and is generally considered to be the opus magnum of Icelandic folk music. Musa is currently working on transferring this work into Ismus – about 1000 pages of text and notation (roughly 1200 songs).

June 28, 2001
Ismus – Icelandic Music – a database on the Icelandic music heritage formally opened.

June 8, 2001
CAPUT-web formally opened. The site, designed and maintained by Musa, provides information on this widely acclaimed Icelandic contemporary music ensemble.

Jon Hrolfur Sigurjonsson Mobile (+354) 821 6413
Bjarki Sveinbjornsson Mobile (+354) 824 6413
Musik og saga <musik@musik.is>
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