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Sunday, 15 January 2017

From the Mountain and the Pasture

“From the Mountain and the Pasture” is not only a frame narrative, but a frame within a frame (“that dweam wiffin a dweam”—sorry!). The narrator, one “Herr Asbjørnsen,” who may or may not be the same as the author of the piece, coaxes his nameless female companion to tell tales she has heard from her summer’s sojourn on the mountain pasture that belongs to the parsonage.

The striking thing about the tales is that they treat hulder music. Not only the violin, which the subterraneans are known to master, but also the Jew’s harp. Brit’s claim that Ola’s Jew’s harp playing moved her to tears is quite absurd, but then, these are subterraneans we are talking about; perhaps they do have the skill to teach a man to play so beautifully.

The cattle calls on the Norwegian pastures are a lore unto themselves (heh!), and someone other than I will have to enlighten us all on the topic. However, until that time, there are a number of examples on the Web. Sissel Morken Gullord has some wonderful perfomances on YouTube (here, and here (and the long lur, just for fun)), and she held a TEDx talk about her involvement in the music for Disney’s Frozen, with further examples.

In time, I will be able to transcribe the attached music notation, but until I have learned how to do it, my sorrowful pictures will have to suffice.

Click to download fjelletseteren.pdf
Click to download.

(Now with a more more screen-friendly format.)

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