Summary of the CADENCE Partnership

Swedish - German - Italian

Supported by the European Commission, the three institutes for adult education

  • Eric Sahlström Institutet in Sweden,
  • Academy Burg Fürsteneck in Germany and
  • Scuola di Musica Popolare di Forlimpopoli in Italy

established the CADENCE cooperation as "Grundtvig Learning Partnership”.

Musical education usually addresses children. It is still rather uncommon for adults to learn an instrument. Being actively involved with music, however, helps to develop a cultural and personal identity, promotes creativity, hence serving an important role in general adult education. Teaching music to adults requires different didactic approaches, suitable subjects of music and sometimes even uncommon musical instruments.

An international study-group, 18 permanent participants plus guests, visited the three institutes between January and October 2010 to exchange their ideas and experiences of the organisation, methods and activities of adult education with emphasis on musical education. An exceptional common teaching subject of all three partner-institutions is the nyckelharpa. This instrument was therefore used as the example for this study.

Nyckelharpa (Key Fiddle)

The nyckelharpa is a string instrument played with a bow, with keys that change the pitch and resonance strings which contribute to its unique sound. In the Late Middle Ages pictures of the nyckelharpa appear along a north-south axis running through the three participating countries Sweden, Germany and Italy. The instrument belongs to a pan-European cultural heritage. Since the Baroque era it has only been played in Sweden as a folklore instrument mainly around Uppland in a continuous tradition. Thanks to some innovative musicians in Sweden, notably August Bohlin (1877-1949) and Eric Sahlström (1912-1986), and a few inspired musicians in Continental Europe starting about 1980, the nyckelharpa is now being rediscovered all over the world and used in increasingly many musical styles.

The study-visits to the three countries, each of 5 to 6 days duration, consisted of detailed presentations of the host institutes and their local specialities, teaching and learning music to discover typical approaches in musical adult education, public conferences and concerts to unveil the project and the nyckelharpa, meetings with local authorities and short historical tourist trips.

The objectives of the partnership were to search for subjects, didactic methods and management of cultural education for adult learners and especially nyckelharpa teaching. In addition, research was done on similarities and peculiarities of musical education in the three countries, on musical and educational approaches and on the history and present use of the nyckelharpa.

The cooperation of the three institutes set off an additional partnership between their respective home municipalities, which on their part supported and supplemented the work of the CADENCE group.

This website and the other CADENCE publications present information on our CADENCE Grundtvig programme, the schools and the participants, the development of the partnership, the nyckelharpa, musical education in our three countries and the music taught and played during the visits and in the CADENCE concerts.

About this CADENCE partnership a report, an e-book and an audio CD are available. See publications

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