What did our forefathers and -mothers hear, in their places, in the countryside and in cities? What was the meaning of the sounds? And what was the aural experience of places?

The book Norges lyder: Stabbursklokker og storbykakofoni (‘The Sounds of Norway: Village Bells and Urban Cacophony’) which is now out, provides some answers to these questions. This is the first scholarly book on Norwegian aural history. It is published by The Norwegian Institute of Local History. The eight contributions, written in Norwegian, are edited by Frank Meyer – historian and leader of the The Norwegian Labour Movement Archives and Library.

My article ‘klokkene ringer for deg – et glimt inn i bøndenes, gårdsarbeidernes og gjeternes klangunivers’ (‘For whom the bell tolls – a glimpse into the soundscapes of the farmers, farm workers shepherds’) is a study of rural bells and animal bells in Norwegian tradition, about how they were meaningful in the man-made soundscapes they were part of.

On this blog post you can read a bit more about rural bells.

A radio programme on rural bells in Norwegian radio from August 2018, is available online here. I participated with Frank Meyer and people in Nes, Romerike.

The book Norges lyder can be ordered from The Norwegian Institute of Local History, from regular bookstores, or from online bookshops, such as Haugenbok.


Traditional village bell placed on the store house of the farm. Vinju, Veldre, Hedmark. Photo by Gjermund Kolltveit

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