Nordic Instrumental Music for Colleges and Universities

The 2007 Update

The catalog as it was published in 1991 and released online through WASBE in 2005 had 1,428 individual listings. The current catalogue has 2,120 including the original 1,428. To select the items listed, I have perused close to 15,000 scores since I started the project in 1987 — 5,000 of them were in August and September of 2006. Selections were made with the music educational establishment in the United States in mind. The fact that persons in many other countries have found the list useful is very gratifying.

We hope that there is enough information with each listing to give the reader an idea of what the music is about. Do not be surprised if what you get the first time you try is not something you thought it might be. However, after a little investigation you will find composers, arrangers and/or publishers that have materials useful to you. There are outstanding composers in each of these countries waiting to be discovered.

The Publishers

You should not be surprised that the hardest part of getting this list prepared was that of finding correct information about publishers. There are many changes being made in the publishing field, so if you have trouble finding something it may be because of such a change. When that happens, I suggest you visit the web sites of each of the Nordic Music Information Centers:

These places are there to help, so visit their web sites and become acquainted! They also have extensive lists of works to view.

Thank You to:

  • Roland Sandberg at the Swedish Music Information Center who wrote a grant request to the Nordic Cultural Committee and to that committee for granting the request
  • Gustav Bergel at the Swedish Music Information Centre (SMIC)
  • Hilde Holbaek-Hanssen at the Norwegian Music Information Centre (NMIC)
  • Kari Laitinen at the Finnish Music Information Centre (FiMIC)
  • Kristin Jakobsdottir at the Iceland Music Information Centre (ITM)
  • Christian Hildebrandt and Anna Marie Bramsen at SNYK in Denmark

And many others in each of the countries! Finally, a special thank you to Anthony Reimer, Publisher of the WASBE Web Site. His work was vital in preparing the update.

Mark Lammers ( – January 2007

Information About the Listings (1991 Edition)

Why Nordic music?

The compiler of this catalogue has been conducting various ensembles in Europe and the Nordic countries for many years. Through these experiences and in particular from guest conducting he has become acquainted with a body of literature for instruments that can be difficult to identify and obtain in the United States and Canada. Because there are large numbers of people in North America with Nordic origins as well as others who are musically inquisitive it seemed logical that this publication had to be produced to assist instrumental musicians on this side of the Atlantic Ocean become acquainted with the rich heritage of Nordic instrumental music.

Notes about this catalogue

The compositions listed here are the result of work started in the summer of 1987 at the Swedish Music Information Center. That work funded by a Hewlett-Mellon Foundation grant through Gustavus Adolphus College lead to a six month study in 1990. The compiler has visited each of the Music Information Centers (MIC’s) in each of the five Nordic countries at least twice. He has also used a number of other sources such as publisher’s lists and existing independent lists to assist in the compilation of these materials. However, he has personally viewed each score listed here and he believes they have merit for consideration for use in the United States.

Scope of the selections

An effort has been made to choose items that are playable and useful to college and university instrumental music students in solo and ensemble settings. This catalogue contains items that are of a more “usual” nature, thus much of the fine chamber music available in the Nordic countries is not listed here unless it falls into one of the more common categories.

This is not a comprehensive catalogue; rather it is a selective one. Some of the criteria used in making selections are listed here:

  1. Legible manuscript (much of the music is in manuscript in the Nordic countries – see samples of manuscript elsewhere.)
  2. Music playable by college and university students.
  3. Non-traditional notation used in a manner that makes the music accessible to performer as well as listener.
  4. Most selections are of original music with a few exceptions in the band area.
  5. Most selections are with full score or otherwise noted.

How to buy Nordic instrumental music listed here

  1. Check your usual sources, ie. Robert King Sales, your music store, publishers catalogues, etc. If the items in which you are interested are not available in that manner see #2. below.
  2. Find the name of the publisher in the list of publishers listed in this catalogue, then fax, call or mail your order directly to the company or Music Information Center. You may wish to ask first about prices that vary according to the value of the dollar in each of the countries. Some music is for rental only – most of these items are noted in the catalogue.
  3. Payment: Some of the publishers have agents in the United States to whom you will pay your bills. Direct orders from any of the publishers will usually include a bill in dollars. If it is in another currency just call a bank or check a daily paper to find out the exchange rate, then please do pay your bill!
  4. Is the music expensive? In certain cases, yes, but there are many bargains listed here that you will find after a few orders from some of the sources. By using a portion of your budget for music listed here you will be rewarded with new and fresh things for you and your students that are not available other places.
  5. When you do place an order, ask for other catalogues produced by the publisher with whom you are placing an order in order to expand your knowledge of the number of items available.

Ohio State University Library Collection of Nordic Music

This library has an extensive collection of sound recordings and scores of Nordic music. For more information on this collection, contact:

Stephen Long
OSU Music/Dance Library
166 Sullivant Hall
1813 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1307
Phone 614/292-2319

OSU Nordic Music Collection


Many people have assisted in the compiling of this catalogue. In particular, the many people who work at the Music Information Centers in each of the five Nordic countries. These are dedicated and talented people. The work of Jan Olof Rudén at the Swedish Music Information Centre must be mentioned because he has seen this work from the beginning. He has shown much patience and has provided excellent advice. This work would not have been possible without him.

Credit is also due the proof readers at each of the MIC’s:

  • Swedish Music Information Centre – Jan Olof Rudén, Odd Sneeggen
  • Finnish Music Information Centre – Jari Muikku
  • Danish Music Information Centre – Bendt Viinholt Nielsen
  • Iceland Music Information Centre – Ingibjörg Eythòrsdòttir
  • Norwegian Music Information Centre – Hilde Holbæk-Hanssen

A special thank you to members of the NOMUS committee, Jostein Simble, Generalsekretarietet, for their support of this publication.

This work began in 1987 through a Hewlett-Mellon Foundation grant administered by Gustavus Adolphus College. That first grant allowed the writer to work at the Swedish Music Information Centre in Stockholm with the cooperation of the MIC’s in the other Nordic countries. The college then provided a sabbatical leave for the 1989–90 school year. During that leave the writer lived in Stockholm and traveled to the other Nordic countries for six and one half months compiling this catalogue. During the spring semester of 1991 Gustavus Adolphus College awarded the writer a Joyce Scholar grant to complete this work.

Finally, I must thank Carolyn Lammers; wife, companion and proofreader for her support and enthusiasm throughout the course of this project.