Bjørnar Utne-Reitan
Image of Bjørnar Utne-Reitan

As a researcher, I specialize in Western classical music and work in (and between) the fields music theory, music history and music education. In the period 2019–2022, I am writing a PhD dissertation on the role of music theory in the history of higher music education in Norway. Another research interest of mine is Edvard Grieg and his music, especially his music theory studies and his musical style.

I am also a composer and arranger and have written for orchestras, wind bands, big bands and chamber groups. My musical background is from school bands, where I grew up playing drums and percussion and later advanced to teaching, conducting, arranging and composing.

Image of Bjørnar Utne-Reitan


Scholarly writings
“Norse Modes: On Geirr Tveitt’s Theory of Tonality.” Forthcoming in Danish Musicology Online.
“Music Theory Pedagogy in the Nineteenth Century: Comparing Traditions of Three European Conservatories.” Forthcoming in Journal of Music Theory. PDF
2021 “Schematic Deformation: Systematic Linearity in Grieg’s ‘Takk’ and Other Lyric Pieces.” Music Analysis 40/ii, 227–252. DOI: 10.1111/musa.12165 PDF
2021 “Edvard Grieg and Music Theory.” In P. Dinslage & S. Keym (Eds.), Edvard Grieg und seine skandinavischen Kollegen in ihren Beziehungen zu Leipzig: 8. Deutscher Edvard-Grieg-Kongress vom 15. bis 17. Oktober 2020 in Leipzig, 73–84. Leipzig: Gudrun Schröder Verlag. PDF
2020 “To symfonier og et mysterium: Om formbehandlingen i de første symfonisatsene til Grieg og Svendsen.” Studia Musicologica Norvegica 46, 41–60. DOI: 10.18261/issn.1504-2960-2020-01-05 PDF
2018 “Edvard Griegs øvelser i harmonilære og kontrapunkt.” Studia Musicologica Norvegica 44, 57–78. DOI: 10.18261/issn.1504-2960-2018-01-05 PDF
2018 Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori: Kontrapunktøvelser som grobunn for innovativ harmonikk. Master thesis, Norwegian Academy of Music. PDF
Popular writings
2021 “Grieg’s student years in Germany.” The Norwegian American 132/15 (September 3), 15. Link
2018 “Norsk musikks gullalder ifølge Ringve.” Museumsnytt 2018/3, 32–35. Link
2017 “Har teorifagene utspilt sin rolle i klassisk musikkutdanning?” Ballade, October 23. Link
Lectures & talks
2021 “Getting It Done! Personal Experiences from Writing Master and PhD Theses.” Lecture given November 2, 2021, at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Course: Research Forum (FORFOR70).
2021 “Constructing ‘Satslære’: Preliminary Findings from a PhD Project in Progress.” Paper read March 2, 2021, in Trondheim (via Zoom). Conference: Nordic Network for Research in Music Education.
2021 “Musikkutdanning på 1800-tallet: Med særlig fokus på musikkteori.” Lecture given January 20, 2021, at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Course: Musikkforståelse I (EXMUS10).
2020 “Om begrepet satslære i norsk musikkteoridiskurs.” Paper read December 4, 2020, at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Research seminar: NMHs historieprosjekt.
2020 “Om Griegs ‘forbudte’ symfoni.” Talk given December 3, 2020, at the digital launch of Studia Musicologica Norvegica 46.
2020 “Grieg og Leipzig-konservatoriet.” Guest lecture given November 4, 2020, at the University of Bergen (via Zoom). Course: Griegstudier (MVK104).
2020 “Edvard Grieg and Music Theory.” Paper read October 17, 2020, in Leipzig (via Zoom). Conference: Edvard Grieg und seine skandinavischen Kollegen in ihren Beziehungen zu Leipzig.
2020 “Music Theory in Higher Music Education: Introducing the Contours of a PhD Project.” Paper read March 2, 2020, in Copenhagen. Conference: Nordic Network for Research in Music Education – Pre-conference for PhD projects in progress.
2019 “Grieg’s Gratitude: An analysis exemplifying linear foundations for Grieg’s harmony.” Paper read October 26, 2019, in Bergen. Conference: Grieg Now! International Conference and Workshop 2019.
2019 “Partimento i lærebokform” (together with H. Støring, A.M. Christensen & J.B. Hvattum). Book review presented September 26, 2019, in Oslo. Conference: Nordisk konferanse for musikkteori- og hørelærepedagoger.
2019 “Om de underliggende kreftene i Griegs harmonikk.” Guest lecture given March 29, 2019, at the University of Oslo. Course: Musikkhistoriske temaer 1 (MUS2665/MUS4665).
2017 “Edvard Griegs studietid i Leipzig: Med særlig henblikk på studiene i musikkteori.” Talk given May 9, 2017, at Musikkteoriforum (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).
2016 “Counterpoint exercises as basis for innovative harmony? An introduction to a new project on Grieg’s studies in music theory.” Paper read November 22, 2016, in Bergen. Research seminar: Sketches and Exercises: History and Theory of Compositional Writing.


Compositions (selections)
2021 Postludium – Piano solo [02:00]. Link
2018 Havet vester ute – Wind band [13:30].
Commissioned by Haugesund janitsjarorkester. Premiered October 26, 2019.
2018 Klagesang – Orchestra [02:45]
Originally composed in 2015. Revised in 2018 for a workshop with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
2017 The Deceitful Love – Film music [16:13]
Short film directed by Ali Al-Tobi.
2017 Det våres i Oslo – Euphonium, marimba and piano [01:40] Link
2016 Eventyrlig ouverture – Orchestra [03:00]
Performed by Nord-Rogaland symfoniorkester. Premiered January 14, 2017.
2016 Rytmisk fantasi – Wind band [10:00]
Commissioned by Hauge skolekorps. Premiered March 18, 2017.
2016 Fire miniatyrer – Clarinet and cello [05:00] Link
Arrangements (selections)
2020 Haugesundssangen (I. Rojahn) – Wind band
Commissioned by Haugesund janitsjarorkester.
2019 Ballade (A. B. Grøndahl) – Wind band
Performed by Sinsen konsertorkester.
2017 Fuga over navnet GADE (E. Grieg) – Wind band
Performed by Sinsen musikkorps.
2017 Ås to i Osjlo; Høi; Saikåu Djåu (Ravi) – Wind band and vocal soloist
Commissioned by Sinsen musikkorps.
2015 Batum (Fläsket brinner) – Big band
Performed by Skeisvang vgs’ big band.

Curriculum vitae

Higher education
Year Degree
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Music Education – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2019 Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (‘PPU’) – University of Oslo (60 ECTS credits)
Subjects: Music & Norwegian
2018 Master of Music (MM) in Music Theory – The Norwegian Academy of Music (120 ECTS credits)
Thesis: Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori
2016 Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Musicology – University of Oslo (210 ECTS credits)
Minor: Nordic language and literature
Work experience
From To Description
2019 Research fellow – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2014 Arranger and composer – Freelance
2018 2018 Research assistant – Centre for Grieg Research, University of Bergen
2018 2018 Guide – Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugen (KODE)
2012 2013 Conductor – Grinde skulemusikkorps
2008 2010 Percussion teacher – Hauge skolekorps
Committee service
From To Description
2020 Member of the library committee – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2020 2021 Member of the research ethics committee – The Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo National Academy of the Arts & MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society
2020 2021 Member of the research and development committee – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2017 2018 Student representative of the music theory and music technology studies committee – The Norwegian Academy of Music
Society memberships
From To Description
2021 Society for Music Theory
2021 Society for Music Analysis
2019 Norwegian Musicological Society
2013 TONO
Other experience

On several occasions I have worked as a substitute teacher in music history at high school level (Skeisvang vgs. and Foss vgs.). During the spring of 2019, I was hired as a consultant on Grieg for the EU-supported project European Music Trails. I have also worked part-time in different electronic shops for almost 10 years, mainly in the computer section and as a PC technician: Lefdal Haugesund (2010–2012), Eplehuset Haugesund (2012–2013) and Expert/Power City (2013–2019).