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 2022, I completed a PhD on the history of music theory education in Norway. Another research interest of mine is Edvard Grieg and his music. I have published articles in several peer-reviewed journals, presented papers at international conferences and currently serve as an associate editor of Studia Musicologica Norvegica.

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

Image of Bjørnar Utne-Reitan


Edited volumes
2023 Høyere musikkutdanning: Historiske perspektiver (co-edited with Ø. Varkøy & E. M. Stabell). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. DOI:10.23865/noasp.199. PDF
Articles/chapters (peer-reviewed)
“A Piece of Poetry? Agathe Backer Grøndahl’s ‘Sérénade.’” Accepted for publication in Music Theory and Analysis.
“Ernst Friedrich Richter and the Birth of Modern Music Theory Pedagogy.” Accepted for publication in Music Theory Online.
2024 “Music Theory in/as Musicology in Norway: Historical Reflections.” Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 106, 1–29 DOI:10.58698/stm-sjm.v106.17563. PDF
2023 “Funksjonsteori – en musikkteoretisk tradisjon.” In Ø. Varkøy, E. M. Stabell & B. Utne-Reitan (Eds.), Høyere musikkutdanning: Historiske perspektiver, 113–144. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. DOI:10.23865/noasp.199.ch6. PDF
2022 “Music Theory Pedagogy in the Nineteenth Century: Comparing Traditions of Three European Conservatories.” Journal of Music Theory 66/i, 63–91. DOI:10.1215/00222909-9534139. PDF
2022 “Norse Modes: On Geirr Tveitt’s Theory of Tonality.” Danish Musicology Online, special issue (“European Music Analysis and the Politics of Identity”), 46–69. 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
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
Articles/chapters (not peer-reviewed)
2023 “Norsk høyere musikkutdanningshistorie – en bibliografi.” In Ø. Varkøy, E. M. Stabell & B. Utne-Reitan (Eds.), Høyere musikkutdanning: Historiske perspektiver, 355–363. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. DOI:10.23865/noasp.199.vedlegg. PDF
2023 “Innledning” (co-authored with Ø. Varkøy & E. M. Stabell). In Ø. Varkøy, E. M. Stabell & B. Utne-Reitan (Eds.), Høyere musikkutdanning: Historiske perspektiver, 9–13ß. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. DOI:10.23865/noasp.199.ch1. 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
Book reviews
2021 Review of Towards a Harmonic Grammar of Grieg’s Late Piano Music: Nature and Nationalism, by Benedict Taylor. Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 18/ii, 255–262. DOI:10.31751/1146. PDF
2024 Norges musikkhøgskoles historieprosjekt: Sluttrapport. Norwegian Academy of Music. PDF
2022 Harmony in Conservatoire Education: A Study in the History of Music Theory in Norway. PhD dissertation, Norwegian Academy of Music. PDF
2018 Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori: Kontrapunktøvelser som grobunn for innovativ harmonikk. Master’s thesis, Norwegian Academy of Music. PDF
Popular writings
2023 NMH50: Jubileumsmagasin (co-edited with K. Krokaa). Oslo: Norges musikkhøgskole.
2023 “The Norwegian Academy of Music: A Timeline.” Norges musikkhøgskole (September 1). Link
2023 “Musikkhøgskolens historie.” Norges musikkhøgskole (September 1). Link
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
Conference/seminar papers
2024 “Music Theory and Value Judgement: Cases from the History of Music Theory in Norway.” Paper read March 19, 2024, in Bodø. Conference: Nordic Network for Research in Music Education.
2023 “Why Richter? Exploring the International Success of Richterian Theory Pedagogy in the Nineteenth Century.” Paper read November 11, 2023, in Denver, CO. Conference: AMS/SMT Joint Annual Meeting.
2023 “Harmonic Analysis in Norway: Historical and Theoretical Reflections.” Paper read July 7, 2023, in Oxford. Conference: Society for Music Analysis Annual Conference (OxMAC23).
2023 “Historical Developments in the Music Theory Discourse in Norway.” Paper read March 30, 2023, in Örebro. Conference: Nordic Network for Research in Music Education.
2022 “Funksjonsteorien(e)s historie.” Paper read August 30, 2022, in Asker. Seminar: Forfatterseminar arrangert av NMHs historieprosjekt, CERM og CEMPE.
2022 “The Academisation of Music Theory in Norway (of the Lack Thereof).” Paper read July 8, 2022, in London. Conference: Music and the University.
2022 “Large-Scale Form in the History of Music Theory in Norway.” Paper read April 1, 2022, in Asker. Research seminar: Articulating Form.
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.
2020 “Om begrepet satslære i norsk musikkteoridiskurs.” Paper read December 4, 2020, in Oslo. Research seminar: NMHs historieprosjekt.
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.
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.
Guest lectures and public talks
2024 “On Aesthetic Value Judgements in Norwegian Music Theory.” Paper read June 11, 2023, in Oslo. Study day: Innovating Historical Musicology.
2024 “Introduksjon til historieprosjektet og dets resultater.” Talk given June 3, 2024, at Avslutning av historieprosjektet med lanseringer (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).
2024 “Edvard Grieg med Bjørnar Utne-Reitan.” Radio interview aired February 26, 2024. Show: Jazzer om klassisk on Radio Nova (also released as a podcast).
2024 “NMH50: Historieprosjektet.” Talk given January 23, 2024, at Boklansering: Jubileumsantologien (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).
2023 “Noch einmal: Grieg & Theory.” Talk given September 25, 2023, at Grieg Seminar (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).
2023 “NMH 50 år: Perspektiver fra Historieprosjektet.” Talk given March 1, 2023, at Seniorklubben (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo).
2022 “Edvard Grieg - Tiden i Leipzig.” Guest appearance in a podcast episode released March 27, 2022. Podcast: Musikknerdpodden.
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).
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).


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 Sjøforsvarets musikkorps.
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
2022 PhD – Norwegian Academy of Music
Dissertation: Harmony in Conservatoire Education
2019 PPU (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) – University of Oslo
Subjects: Music & Norwegian
2018 MM in Music Theory – Norwegian Academy of Music
Thesis: Edvard Griegs studier i musikkteori
2016 BA in Musicology – University of Oslo
Minor: Nordic language and literature
Work experience
From To Description
2022 Researcher – The Norwegian Academy of Music
2014 Arranger and composer – Freelance
2019 2022 Research fellow – The Norwegian Academy of Music
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
Journal service
From To Description
2022 Associate editor – Studia Musicologica Norvegica
Departemental/university 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).