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18:15 7 Oct
The Acusticum Organ. PHOTO: Karl-William Sandström View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Music and science during the 1620s

7 - 10 Oct. 2021, 18:15
English and Swedish
1000 SEK (the concerts are free of charge for registered participants)
Published: 11 June 2021

The Conservatory of Music in Piteå, Sweden (Luleå University of Technology) presents an interdisciplinary festival and conference Music and Science during the 1620s. The festival and conference is presented in cooperation with Pitebygdens Musikförbund and the City of Piteå.

Piteå celebrates the 400th anniversary of its founding in 2021. In conjunction with this anniversary, we present a celebration of music and science during the 1620s.

The festival's goal is to explore the connection between music and science during the 1620s as well as to consider the relationship between these fields today and in the future. Despite the Thirty Years War, music written in the new baroque style flourished across Europe. In the history of organ/keyboard music, the 1620s are perhaps the most important decade of all-time, with landmark publications from countries across Europe. The decade is also an important era in the history of science with publications by, among others, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, and Robert Fludd.

Science and music in collaboration

Much of the new music from this period was instrumental and can be related to the new scientific instruments used, such as the microscope. Developments in music influenced science and science in turn influenced music. With instrumental music as a starting point, Piteå's founding is placed in a larger European-cultural context. Norrbotten's unique resources, which include the artistic research environment of the Conservatory of Music in Piteå, Studio Acusticum and the University Organ, as well as the baroque organ in Norrfjärden church are important parts of the festival.

Concerts and Lectures

The opening concert features baroque ensemble music from across Europe featuring Emma Rönnlund (voice), Lars Sjöstedt (keyboards), Nora Roll (gamba) and Musikhögskolans Chamber Choir under the direction of Erik Westberg; a solo lute concert with Jonas Nordberg, one of Sweden's leading lutenists; as well as keyboard concerts with Léon Berben (Germany) and Gary Verkade (Piteå). 

Keynote speakers are musicologist Rebecca Cypess (Rutgers University, USA) and science historian H. Floris Cohen (Utrecht). Additional guest speakers include Sverker Jullander (LTU), Mattias Lundberg (Uppsala), Staffan Lundberg (LTU-retired), and Aaron Sunstein (LTU). 


Thursday 7/10

18.15 transport from the Conservatory to Norrfjärden is arranged

19.00 CONCERT: Norrfjärden Church. Emma Rönnlund, voice; Lars Sjöstedt, organ and harpsichord, Nora Roll, gamba, Jonas Nordberg, lute. Musikhögskolan's Chamber Choir, Erik Westberg, director. 


Friday 8/10

9.30 Welcome and introduction, Sparbankssalen (L165), Musikhögskolan i Piteå

9.45 Keynote 1: Instruments adrift, H. Floris Cohen

10.30 Questions and discussion

10.45 Mattias Lundberg (Uppsala): Music, music theory, and science in Swedish schools during the 1620s

11.30 Questions and discussion



13 - 13.45 Gary Verkade, Seminar on Steigleder's Ricercars 1-5, Stora Salen, Studio Acusticum

13.45 - 14.00 Questions and discussion

14.00 Aaron Sunstein, Seminar: Playing and Analyzing Frescobaldi Capricii

14.45 Questions and discussion

15 Keynote föreläsning 2: Rebecca Cypess, (Rutgers University, USA), Fiori Musicali: Music, Spiritual Healing, and Early Modern Horticulture

15.45 Frågor och diskussion

19.00 CONCERT: Leon Berben, organ and harpsichord, Norrfjärden Church


Saturday 9/10

9.30 Sverker Jullander, Sweelinck and his significance for the rich northern European organ culture of the 17th century (and perhaps even later epochs)

10.15 Questions and discussion

10.30 Staffan Lundberg (LTU): Music and Mathematics during the 1620s 

11.15 Questions and discussion


15.00 CONCERT: Jonas Nordberg, luta, Aulan (Musikhögskolan)

19 CONCERT: Gary Verkade, organ, Studio Acusticum


Sunday 10/10

11.00 Service in Hortlax church with baroque instrumentalists, choir from Hortlax parish och Musikhögskolan i Piteå, Christiane Rödder-Steiner, trombone; Lars Sjöstedt, organ


On site and streaming

Conference participants are welcome to participate on site or online. The registration fee is 1000 Swedish crowns and includes admission to all of the festival concerts. Our aim is to organize streaming of as many concerts and lectures as possible. A link to the zoom-room will be sent to registered participants. 

Several rooms are reserved at Piteå Stadshotell for registered conference participants between 7-10 october. 

Call for papers


Call for papers

We invite proposals for 30 minute paper presentations (historical, analytical, etc.) or lecture recitals on any topic related to music during the 1620s or the relationship of music and science during the same period. We will also consider papers addressing more generally the relationship of music and science. Papers can be presented either in person or online. Papers may be presented in English, Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish. 


Submissions should be sent as a single .pdf file to and include the following information:

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Title and Proposal Type (paper or lecture recital)
  • Abstract of approximately 300 words
  • Two pages of additional materials if applicable (graphics, bibliography)

The deadline for proposals is August 15, 2021. Participants will be informed if their paper has been accepted by September 1, 2021.