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Lars Lilliestam

Professor emeritus

Lars Lilliestam
Professor emeritus

Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 41255 Göteborg

Department. of Cultural Sciences (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Renströmsgatan 6 , 412 55 Göteborg

About Lars Lilliestam

I have been working as a university teacher and researcher since 1975, and I was appointed professor in musicology in 2002. At the moment I work solely with teaching and research. Areas of special interest are modern music history (the latest 100 years or so), rock, blues, jazz, folk music, music sociology, cultural theory and music and, more recently, music and health. I have also been director of undergraduate studies at the Department of Musicology, University of Gothenburg for in all 13 years.


My doctor’s thesis from 1989, entitled Musikalisk ackulturation – från blues till rock (Musical acculturation – from blues to rock), dealt with how blues as a musical style and ’language’ changed when it was moved from one culture to another, in this case from the USA to Sweden. As an illustration some 20 different versions of the song ’Hound dog’, American and Swedish, were analysed in detail.

I have since written several monographs in different areas, such as music and TV commercials, playing by ear, Swedish rock music and how high-school students think and speak about music. I have also written numerous scholarly articles and over 100 entries in the Swedish National Encyclopedia as well as a number of critical articles about musicology as an academic discipline.

In recent years my research has been directed towards the use of music in everyday life, where perspectives from musicology, cultural theory, sociology, psychology and ethnology are combined with a special focus on what people say and think about music and how they value music. This has resulted in the book Musikliv. Vad människor gör med musik – och musik med människor (Musical life. What people do with music – and music does with people) which was published in 2006 and in a second revised edition 2009. The study presents and summarizes research in this field, and it is used as a course book in many Swedish music educations.

In 2007 my colleague Thomas Bossius and I launched the project Musik i Människors Liv (Music in People’s Lives), financed by the Swedish Research Council, where we interviewed 42 people aged between 20 and 95 years about how they use and think of music. A 300-page report from the project was published in 2011 under the title Musiken och jag (The music and me). The project has also generated a number of articles both in Swedish and in English.

My most recent book Rock på svenska – från Little Gerhard till Laleh (Rock in Swedish – from Little Gerhard to Laleh) was published in 2013. This is a musical, cultural and historical description and analysis of the development of Swedish rock music from the mid 1950s until today addressed at university students as well as the general public. A central idea in the book is that Swedish rock music is created in a meeting or a dialogue between musical styles that at a certain time already are found in Sweden and influences from abroad, i.e. mainly the USA and Great Britain. Apart from the historical chapters there are analyses of a selection of Swedish artists (like Eldkvarn, Laleh, Kent and Peps Persson) and styles (singer-songwriters, hip hop, dance band, blues and folk rock) as well as a discussion of the question why Swedish rock musicians choose to sing in Swedish or English and what consequences this choice may have.

Present research: Music listening, meaning and health

At the moment I am working with a research project with the title Music listening, meaning and health, based on deep interviews with 10–15 people about how they listen to music and what effects they claim that music listening have on their wellbeing and health. The project is influenced by problems and questions that were raised in the project Music in People’s Lives. Another important influence has been the Nordic research network MUCH, Music, Culture and Health, that was active between 2011 and 2013, and where I was a member of the steering committee.

A comprehensive presentation of the project Music listening, meaning and health can be found on the department’s project pages.


I have been teaching in most fields within musicology, in teacher training, music teacher training and cultural science both at the University of Gothenburg and as a visiting teacher at other universities in Scandinavia.

Latest publications

Swedish Dance Bands: Danceable, Melodious, and Familiar
Lars Lilliestam
Made in Sweden: Studies in Popular Music / edited by Alf Björnberg & Thomas Bossius, New York & London, Routledge, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Musiklyssning och hälsa
Lars Lilliestam
Ola Sigurdson och Annica Sjölander (red.) Kutur och hälsa i praktiken, Göteborg, Göteborgs universitet. Centrum för kultur och hälsa, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Populärmusikens historia
Lars Lilliestam
Perspektiv på historien: Kulturhistoria. Red: Lars Nyström, Örjan Nyström m.fl., Malmö, Gleerups, Chapter in book 2014
Chapter in book

The choice: English or Swedish? An essay on rock lyrics by Swedish lyricists.
Lars Lilliestam
Language, football and all that jazz : a festschrift for Sölve Ohlander / Gunnar Bergh, Rhonwen Bowen & Mats Mobärg (eds.), Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Chapter in book 2013
Chapter in book

Rock på svenska. Från Little Gerhard till Laleh.
Lars Lilliestam
Göteborg, Bo Ejeby Förlag, Book 2013

Music, the life trajectory and existential health
Lars Lilliestam
Bonde, Lars Ole - Ruud, Even - Strand Skånland, Marie & Trondalen, Gro (red.) Musical life stories. Narratives in health musicking., Oslo, NMH-publikasjoner (Norges Musikkøgskole), Chapter in book 2013
Chapter in book

Musik i Människors Liv. Kort rapport från ett forskningsprojekt
Lars Lilliestam, Thomas Bossius
Intro – en antologi om Musik och Samhälle. Redaktör: Johan A.Lundin, Malmö, Kira förlag, Chapter in book 2012
Chapter in book

Recension: Cecilia Björk: Claiming space: Discourses on Gender, Popular Music and Social Change.
Lars Lilliestam
Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning, Magazine article 2012
Magazine article

Att lyssna på musik. Från lyssnartypologier till intervjuer med verkliga människor.
Lars Lilliestam
Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning, Journal article 2012
Journal article

Showing 61 - 67 of 67


Musical acculturation: 'Hound dog' from blues to Swedish rock and roll
Lars Lilliestam
One Two Three Four, Journal article 1990
Journal article


Musikalisk ackulturation – från blues till rock: en studie kring låten Hound Dog
Lars Lilliestam
Göteborg, Göteborgs Universitet: Institutionen för musikveenskap, Doctoral thesis 1988
Doctoral thesis


En svensk bluesman. På konsert med Rolf Wikström
Lars Lilliestam
IASPM Norden Working Papers, Magazine article 1987
Magazine article


Syntarnas intåg eller från melodi och harmonik till klang och rytm. Tio teser om det tidiga 80-talets rockmusik
Lars Lilliestam
Tvärspel. Trettioen artiklar om musik. Festskrift till Jan Ling, Magazine article 1984
Magazine article


Skräck och fascination: Två hitanalyser
Alf Björnberg, Katharina Brette, Johan Fornäs, Lars Lilliestam
Nordisk Forum, Magazine article 1983
Magazine article


Afro-amerikansk musik i forskning och undervisning vid Göteborgs Universitet
Lars Lilliestam
Kjellberg, Erik (red.) Nordisk jazzforskning., Magazine article 1981
Magazine article


ABBA - The name of the game
Lars Lilliestam, Anders Carlsson
Carlsson, A & Ling J (red.): Nordisk musik och musikvetenskap under 1970-talet. En rapport från 8:e Nordiska Musikforskarkongressen Ljungskile folkhögskola 25-30 juni 1979, Magazine article 1980
Magazine article

Showing 61 - 67 of 67

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-10