BY Anu Ahola
The Finnish Music Quarterly was born 30 years ago, in October 1984. Its parents’ aim was to provide information in English about Finnish music and musical life, mainly for non-Finnish readers. The theme of the first issue, in 1985, was the Finnish national epic – the Kalevala – in music, and the focus in the early years was clearly on art music.
In the 30 years since then, music, society and the media have all undergone vast transformation in Finland. The FMQ has kept pace with this, documenting and filling in the background. On its pages, masterpieces, genres, stars and phenomena have first seen the light of day, become established and metamorphosed. Again and again we have returned to the basic questions: What does our music say about us as individuals and as a nation? Does music have a nationality? What is the music-maker’s role in society? Can music be measured in terms of money? What is music?
The articles in the FMQ have sought to help define ‘Finnish music’ and its place in the world, while trying to express in words something fundamental about its essence and significations. In addition to giving facts and analyses, the magazine has aimed to provide genuine sensations: texts born of a love and passion for music.
In this special double issue we look not only at history but also at the relations between music, language and text. And the Kalevala has found its way into this jubilee issue, too, as topical as ever to 2014 ears.
In honour of our jubilee year, we will, over the next few months, be posting some treasures from our archives on our FMQ website. The historical articles until now available only in print will therefore soon be accessible to all.
Translation: Susan Sinisalo