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Markus Tullberg. Fotograf: Michel Thomas.

Markus Tullberg


Markus Tullberg. Fotograf: Michel Thomas.

An exploration of musician/musical instrument relationships

En undersökning av musiker/musikinstrument-relationer


  • Markus Tullberg

Summary, in English

What is a musical instrument?
A meaningful answer must go beyond the description of a physical object. Depending on the perspective from which the question is asked, it can be answered in many different ways. But one aspect of the answer probably remains – that the identity of a musical instrument shifts through time and across genres, and that it has different potentials depending on the musician holding it.

Where does the musical instrument stop and the musician begin?
Stepping away from a plainly physical answer and seeking an explanation that makes sense in musical terms, makes this question not only philosophical but also a question that highlights crucial aspects of music making. And maybe a distinct divide cannot be found? Then a more meaningful question would be: What is the nature of this merging existence of the musician and the musical instrument?

During my practice as musician and teacher, I have noticed that students and co-musicians seem to relate to their instruments in rather different ways. This is perhaps most obvious regarding the various qualities that musicians seek for in an instrument, and what nuances they strive to bring out through their playing. At some occasions, I have noticed that the varieties of these musician/musical instrument relationships are even more profound than that. It has struck me that musicians seem to think and act differently together with their instruments during the act of playing. And since the musical instrument – intertwined with the musician – assumes different functions, this must have implication on the musical practice and the musical learning.

These different modes of interacting with the instrument, paired with every musician’s unique personality, competence and artistic interests, makes for infinite routes of musical endeavor, inside and outside of music education.

I play the Simple-system flute and this instrument is the locus point of the research project as well as the main research tool.


  • Lärare (Musikhögskolan)








  • Music


  • Utställning
  • musikpedagogik
  • Musical instrument
  • 4e cognition