Research PG


Contact Details

The University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Institute
MacRobert Building
King's College
AB24 5UA




Graduated from Telemark University College, Norway in 2011 with an MA in Traditional Arts, with the dissertation ”Timbre in folk singing - Interpretations of archive material and perspectives on todays folk music activity”. My BA in Traditional Music from 2008 includes Singing, Medieval Ballads, Tradition, Traditional Aesthetics, Philosophy and History of Ideas.     

Apart from presenting papers at conferences I perform regularly as a singer, double bass player and dancer on big and small events in northern Europe. Teaching folk music at colleges, music schools and festivals in Scandinavia, Estonia, Great Britain, and Poland.   

Member of the Nordic Network for Vocal Folk Music Research and the Swedish section of International Council of Traditional Music. 


Research Interests

Traditional singing; Timbre; Tonality; Intonation; Embodiment; Sound perception; Singing; Tradition        


Current Research

Tuning the Human Voice: An Empirical Exploration of Tonality in Northern Traditional Singing.

The purpose of my current research is two-fold; to reconsider the tonality concept by increasing the understanding of timbre, intonation and tonal variations.

The background is the results of my MA thesis ”Timbre in traditional singing styles. Interpretations of archive material and perspectives on contemporary practice”. When tonal range, voice production, tonality, language and pronunciation were compared with phrasing, blending, tone place and intonation the results indicated that timbre and intonation reciprocally influence each other. There were also indications of a musical logic that included both variable intonation and changes of the tonal frameworks as fully integrated parts of the musical communication. The idea of one or several reference tones, stabile in terms of frequency, limited the possibility to describe the performances. Pitch changes could therefore not be isolated or limited to be results of either aesthetic approach, technique or hearing issues.   

Moreover, while listeners experience one acoustic room, the singer relates to two; one that is shared with the listeners and one that is exclusive for herself since it consists of inner vibrations. The consequence of the fact that the dominance of the overtones differ between these two acoustic rooms is the possibility that what the listeners can experience as variable intonation seems significantly more consonant to the singer hersellf.

Since traditional singers rarely compensate for the timbral differencies that are implied in the production of different language sounds, the pattern of intonation the singer produces is interconnected to her production of sounds. Thereby the intonaton mutually effects the songs in terms of melody, text and musical form structure. The tone production seems to be mutually depending on the pattern of intonation references and thereby the tonality the singer produces. With a certain type of tone production the listeners might get the impression that the pattern of intonations is created in small fragments. At the same time the singer is unaware of this, since her experience in the inner acoustic room is logic and consonant. Furthermore, since the unaccompanied singer’s only intonation reference during a performance is the one she produces herself, it remains an open question what the reference at any given time should be.

These findings and ideas opened new doors to the theory and practice of music.

The main research method is performance studies, spectrogram studies and phenomelonogy, and the entire project is anchored in the North team http:/   



Dr Thomas McKean

the Elphinstone Insitute, The University of Aberdeen


Dr Frances Wilkins 

the Elphinstone Insitute, The University of Aberdeen 


Dr Advaith Siddhartan

the School of Natural and Computing Sciences, University of Aberdeen


Professor Tellef Kvifte

Institutt for Folkekultur, Høgskolen i Telemark avd Rauland, Norway

Further Info




ARTICLE - Ett omprövat tonalitetsbegrepp i mötet mellan text, melodi, intonation och framförande. p.19-28 (2016)


REVIEW in Journal the World of Music, on the Ukranian Folklore Audio Projekt.


”Klang i folklig vissång. Tolkningar av arkivmaterial och perspektiv på nutida praxis.” Masterstudium i tradisjonskunst, Høgskolen i Telemark, Avdeling for estetiske fag, folkekultur og lærarutdanning (EFL), Institutt for folkekultur, (2011), 


”Klang i folklig vissång. Tolkningar av arkivmaterial och perspektiv på nutida praxis.”, Musikk og Tradisjon, Tidskrift for forskning i folkemusikk og folkedans, Norsk folkemusikklag, nasjonal avdeling av ICTM, Novus forlag,  No. 25 (2011), 185-186.  


Conference Papers / Performances

PERFORMANCE with Kansas City Ballet. Here are excerpts from Gabrielle Lamb's piece *A Thousand Several Ways* in New Moves. Music by Henry Purcell, interpreted by my band Jonzon, and l’Arpeggiata! 


CONCERTS with Jonzon in Southern Sweden, December 2016


ALBUM RELEASE, PurcellPartialsPietist, by the ensemble Jonzon, November 2016


MUSIC PERFORMANCE: Aberdeen, Scotland, 2nd May 2015, performing with PARTIALS


PANEL DISCUSSION:  Aberdeen, Scotland, 30th April 2015,


MUSIC PERFORMANCE: Göteborg, Sweden 20th February 2015, singing with the Sweden's famous  Georigan choir Doluri   


MUSIC PERFORMANCE: Papa Westray, Orkney, Scotland,  6th February 2015, performing with PARTIALS


PAPER PRESENTATION: Music Research Seminar Series, University of Aberdeen, 27th November 2014

”Reconsidering the Tonality Concept by Increasing the Understanding of Intonation and Tonal Variations in Folk Singing - Challenging Thoughts on Music and Aesthetics”


POLISH MUSIC: Karlskrona, Sweden, 11th November 2014 




SINGING AND DANCING WORKSHOP: May Festival, Aberdeen, 10th May 2014








PAPER PRESENTATION: Meeting for Dance and Music Ethnologists, 8-9/1-2014, Dept. of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


SINGING WORKSHOP: Scandinavian singing at Colloege Bounds, University of Aberdeen, 29 November 2013



PAPER PRESENTATION: Nordic Network for Vocal Folk Music Research, Stockholm, Sweden, 6-7 November 2013, ”It was one of those moments that remain - Listening and gaze in singing cultures"


PAPER PRESENTATION: Beyond the Semitone: a Symposium on Tuning, Scale Systems, And Microtonality in Historical and Contemporary Contexts, Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, 24-27 October 2013, "Reconsidering the Tonality Concept by Increasing the Understanding of Intonaton and Tonal Variations in Folk Singing - Challenging Thoughts on Music and Aesthetics",


STAGE PERFORMANCE AND SINGING WORKSHOP: Linköpings Folkmusik Festival, Linköping, Sweden,,


STAGE PERFORMANCE: MixUp hosted by the Magic Hat Ensemble, 3 October, Levenshulme, Manchester, UK


TALK: Symbols in Folk Art and Folk Music, Ronneby, Sweden, 17 September 2013


STAGE PERFORMANCE: NOMEMUS - Nordic Festival for Medieval Music, Söderköping, Sweden, 29 August - 1 September 2013,, 


STAGE PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS IN SINGING AND BALLADDANCING:  Backafestivalen, Baskemölla, Sweden, 12-13 July 2013,,


STAGE PERFORMANCE AND TALK: s/AND, 24-26 May 2012, Karlskrona, Sweden,


WORKSHOP ON SWEDISH DANCES: FestivalMazurki, Warsaw, Poland, 6-12 May 2013,


PERFORMING SELFCOMPOSED MUSIC: Petter Dufva-stämman, Gunnebo, Sweden, 27 April 2013,


PAPER PRESENTATION: ForumFolk, Gävle, Sweden, 19 April 2013, "Att ompröva tonalitetsbegreppet genom att öka förståelsen för intonations- och klangvariationer hos folksångare", 


WORKSHOP: Scandinavian singing at Linklater Rooms, University of Aberdeen, 14 March, 2013 


CONFERENCE ARRANGER: Baltic Trad/e - a Folk Music Network Collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region. 22-25 January 2013, Ronneby, Sweden. 


STAGE PERFORMANCE: Performing Exhibitions: Displaying Digital Art and Media, Karlskrona, Sweden,  October 26, 2012, ”s/AND” 


WORKSHOP: Nordic Romani Festival 19-21 th October 2012, workshop on Frithiofs Saga, Stallet, Stockholm, Sweden,   

Bands as precious sound laboratories

Jonzon (Partials) - Kristin Borgehed and Nathan Bissette


Fridens Liljor - Kristin Borgehed and Rasmus Krohn,   


Bessman - Kristin Borgehed, Marie Länne, Astrid Selling, Lisa Stormlod 


Folk Music Choir - an open experimental choir conducted in collaboration with Astrid Selling 

Inspired by a Polish traditional tune, Kristin wrote a melody that suits an ancient Swedish text.


Koraleriet - an experiment with female voices, and the intersections between cathoilicism abd protestantism in traditional singing. 


Kristin teaching in Sweden/Poland/Estonia/Norway:


Prizes and Awards

2016 For further sound explorations within Purcell Partials Pietist.

2012 Folk Practice Academy - Culture Price 2012, Blekinge, Sweden

2012 Baltic Sea Inter Cult -LEADER Project of 2012, Blekinge, Sweden

2009 Telemark Fylkeskappleik, won the traditional group singing, Rauland, Norway

2004 World Championship in Studentspelmanslag with Linköping Univerity's folk band Strängar och Rör, Linköping, Sweden  




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