Musikvariatet Collection

The collection from the store Musikvariatet in Oslo, was given to the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound in December 2006. The total collection contains approximately 17,000 records and about 500 78-records. The main emphasis is on the classical orchestral and chamber music repertoire, as well as opera. There is also a large collection of Norwegian music, from the Norwegian Cultural Councils classical series. The collection is sorted and incorporated into the other collections at the Institute.

The story of Musikvariatet

By Rigmor Heistø Strand

Musikvariatet was run by Morten Falkenberg Strand, born 28.02.1945. Beach began his musical career in the local marching band at Kolbotn, where he grew up. The real interest in music started for real when he was in his early 20's, when he started playing the bassoon. Since then he has been a regular member of theBærum Symphony Orchestra , where he also served several years as a member of the board.

Strand is an electronics engineer and worked for 25 years with the company Max Manus research where he developed intercom systems for Philips. When PCs began to take over the communication, the research department was closed down. Strand wanted to make something out of his music interest, and looked into the possibility of collecting and selling used sheet music. He is married to a musician, and had at that time, two daughters who studied music, so he knew there was a lot of money in sheet music.

Musikvariatet opened its doors in Therese's Gate 3, between Bislett and Adamstuen in Oslo, in 1992. The main focus of the store was sheet music, but a selection of LP's, CD's and books soon followed. The selection was sparse in the beginning, but after 10 years the store was filled to the brim. It was necessary to look for new premises, and in 2002 Musikvariatet moved to its new basement premises in John Bruns gate 13. Here Strand utilized 250 m2, which was needed for his vast collections.

Records were mostly purchased from estates of deceased persons in the Oslo area, but Strand was always ready to travel far if there was talk about interesting collections. In the begining, he focused on classical records, but many collections also included other kinds of music, and he bought these records as well. He got help researching this kind of records. Eventually, Musikvariatet became attractive to collectors of jazz and pop / rock as well as classical music collectors. Collectors bought LP's, CD's were purchased by those who stopped to listen and expand their knowledge of music. As a whole, the interest was the highest for the LP's.

The customer base was faithful, they were enthusiastic, and Musikvariatet became a meeting place for music enthusiasts. Strand enjoyed this a lot.

After Musikvariatet operated for 14 years, from 1992 to 2006, Strand chose to close down the business. This was a great disappointment for the loyal clientele who bought their sheet music, reords and books from Musikvariatet.

Musikvariatet still exists as a retailer of musical instruments, see Musikvariatets website