Traditional / folk music of Norway
Norway is country with live and rich folk music. It has about 5 million population in relatively big area, but it has diverse and complex folk music tradition. With a vast amount of oil and democratic and social type of government, Norway has lots of difference with most of dictatorship oil countries in the world, politically and historically. It is one of the most homogeneous societies on the planet.
The folk music of Norway and its traditions has been passed down by ear for many years up to now. Its asymmetrical rhythms and old scale system is still in use. Many young musicians learns traditional vocal singing or folk music instruments. Other than learning and using these traditions, they also try to add elements to these traditional musics and spice it up with new experiments.
Different genres of dances are big part of folk music tradition. These dances are called bygdedans. These Norwegian folk dances are divided into three categories by their structure of rhythms. These categories are 2/4 time, ¾ time and 6/8 time. Some of these dances came from Europe mainland, but developed separately in each area. Some of them are performed as solo dancing, some of them as couple dancing and also there are some which performed as group dancing. Some of notable dances are Runddans, polka, vals, springar , gangar ,halling and many more.
Vocal tradition, is big part of Norwegian folk music. Traditionally it transmitted orally from one generation to another. This method is still used to teach this music although musicians can read from the notes too. Epic songs, are most important part of vocal singing tradition and the most interesting part of epics are medieval ballads which has been passed to our generation from Middle Age. Another notable types of vocal music are lullaby and various types of work songs.
Various types of instruments are used in folk music of Norway. But the most famous and notable one is Hardanger fiddle which basically is a violin with some difference in the structure and it has eight or nine strings(rather than four string in a normal violin). Four of these strings are for making resonate under the influence of the other four. Usually the player plays with double notes or with two strings, the same as Celtic and Irish style of fiddle playing.
Some other notable folk music instruments are Norwegian dulcimer (langeleik which is from zither family), lur (an older, trumpet-like instrument ), tungehorn (clarinet), various flutes and the Jew's harp and etc.
Based on ethnic music, Norway has two types of folk music. Sami music and North Germanic music. North Germanic music consists of vocal music includes , ballads and short, often improvised songs, works songs, hymns (religious or praying songs), etc.
This type of folk music refers to the music of Sami people. Sami people are an indigenous people living in Arctic. The Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples. They are separated between Nordic countries. The most important aspect of Sami music is joik. Joik is one of several traditional form of song and singing between Sami people. Joik is a monotonous chant. And usually it is accompanied by the shaman's drum. Joik usually does not have epic form and lyrics. Sometimes it is with short lyrics. It depicts a person or a phenomenon by means of single words and short sentences. It is very symbolic.
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Traditional / folk songs for Norway
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