Icelandic music is related to Nordic music forms, and includes vibrant folk and pop traditions, including singer Björk and Sigur Ros. The only folk band whose recordings are available abroad is Islandica.

Traditional Icelandic music is strongly religious in character. Hallgrímur Pétursson wrote numerous Protestant hymns in the 17th century. This music was further modernized in the 19th century, when Magnús Stephensen brough pipe organs, which were followed by harmoniums.

Icelandic folk music was collected by the work of Bjarni Žorsteinsson from 1906 to 1909. Many of these songs were accompanied by traditional instruments like the langspil and fišla. Epic alliterative and rhyming ballads called rímur are another vital tradition of Icelandic music.


  • Cronshaw, Andrew. "Waiting for the Thaw". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 168-169. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0