Folk music from Norway is usually in minor or modal, making a sober and haunting sound, though major key dance music forms also exist. In the last half of the 20th century, Norway, like many other countries in the world, underwent a roots revival that saw indigenous music being revived.

Traditional Norwegian songs (kveding), ballads and short, often improvised songs (stev) are three of the biggest types of folk music. Work songs, hymns, tralling vocals and old printed ballad stories, skillingstryk, have also been popular. The Hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) is perhaps the most distinctive instrument in Norwegian folk music, though other fiddles like vanleg fele and Setesdals-fele are also popular. The hardingfele was part of kappleikar, musical contests from the late 19th century. Perhaps the most popular and controversial of modern hardingfele artists is Annbjørg Lien, who released her first album, Annbjørg in 1989. The album featured Helge Førde and Frode Fjellheim and was both praised for its innovative fusion work and expressive style, and criticized for its watering-down of traditional sounds and a lack of regional tradition.

Traditional dances include: slåttar, bygdedan, halling, pols, springleik, rull, gangar, springar and brumarsj. In the 19th century, musicians like Myllarguten began introducing more expressive ways of playing. Later in the century, new dances were imported from Europe, including the fandango, polka and mazurka. These were known as gammeldans.

Other Norwegian folk instruments include:

The most famous Norwegian classical composer is Edvard Grieg. The 20th century composer Geirr Tveitt incorporated folk music elements into his work. Also of note is the modernist composer Arne Nordheim.

Music artists or groups from Norway include:

Norwegian jazz and nu jazz artists include:
  • Jan Garbarek
  • Sidsel Endresen
  • Nils Petter Molvær
  • Bugge Wesseltoft

Today Norway's main musical export is black metal, mainly:

And some Norwegian labels:
  • Norske Gram
  • Tuba Records

Norwegian popular music has generally been appearing on the international scene after year 2000, initially a breakthrough by Norwegian jazz and black metal artists, then followed by electronica and pop artists. The Rune Grammofon record label has gained some renown for releasing experimental Nowegian music.

Table of contents
1 See also
2 External links
3 References

See also

  • Norwegian Wood Festival
  • Quart festival

External links


  • Cronshaw, Andrew. "Fjords and Fiddles". 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 211-218. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0