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Scandinavian Music and Dance

The Musical Instruments and Voices of Scandinavia

Sundays 1-2 PM listen to

Erik Rydvall --- Nyckelharpa

Eivør Pálsdóttir: Tròdlabùndin (Trøllabundin)

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Kari Tauring

Nordic Root culture Musician, educator and spiritual leader


The Nickelharpa

The “Swedish fiddle” is not purely a product of this Scandinavian country. But its biggest fans are probably in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Uppsala.

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Above the Finnish Group Kardemimmit.

A kantele or kannel  is a traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument belonging to the south east Baltic box zither family known as the Baltic psaltery along with Estonian kannel, Latvian kokles, Lithuanian kanklės and Russian gusli.



The Art of Kulning

"Music with a Purpose"

Less than a century ago, Sweden’s remote forests and mountain pastures swelled with women’s voices each summer. As dusk approached, the haunting calls of kulning echoed through the trees in short, cascading, lyricless phrases. Though often quite melodic, these weren’t simply musical expressions. They were messages intended for a responsive audience: wayfaring cattle. Kulning was a surefire way to hurry the herds home at the end of the day.


Folk Dancing

This book is fun to share and it is free to read via e-book, it was published in 1910 and is a compilation of Swedish folk dances. Reading from the book: "The rhythms of folk dances are common to all human life.  Folk dance has come to signify the revival of the expressions of old fundamental rural impulses, pure and lovely as the sunshine in the fields."  The book is  a translation of a publication by the society "The Friends of Swedish Folk Dances" in Stockholm and the dances are arranged in the order from simple to more complicated. It's a delight to read through this treasure-- click read the book in the left hand column--and enjoy paging through it---all these years it has been sitting on a shelf at the New York Public library.


A lur, also lure or lurr, is a long natural blowing horn without finger holes that is played by embouchure. Lurs can be straight or curved in various shapes. The purpose of the curves was to make long instruments easier to carry and to prevent directing the loud noise at nearby people. Wikipedia


The Näverlur

The earliest references to an instrument called the lur come from Icelandic sagas where they were described as war instruments and were used to marshal troops and frighten the enemy. These lurs, several examples of which have been discovered in longboats, are straight end-blown wooden tubes around one meter long. They do not have finger holes and are played much like a modern brass instruments.
A kind of lur very similar to these war instruments has been played by farmers and milk maids in Nordic countries since at least the Middle
Ages.  The näverlur or birch trumpet, was used for calling cattle and signaling to one another while away at the summer pastures or fäbodar". They are similar in construction and playing technique to the war instrument, but are covered in birch while the war instruments are covered in willow. 

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