Discover the Beauty of Scandinavian Folk Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Discover the beauty of Scandinavian folk music through this blog. Explore the different genres and styles of music, and learn about the culture and history behind it.


Scandinavian folk music is some of the most beautiful and haunting music in the world. It has its origins in the music of the Vikings, and has been passed down through the generations.

Scandinavian folk music is characterized by its use of the fiddle, accordion, and sometimes the piano. It often has a mournful sound, with slow, sad melodies. But it can also be upbeat and lively.

If you’re looking for something new to listen to, Scandinavian folk music is a great choice. It’s perfect for a rainy day or a long drive. And it will leave you feeling both nostalgic and hopeful.

What is Scandinavian Folk Music?

Scandinavian folk music is the traditional music of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. It has been influenced by Norse and Celtic traditions, as well as the music of Central Europe. Folk music is typically passed down from generation to generation, and it often has a strong connection to the land and the people who live there.

Scandinavian folk music is known for its beautiful melodies and haunting lyrics. The songs often tell stories of love, loss and adventure, and they offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who sing them. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Scandinavian folk music, as more people are rediscovering the beauty of this rich musical tradition.

The History of Scandinavian Folk Music

Scandinavian folk music has its roots in the music of the Vikings. Although we don’t know a lot about Viking music, we do know that it was an important part of their culture. Vikings were known for their sailing skills, and they often took their music with them when they traveled. This helped to spread Scandinavian folk music around the world.

Over time, Scandinavian folk music has evolved and been influences by other genres of music. For example, in the 16th and 17th centuries, many Scandinavian musicians began to study classical music. This had a big impact on the development of Scandinavian folk music. Today, there are many different types of Scandinavian folk music, but it is still possible to hear the influence of the Vikings in some of the older songs.

The Instruments of Scandinavian Folk Music

Scandinavian folk music is known for its beautiful melodies and simple, yet hauntingly evocative, lyrics. The tunes are often passed down from generation to generation, and the music has been used to tell stories and express emotions for centuries. But what about the instruments that are used to create this distinctive sound?

The fiddle is the most commonly-heard instrument in Scandinavian folk music, and it is often accompanied by the clarinet, flute, accordion or guitar. The Hardanger fiddle, which originated in Norway, is a particularly popular choice, and its unique sound has become synonymous with Scandinavian folk music. Other traditional instruments include the nyckelharpa (a Swedish keyed fiddle), the bukkehorn (a Norwegian horn made from a goat’s horn), and the willow flute.

In recent years, Scandinavian folk music has undergone something of a revival, with many young people taking an interest in this unique genre. As a result, there are now numerous folk bands that blend traditional sounds with more modern influences. So whether you’re a fan of the old-fashioned tunes or you prefer a more contemporary take on Scandinavian folk music, there’s something out there for everyone to enjoy.

The Sounds of Scandinavian Folk Music

The music of Scandinavia is as vast and varied as the region itself. From the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the Hardanger fiddle to the lively polkas of Norway and Sweden, there is a wealth of musical traditions to explore.

The folk music of Scandinavia has been shaped by the region’s history and geography. The harsh climate and long winters meant that people had to be self-sufficient and often isolated from their neighbors. This isolation helped to preserve traditional music forms, which were passed down from generation to generation.

One of the most distinctive features of Scandinavian folk music is the use of Drone notes. This is a result of the region’s history with bagpipes, which were brought to Scandinavia by Scottish and Irish immigrants. The Drone provides a constant background note against which the melody can be played, giving the music a very atmospheric sound.

Hardanger fiddle is another distinctive feature of Scandinavian folk music. This type of fiddle has a unique system of sympathetic strings, which gives it a haunting sound that is evocative of the region’s wild landscapes.

If you’re interested in discovering more about Scandinavian folk music, there are plenty of resources available online, including streaming radio stations and online stores selling CDs and DVDs. You can also find many Scandinavian folk bands touring internationally, so there’s sure to be a concert near you soon!

The Influence of Scandinavian Folk Music

While the exact origins of Scandinavian folk music are unknown, it is clear that this type of music has had a significant impact on the development of other genres, particularly classical and jazz. The intricate melodies and unique harmonies of Scandinavian folk music are what set it apart from other types of folk music, and these same features have inspired composers for centuries.

Despite its complex sound, Scandinavian folk music is actually quite simple in structure. Most songs are based on a simple melody that is then repeated several times, with each repetition becoming increasingly ornamented. This approach to composition allows for a lot of improvisation, which is one of the reasons why Scandinavian folk music is so popular among jazz musicians.

The popularity of Scandinavian folk music has waxed and waned over the years, but it has always had a strong presence in the Nordic countries. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in this type of music, both in Scandinavia and elsewhere in the world. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, why not give Scandinavian folk music a try?


Scandinavian folk music is some of the most beautiful and haunting music in the world. If you have never had the pleasure of listening to it, I highly recommend you do. It is sure to transport you to another time and place.

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