Folk music and music festivals in Norway

Norsk 101: Language practice with Christie Ericson

folk music

Photo courtesy of Christie Ericson
Dancers perfrom in traditional costumes at the Norwegian Folk Musuem.

Music is everywhere in Norway. (Musikk er overalt i Norge.) From the street musicians (Fra gatemusikanter) on Karl Johan Street (på Karl Johans gate) in the Oslo city center (i Oslo sentrum) to the large music festivals (til de store musikkfestivalene) in all parts of the country (i alle deler av landet), Norway offers something (tilbyr Norge noe) for every musical taste (for enhver musikalsk smak).

As a student (Som student) at the International Summer School (ISS) at the University of Oslo (på Den internasjonale sommerskolen ved Universitetet i Oslo), I had several opportunities (hadde jeg flere muligheter) to learn about Norwegian folk music (til å lære om norsk folkemusikk). On Norwegian Cultural Night (På den norske kulturkvelden) folk dancers from the Norwegian Folk Museum performed (fremførte folkedansere fra Norsk Folkemuseum) traditional dances (tradisjonelle danser). The dancers (Danserne) were accompanied (ble akkompagnert) by a fiddler (av en felespiller) who played a Hardanger fiddle (som spilte på ei hardingfele). 

I learned more about this type of fiddle (Jeg lærte mer om denne typen fele) during an ISS excursion (på en ISS ekskursjon) to an 18th century guest farm in (til en gjestegård fra 1700-tallet i) Telemark. The Hardanger fiddle (Hardingfela) is a traditional stringed instrument (er et tradisjonelt strengeinstrument) similar to a violin (som likner på en fiolin), but with four or five additional (men som har fire eller fem ekstra) underlying sympathetic strings (underliggende resonansstrenger). These strings give the Hardanger fiddle (Disse strengene gir hardingfela) its unique sound (sin unik klang).

Whether you are interested in folk music (Enten du er interessert i folkemusikk) or other types of music (eller andre typer musikk), there are hundreds of (er det hundrevis av) music festivals (musikkfestivaler) from (fra) Kristiansand to (til) Longyearbyen. Many festivals (Mange festivaler) specialize in (spesialiserer seg innen) different music genres (ulike musikksjangre): jazzbluesrockindiehip hop, classical music (klassisk musikk), popular music (populær musikk/pop), electronic music (elektronisk musikk/elektronika), black metal (svartmetall), etc. (osv.)

Large outdoor concerts (Store utendørs konserter) are very popular (er veldig populære) on Norway’s long summer nights (på Norges lange sommernetter). Festival guests can watch performances (Festivalgjester kan se på forestillinger) by the world’s bestselling artists (av verdens bestselgende artister), including (som inkluderer) vocalists (vokalister), songwriters (låtskrivere), guitarists (gitarister), drummers (trommeslagere), and other band members (og andre bandmedlemmer).  Or they can discover (Ellers kan de oppdage) up-and-coming musical talent (fremadstormende musikktalenter).

This article originally appeared in the February 21, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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