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Vocal traditions


Yoik is the traditional song of the Saami, the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia.

Lokk (herding calls)

Lokk is singing or calling to barnyard animals to beckon them home to be milked or fed. This type of singing can range from improvised melodies to elaborate calls that are sung the same way each time ...


Stev are songs with a fixed rhyme and verse pattern. They have four lines per verse in a fixed rhythm, and the singer marks the rhythm by tapping their foot.

Bånsullar (lullabies)

Lullabies were used in the traditional farming society to lull babies to sleep. The melodies are simple and are occasionally improvised.

Religious folk songs

Melodies to Protestant texts are called religious folk songs (religiøse folketonar), and originated after the Reformation.Melodies to Catholic texts are called heilagviser, and are a type of ballad.

Balladar (ballads)

Ballads have their roots in the Middle Ages, and they were still being sung in living tradition at the time when they were first collected and notated by researchers in the 1800's and 1900's.

Bygdeviser, skillingsviser (Country songs and "penny" songs)

Bygdeviser and skillingsviser are newer songs from the 1800's and 1900's, usually composed by well-known authors and set to existing melodies.


There are several genres within the vocal folk music tradition in Norway; herding calls, lullabies, ballads, country songs, stev, and religious folk songs. In all types of vocal folk music, the trans...
Language English - Engelsk