World Wednesday: Scandinavia

Today’s From the Library is drawn from the musi­cal tra­di­tions of Fin­land, Swe­den, Nor­way, Den­mark, Ice­land, and Scot­land.

nyckelharpa photo by Olov JohanssonThe fid­dle is the most com­mon instru­ment used, but there are two region­al vari­a­tions you will hear: the nyck­el­harpa, a keyed fid­dle from Swe­den (left, pho­to by Olov Johans­son); and the hard­ingfele, or Hardan­ger fid­dle from Nor­way. Both the nyck­el­harpa and hard­ingfele have sym­pa­thet­ic strings, adding almost a drone to the music. The accor­dion, säck­pi­pa or Swedish bag­pipes, hur­dy-gur­dy, and jaw harp make occa­sion­al appear­ances.

These instru­ments (and the com­posers of tra­di­tion­al tunes) have been placed at the ser­vice of dancers: vals, pol­s­ka, ham­bo, schot­tis, pol­ska­mazur­ka, and march­es. Whether 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4, the dom­i­nant style of scan­di­na­vian cou­ple dances is smooth rota­tion. Dips, turns, and even walk­ing are done with a lilt­ing, con­trolled pulse. Some­times known as “turn­ing dances,” these dances often alter­nate a trav­el­ing por­tion done in an open or var­sou­vi­enne posi­tion and a turn­ing por­tion done in a ball­room or bar­rel hold.

Radio Riel pro­duces “From the Library” in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library in Sec­ond Life. Today’s music orig­i­nates from the music library of Otenth Pader­born.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Cale­don Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Sec­ond Life ref­er­ence libraries in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Cale­don Library Web site, or one of their loca­tions in-world.

You can lis­ten to the pro­gram at http://music.radioriel.org, or sim­ply vis­it any Cale­don Library branch in-world and press Play on your embed­ded music play­er.

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