Norwegian Setesdal Music and Dance Added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Hardanger fiddler – Photo courtesy of Agder Folk Music Archive, 2007

Norway’s practice of traditional music and dance in Setesdal (stev/stevjing has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Setesdal dancers – Photo by Knut Utler, 2012

In Setesdal, dance and music go together. The melodies are named after the ‘gangar’ dance and the ‘stev’ songs, habitually performed in intermissions between dancing and music-making, either solo or by two or more singers in dialog with each other.

The dance is performed by couples in a circular motion and the music is played on the Hardanger fiddle and the jaw harp. This tradition has been transmitted uninterruptedly since the 18th century, and continues to progress, with the consistent composition of new songs and tunes.

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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