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following pages are always under construction/evolving)
Music of Norway
Music has long been a tradition of Norway as proven by bronze horns dating back to 1500 - 500 BC, to the Skaldic Poems and Carvings found on the stave churches. The Middle Ages show that the music of Norway closely resembled musical traditions found in Central Europe. Gregorian melodies, used in the worship of Norway's patron saint, St. Olaf, have many similarities with those of the Parisian school of the 1200s. Of more genuine Norwegian origin is the St. Magnus hymn from the Orkney Islands, a Norwegian possession in the mid 13th century.
Early musical instruments that have been found include: a 10th Century Bone Flute (found at Birka), a 10th Century Wooden Set of Pan Pipes (found at York), and a 9th Century Amber Bridge from an unknown six stringed instrument (found at Broa). Harps have been mentioned in various literature sources such as; the Viglundar Saga, Jokuls pattur Buasonar, Atlakvida, an Voluspa.. Earl Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson claimed to have mastered music and verse in the Orkneyinga Saga. and in Morkinskinna King Haraldr hardadoi
claims to have mastered harp-playing and poetry.
It was 1380 when Norway came under Danish rule. For 450 years Norway was
without the benefit of higher forms of music due to lack of nobility or
royal monarchy though in religious centers music continued to play an
important role among town musicians and the folk music in the country
The first known composers dated from the beginning of the 1700s. There were both Norwegian and foreign organists and town musicians, who in addition to music for dancing, also composed chamber music and cantatas; and in some cases instrumental music for sizeable ensembles.
The following links are to sites with information regarding music or/and musical instruments of the Middle Ages, not to be confused with the links I will be adding to the
Arts & Sciences of the SCA page on pursuing Music in the SCA. The following are for historical reference.