Syngje og spile fele ti’. Introducing a tradition of fiddling singing in Norway

Introducing a Tradition of Fiddling Singing in Norway

This article introduces ‘fiddling singing’ – the act of singing while accompanying oneself on the fiddle – found in folk music archives in Norway. In the course of this research work, twelve cases of fiddling singers were traced in southern Norway, documented through archive recordings. Fiddling singing was often performed in conjunction with religious practice. Some fiddling singers were travelling as preachers during the times of major Christian conversions in the early-to-mid-1900s. In these settings, they used to accompany their own singing on the fiddle. In music theory terms, fiddling singing can be described as a type of melodic accompaniment that creates a heterophonic sound. Melodies are sung and played simultaneously with subtle variations and notes added in parallel octaves. Typical fiddle playing features, such as ornamentation and double stops or drones, can be found in the material.


Johanna Seim




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