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Sweden Travel Guide
Music of Sweden

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Sweden has a rich musical tradition, ranging from medieval folk ballads to hip hop music. The music of the pre-Christian Norse has been lost to history, although historical re-creations have been attempted based on instruments found in Viking sites. The instruments used were the lur, simple string instruments, wooden flutes and drums. It is possible that the Viking musical legacy lives on in some of the old Swedish folk music.

Sweden has a significant folk-music scene, both in the traditional style as well as more modern interpretations which often mix in elements of rock and jazz. Väsen is more of a traditionalist group, using a unique, traditional Swedish instrument called the nyckelharpa while Garmarna, Nordman, and Hedningarna have more modern elements. There is also Saami music, called the joik, which is actually a type of chant which is part of the traditional Saami animistic spirituality but has gained recognition in the international world of folk music. Sweden has a major market for new age and ecologically or environmentally aware music, as well a large portion of pop and rock music having liberal and left-wing political messages.

Sweden also has a prominent choral music tradition, deriving in part from the cultural importance of Swedish folk songs. In fact, out of a population of 9.2 million, it is estimated that five to six hundred thousand people sing in choirs.

Sweden is the third largest music exporter in the world, with over 800 million dollars in 2007 years revenue, surpassed only by the US and the UK.[108] ABBA was one of the first internationally well-known popular music bands from Sweden, and still ranks among the most prominent bands in the world, with about 370 million records sold. With ABBA, Sweden entered into a new era, in which Swedish pop music gained international prominence. There have been many other internationally successful bands since, such as Roxette, Ace of Base, Europe, and the Cardigans to name some of the biggest, and recently there has been a surge of Swedish Indie pop bands such as Mando Diao and Sahara Hotnights.

Sweden has also become known for a large number of heavy metal as well as progressive- and power metal bands. Some examples are HammerFall and Meshuggah. The neoclassical power metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen is from Sweden. Sweden has a rather lively jazz scene. During the last sixty years or so it has attained a remarkably high artistic standard, stimulated by domestic as well as external influences and experiences. The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research has published an overview of jazz in Sweden by Lars Westin.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

 



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