Music of the Faroe Islands: Wikis


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Faroese music is primarily vocal, accompanied by the fiddle (which arrived in the 17th century) and European dances like the minuet and polka. During the twentieth century choirs have played an important role in the musical history of the Faroes, and some of the best known current choirs are Tarira, Havnarkórið, Tórshavnar Manskór, Ljómur, Fuglafjarðar Gentukór, and the choirs situated in Copenhagen, Húsakórið and Mpiri.



Much of the imported music and instruments remained popular only in the capital and largest city, Tórshavn. Rural peoples remained true to traditions of chain dance and ballads. The three types of dance ballads are kvæði, tættir and vísir. Many of these dance forms were revived after World War 2, when a number of dance societies were formed. The ballads were largely compiled in Corpus Carminum Færoensium, which collected over 44,000 stanzas.

Faroese Jazz, Folk and Blues festival

Other songs include skjaldur, fantastic fairy tales sung by adults for children, and pitch-sliding, microtonal hymns called kingosálmar.

Modern musicians

Modern Faroese musicians like Kristian Blak, Enekk, Gunnar and Annika Hoydal and Lennart Kullgren have fused native traditions with music from Scotland, Bulgaria and the Sami people of northern Scandinavia.

Other well known faroese musicians include: Eivør Pálsdóttir, Teitur Lassen, Lena Anderssen, Høgni Lisberg, Høgni Reistrup, Petur Pólson, Terji Rasmussen, Hanus G. Johansen, Heine Lützen, Kári av Reyni, Kári Petersen, Alex Bærendsen, Regin Dahl, Simon Von Konoy, Ólavur Olsen, Eyðun Nolsøe, Guðrun Sólja Jacobsen, Kári Sverisson, Steintór Rasmussen.

Modern bands

Well known Faroese bands include (in alphabetical order) 200, Arnold Ludvig Project, Boys In A Band, Clickhaze, Deiggj, Devon (band), The Dreams, Eivør, Faroe Boys, Frændur, Gestir, the Ghost, Heidrik, Hjarnar, Høgni Reistrup, Lama Sea, Lena, maður:glotti, Makrel, Moirae (band), Mold, MonkeyRat, MC-Hár, Oniontree, Nalja, Present Past, Sic, Safir, Side Effect, The Story Ends, Teitur, Týr and Yggdrasil.

Modern classical composers

There are also some quite famous Faroese classical composers. Sunleif Rasmussen is until now the only Faroese ever to have written a symphony. Other composers are Kristian Blak, Tróndur Bogason, Kári Bæk,Palli Hansen, Knút Olsen and Pauli í Sandágerði.

Classical ensemble Aldubáran has commissioned and performed a vast amount of music from Faroese composers and performed it domestically and abroad.

Details on specific musicians and groups


Gestir are signed to Tutl Records in the Faroe Islands. They were formed in 2002, and have been playing rock festivals in the Faroe Islands, Denmark and other countries. Their long-awaited debut album Burtur frá Toftunum was released in the Faroe Islands in July 2006. In the summer of 2006 Gestir played the "Atlantic Music Event" at NASA (Reykjavik, Iceland), the G! Festival (Gota, Faroe Islands) and Nord-Atlantiske Brygge (Copenhagen, Denmark). On September 30, 2006 Gestir performed a special concert at the Nordic House, Torshavn, Faroe Islands, in celebration of their album release. In December 2006 Gestir were invited to play at faroese singer/songwriter Teitur´s special Christmas show at Store Vega, Copenhagen. Gestir's most significant concerts in the summer of 2005 were the G! Festival and at Lille Vega, Copenhagen. Gestir won the bi-annual Faroese music contest Prix Føroyar in 2003.

The members of Gestir are Ólavur Jákupsson (vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, synthesizers, piano), Torfinnur Jákupsson (electric & acoustic guitars, piano, lyrics), Jógvan Andreas á Brúnni (drums), Niels Jákup i Jógvanstovu (bass) and Knút Háberg Eysturstein (synthesizers, hammond, piano, rhodes).


The chamber ensemble Aldubáran is the only professional ensemble of its kind in the Faroe Islands. Formed in 1995, it has had a huge impact on the modern classical scene in the Faroe Islands. The purpose of Aldubáran was to perform classical music and to commission Faroese music from composers and to perform this domestically and abroad. Since its formation, the ensemble has become a household name. Especially the collaboration with folk-singer Hanus G. Johansen and their release in 2000 of album Bouquet on the label Tutl, had a broad impact, and still is a big seller. Since then Aldubáran has released four albums on Tutl. Aldubáran was in 2004 nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council Music Price. Aldubáran has toured extensively and in autumn 2006, Aldubáran produced and played the first ever Faroese opera The Madmans'Garden by composer Sunleif Rasmussen. The members of Aldubáran are: Andrea Heindriksdóttir (flute), Anna Klett (clarinet), Páll Sólstein (horn), Jógvan Zachariassen (basson), Sámal Petersen, Øssur Bæk, Rúni Bæk (violins) Ólavur Jakobsen (guitar), Jóhannes Andreasen (piano)


Aldubárans website

  • Cronshaw, Andrew. "A New Pulse for the Pols". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 58-63. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

See also

External links

  • (comprehensive report on the Faroese music scene, 9 July 2007)
  • Mjús - The official website of the annual Mjús Festival
  • Tutl - Faroese music online
  • Gfestival- The official website of the annual G! Festival!
  • Summarfestivalur- The official website of the annual Summerfestival

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