Folk Music Center, Siglufjordur

#3 of 6 in Things to do in Siglufjordur
Árið 1999 var stofnað Félag um Þjóðlagasetur sr. Bjarna Þorsteinssonar á Siglufirði. Það setti sér að markmiði að koma á fót þjóðlagasetri á Siglufirði, halda árlega þjóðlagahátíð í bænum og stuðla að kynningu á íslenskum tónlistararfi. Þjóðlagasetrinu er ætlað tvíþætt hlutverk:

1. Að kynna þjóðlagaarfinn á aðgengilegan hátt með sýningu sem taki mið af ferðamönnum að sumri en skólafólki á vetri

2. Að sinna rannsóknum og útgáfustarfsemi á íslenskum þjóðlögum

Árið 2000 keypti Félag um Þjóðlagasetur Maðdömuhúsið svokallaða, eitt elsta hús Siglufjarðar, þar sem sr. Bjarni Þorsteinsson skráði þjóðlagasafn sitt að stórum hluta á árunum 1888-1898. Húsið var fært til upprunalegs horfs og vígt af forseta Íslands sumarið 2006. Þar gefur að sjá á myndböndum fólk víðs vegar að af landinu við kveðskap og hljóðfæraleik, auk þess sem eldra fólk segir frá tónlistariðkun í heimabyggð sinni.


The Folk Music Centre in Siglufjordur is located in Madame House where the Rev. Bjarni Þorsteinsson (1861-1938) lived from 1888 to 1898. The centre brings to life the world of Icelandic folk music. Visitors can see video recordings of people of all ages chanting epic poetry (rímur), singing quint-songs (tvísöngur), reciting nursery rhymes, and playing folk instruments such as the langspil (similar to dulcimer) and the Icelandic violin (fiðla). Most of the recordings were made in the year of 2006, some are from the spring of 2007 or later. Landmark Films did the recordings, but the musician and artistic director of the Folk Music Festival, Gunnsteinn Ólafsson, organized the takes and selected the material. Here you can see a recording of mother and son, María Jónsdóttir and Jón Ólafsson from the farm Kirkjubær in Fljótshlíð, Þórð Tómasson from the farm Skógar, and Ásgeir Sigurðsson from the farm Ljótarstaðir in Skaftártunga, sing and chant. The recording is formatted for Quick Time and here you can down load a free version of that.

In 2012 the Folk Music Centre received a special award from the Minister of Education, Science and Culture for its contribution to Icelandic culture on the Icelandic Language Day.

Rev. Bjarni Þorsteinsson was Iceland´s foremost collector of folk music. He was also a talented musician and a composer of many pieces for solo voice and choir, of which many are frequently sung in Iceland. He started collecting folk songs about 1880 and after 25 years published the book Icelandic Folk Songs (Íslensk Þjóðlög) with the support of the Carlsberg Foundation in Denmark. The book has hundreds of folk songs, some Bjarni notated after listening to singers and chanters from various parts of the country, and others where sent to him from fellow collectors. On the 100 year anniversary of Bjarni's book, the Folk Music Center was officially opened, in July 2006. Bjarni worked in Siglufjordur his whole life. Apart from being the priest of the town he was an active politician and is by many considered the "father of Siglufjordur."
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Folk Music Center Reviews

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  • The Folk Music Centre provides all of the information you need to know about Icelandic folk music in one place and in a variety of languages. The displays, instruments and videos are fascinating and....  more »
  • ...of the gentleman greeting us. He was a musician who could play the early instruments and give life to the stories. We even got to chat with him about Icelandic folk tales and the linguistic and.....  more »
  • Great historical house with traditional icelandic folk instruments. The exhibit includes videos and a chance to try an instrument yourself.
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