Music in the Isof Archives

The Institute for Language and Folklore (Isof) archives holds one of Sweden’s largest collections of folk traditions. Under the heading Music, the documentation encompasses recorded material, notes, lyrics and handwritten notebooks, records of dances, interviews and questioneers. The material constitutes an important source of knowledge to performers, researchers and fellow cultural institutions.

The collections are the results of over a hundred years’ of documenting language and vernacular culture. The older collections were created with the intent of preserving pre-industrial culture, while the modern material tells of vernacular musicians and the musical landscape of the 20th century.

There are examples of material collected from different geographic areas, focusing on specific art forms, or the work of individual musicians.

The documented music comes in a multitude of forms, from psalms to songs connected with the ritual year, marches performed during life rituals such as weddings and funerals, songs of greetings and celebration, dance music, love songs, lullabies, choir song, Saami joiks, songs for walking and herding, herding calls, yodelling, seamen’s songs, drinking songs and songs performed with the intent of ridiculing.

The archives are open to members of the public, students and researchers. The archive staff is happy to assist during visitor’s hours via telephone and e-mail.

About Isof

The Institute for Language and Folklore (Isof) is a Swedish government agency that focuses on dialects, language policy, language planning, names and folklore.

Read more about the institute