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Norwegian centre for traditional music and dance

Youth playing and dancing their local traditional couple dance springer from Telemark at the opening ceremony of “Bygda Dansar” (the countryside dances) in the county Telemark in 2013

Youth playing and dancing their local traditional couple dance springer from Telemark at the opening ceremony of “Bygda Dansar” (the countryside dances) in the county Telemark in 2013

The centre includes one of the largest archives of North-Europe of traditional music and dance. The archive consists of films, videos and sound recordings from early 1900 and practice of the tradition is still being documented today. The archive is basis for research, education, transmission and revitalization. The material is accessible for education and research supervised by experts of the centre. The material is also accessible to individuals by streaming ( The centre evaluates digital tools available for sustainable archiving and presenting the material to the public.

The centre is also participating in documentation and research on traditional Norwegian instruments like the “langeleik” (a traditional fingerboard cither dating back to the Middle Ages) and the “hardingfele” (the Hardanger fiddle). It is a goal to revitalize the traditional playing of the “langeleik”. The “hardingfele” material will be available to individuals through a planned center in the Hardanger and Voss region.

A low-threshold inventory-list for registering intangible cultural heritage of traditional dance, music, and song has gained 858 suggestions by 150 local persons in September 2013 (

The action based knowledge in the films is used to revitalize dances in collaboration with the local communities, both to revive a dance no longer used and to revive and safeguard variations lost in today’s dance concept. It is also used in the bachelor courses of traditional dance for knowledge of tradition in addition to learn the methods of how to learn specific dances from films. To safeguard the variations methodology is constantly developed for promoting learning situations resembling traditional learning of building tacit knowledge by dancing with many role models. The centre also contributes to the international Erasmus mundus master in dance knowledge, practice and heritage ( with theory and methodology. To practice, transmit and communicate the traditional dance to the local community a 3-year project per county “Bygda Dansar” (the countryside dances) teach youth to dance their local traditional dances ( It ends with a staged performance shown locally and nationally. The traditional music and dance are also used in artistic research to stage traditional dance on the terms of the tradition, eg. through performer-audience interaction.

Norwegian langeleik, a fingerboard cither from the Valdres region, ca. 1900.

Norwegian langeleik, a fingerboard cither from the Valdres region, ca. 1900.

Domain(s): (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
(b) performing arts;
(c) social practices, rituals and festive events;
(d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
(e) traditional craftsmanship.

Main Safeguarding measures: a) identification, documentation, research (including inventory-making); b) preservation, protection; c) promotion, enhancement;  d) transmission, (non-) formal education; e) revitalization


Main countries where the NGO works: Norway

Local, national or international level of the NGO: Local, National and International. Research and education collaboration with several Nordic and European countries, including Choreomundus (international Erasmus mundus master in dance knowledge, practice and heritage)



  • You should come to kenya we have alot to share and learn

    • Thank you, it would be interesting to share experiences and learn from each other.

  • Hi
    Is it possible to share Iranian traditional music with your Norway music Center or not ?
    I am looking for your reply

    • Hi, you can ask directly to them. Here the webpage with all the contacts (
      Kind regards

      Ich Ngo Forum

    • Dear BR,
      Oue centre is always interested in shareing experiences and learn from each other. Please send us an email with more details to the email given at the top of the page.

      Best regards,
      Marit Stranden, ceo

  • I would love to take some traditional handicraft classes when I’m in Oslo and As in November. How could I get information on classes or workshops?

  • Good greeting
    We are organized , Haboba Organization For Heritage Revival and Folklore
    Address: Sudan – Khartoum
    It is concerned with the culture, folklore, folklore and heritage of Sudan, Africa and the Arab world
    Presenting works of African African Sudanese dances and music and presenting art exhibitions for arts and culture in Sudan and Africa
    We hope to cooperate with you and make a partnership so that we can provide you with a beautiful and beautiful cultural art work for your audience and your beautiful people
    We are ready to come to you if you accept this request in order to spread peace, love, cooperation and communication among civilizations
    Dr. Azhari Bashir Ahmed Haroun
    +249.922835139, Khartoum, Sudan —

  • Am a solo artist I do tradition music can anyone in Norway inform me of any festival to share culture

  • Compliments of the day. I am an aspiring Phd student looking to do a comparative Dramaturgy of Choreographic Styles in Nigerian and Norwegian Folk dances in Norway. I would love to be provided help in researching the renowned folk dances in Norway and and how to be part of the performance itself. I am applying at the Oslo Academy of Arts and would need your help to this effect.

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