Viking Age Music and Instruments

Regin playing a tagelharpa, Anora playing a leather drum.

Music formed during the Viking age is generally inconclusive as there is a lack of archeological and written evidence of instrumentation from early medieval times of Scandinavia.

 

The forms of music and instrumentation explored here are inferences and creative interpretations of information presented in sagas and surrounding areas.

KULNING

"Kulning is a vocalisation tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, where singers corral farm animals with hypnotic melodies, luring cows, goats, sheep and ducks towards them as if each note was charged with its own gravity. This mystical ability originates from centuries-old fäbods (summer farms) like Skallskog, where farmwomen would traditionally call their meandering animals back home as they grazed freely during the few warm months in these frigid lands. In recent decades, as women’s place in society has shifted, these sounds have transformed from farmland pragmatism to operatic elegance."

-Justin Calderon, 2021.