Music of  Lapland


The Sami (or Lapp, Laplanders) people live in the northern sections of Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Kola Peninsula (Karelia, Russia). They have long been culturally distinct from neighbors but have strong ties to the linquistically related people of Finland.

Traditional Sami music revolves around singing. The only traditional instruments are the fluite "fadno" (=Angelica archangelica) and drums, and purely instrumental music is unknown. Modern bands use a wide variety of instruments, especially the fiddle and accordion.

Improvised, highly spiritual songs called joiks (North Sami: luohti; South Sami: vuolle) are the most characteristic song type. (The same word sometimes refers to lavlu or vuelie songs, though this is technically incorrect.) Joiks do not rhyme, and have no definite structure. They are typically about any subject of importance to the singer, and vary widely in content. Purely folk joiks have declined in popularity over the 20th century, due to the influence of pop radio and religious fundamentalism, especially Laestadianism. Nevertheless, joik performers of some fame include Wimme Saari and Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Many modern singers are signed to DAT, the premier record labelin Sami music.

The most famous Sami singer is undoubtedly Mari Boine of Norway, who sings a type of minimalist folk-rock with joik roots. Some non-Sami artists, including Enigma and Jan Garbarek, have used joik and other Sami styles in their music.




  • (cordofoni)

  • (aerofoni) fadno

  • (ancia libera)

  • (membranofoni) drums

  • (idiofoni)

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