NFU Norwegian Folk Music


Norwegian Folk Music is a full credit (30 ECTS) one semester, undergraduate level program taught at the Rauland Campus of Telemark University College.

Målgruppe og opptakskrav

The program is designed for foreign students with an interest in Norwegian folk music. Students will be subject to normal admission requirements for international students at Telemark University College.

Mål for studieprogrammet

The main goal of this program is to give students a thorough understanding of the roots of, influences on and performance of Norwegian Folk Music. The students will develop an understanding of the rich variation in form and function found in Norwegian Folk Music. The main sources of this music will be discussed in a broad academic perspective, where musicology, cultural history and sociology are used to create an integrated theoretical basis for learning. Comparative study of culture’s traditional music is a natural part of this process.


Sjå emneplan

Studieprogrammets innhold, oppbygging og sammensetning

Obligatorisk emne:
Emnekode Emnets navn S.poeng O/V *) Studiepoeng pr. semester
  S1(H) S2(V)
30FMUS1U Norwegian Folk Music 30,00 O    
Sum: 0 0
*) O - Obligatorisk emne, V - Valgbare emne

The program is designed around 3 modules: Performance, Ethnomusicology and a Guided Study. Ethnomusicology and the Guided Study provide the theoretical basis for Performance, which is the ultimate goal of the program. The different modules are based on similar modules in our program for Norwegian students, Folkemusikk 1.

The Program




  • Individual Performance/major instrument
  • Group Performance/minor instrument
  • Folk danc


Guided Study


Total credits


Students are encouraged to audit other available theory courses offered in the Bachelor program. This is arranged in cooperation with the faculty.

Students can choose between two kinds of exams. Students who are performers are encouraged to choose to be examined in the performance of their instrument (oral exam a).

Students with a more theoretical background may choose to present a lecture on a given topic to be decided by the faculty (oral exam b).


Performance training aims to give students an experiential understanding of folk music’s expressive diversity. Each student is expected to develop a repertoire with traditional song or instrumental music under the mentorship of a faculty member. This forms the basis for learning through innovation and experiment in both group and individual settings. It is also a goal for the students to become aware of and to understand the synergy created between teacher and student. During this process students learn to be keen aural and visual observers.

The teaching methods are both traditional and contemporary. Traditional teaching methods are based observation and oral transmission. Through this method the students learn the performance lineage of each piece, and integrate this into their own performance style. Students also learn by using phono- and videograms and reading music notation.

Students are expected to participate in music groups, and to be active in social settings in which folk music is a natural part (student recitals, folk music competitions, gatherings, classroom settings, etc.).While the emphasis will be placed on traditional music, students will also be introduced to contemporary folk music. Folk Dance is also an integral part of the learning experience.

Main instrument

Each student will choose a main instrument under the guidance of a faculty member. Students can choose to focus on one or more musical traditions in agreement with the faculty, but all students are expected to gain knowledge of the major musical genres of their main instrument.

Students may also choose a main instrument, which is not a traditional Norwegian instrument. In this instance, the main focus will be on developing a repertoire and musical expression, not on technique.

Minor instrument

The choice of the minor instrument (one or more) will depend on instrument availability.

Group performance

Different groups will be established depending on performance plans: concerts, social gatherings, visiting community groups and recording.

Folk Dance

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the various regional dance melodies. They are also expected to learn one or more of the most traditional dances (gangar, pols or springar).

Vocal Music

Students will learn examples of certain types of vocal music, like lullabies, shepherding calls, ballads, stev, folk songs, etc. A special emphasis will be place on training the students to recognize tonality and ornamentation styles.

Norwegian Ethnomusicology

This course aims to give students an overview of the diversity of living music traditions in Norway as well as an understanding of the historical conditions from which they arose. Unique musical expressions from specific historic periods will be given special emphasis. But emphasis will also be place on understanding the ways in which folk music is a synergic creation of impulse and tradition, new and old, Norwegian, Scandinavian and European / Global influences.

Norwegian ethnomusicology will be taught for the most by Rauland faculty, but we will also invite guest lecturers and performers whose unique knowledge cannot be found in books. Audiovisual materials and Internet sites will be integrated in the lectures and in the students own work.

The many different genre of folk music will be explored, both through demonstration and through an understanding of the genre’s historic and cultural background.

Guided study

The guided study provides the student with a chance to pursue a topic he or she has found particularly interesting and relevant. Students are expected to choose a topic that relates to the main goals of Norwegian Folk Music for Foreign Students. The Guided Study is designed under faculty guidance.


Det er ikkje aktuelt med utanlandsopphald i dette semesteret.

Arbeids- og læringsformer

Teaching methods include hands-on experience with music and dance, as well as lectures, seminars, field study, independent study, papers, individual and group projects and presentations. Teaching sessions are generally scheduled for weekdays.

Audio-visual aids will at times be used during lectures. The importance of active participation from students is emphasized.

Each student will receive individual instruction on his or her main instrument. They will receive continual evaluation of their progress from their teacher. Group instruction is given on the minor instruments. Students are encouraged to organize their own performance groups, and to initiate house-recitals.

Students receive three hours individual advising for their Guided Study.



Both oral and written exams will be given in addition to the Guided Study Paper.

Written Exam

The written exam in Norwegian ethnomusicology is four hours long and graded from A to F, with E being the lowest passing grade.

Oral Exam, a

The students will be tested on their major instrument in a repertoire of approximately 15 minutes. If a student wishes, their minor instrument can also be included in the evaluation.

Grades from A to F will be given, with E being the lowest passing grade.

Oral Exam, b

Students who are not proficient on their instrument will be required to hold a lecture covering an aspect of Norwegian Folk Music. The topic for the lecture will be chosen for the students by the faculty. The lecture must be 45 minutes long. Students may use various teaching aids during the lecture like video, segments or recordings.

Guided Study Paper


The Guided Study Paper will count for 20% of the final grade.

The written exam will count for 40% of the final grade.

The oral exam will count for 40% of the final grade.

Grades from A to F will be given, with E being the lowest passing grade.

Each separate part must have a passed grade if the mainsubject is to be passed.

Det tas forbehold om mindre justeringer i planen.

Publisert av / forfatter Frode Nyvold <>, sist oppdatert av Bodil Akselvoll - 06.01.2015