On the Association of Music and Lyrics in Sung Verse
Norwegian gamalstev: A millennium of sung verse
Norwegian gamalstev:A millennium of sung verse
Gamalstev is the most original form of Norwegian folk music and poetry. It has been in oral tradition until the present day. Via phonograph recordings we can hear this type of sung verse passed down to us in a single link now spanning 230 years.
The structure of gamalstev is almost identical to that of Old Norse verse in the metre ljóðaháttr, used e.g. in Hávamál, a collection of words of wisdom of the ‘High One’, i.e. Odin (Wotan), and in Lókasenna, a quarrel in verse between Lóki and the other Norse gods. This ‘Poetic Edda’ was written down on parchment in Iceland in the 13th century, but is thought to stem from Norway at least as early as the 9th century through oral tradition among the settlers.
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