Radio Riel today

Today’s From the Library is drawn from the musical traditions of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Scotland.

nyckelharpa photo by Olov JohanssonThe fiddle is the most common instrument used, but there are two regional variations you will hear: the nyckelharpa, a keyed fiddle from Sweden (left, photo by Olov Johansson); and the hardingfele, or Hardanger fiddle from Norway. Both the nyckelharpa and hardingfele have sympathetic strings, adding almost a drone to the music. The accordion, säckpipa or Swedish bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, and jaw harp make occasional appearances.

These instruments (and the composers of traditional tunes) have been placed at the service of dancers: vals, polska, hambo, schottis, polskamazurka, and marches. Whether 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4, the dominant style of scandinavian couple dances is smooth rotation. Dips, turns, and even walking are done with a lilting, controlled pulse. Sometimes known as “turning dances,” these dances often alternate a traveling portion done in an open or varsouvienne position and a turning portion done in a ballroom or barrel hold.

Radio Riel produces “From the Library” in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s music originates from the music library of Otenth Paderborn.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen to the program at, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.