MUSIC/ MOVIES FINLAND
Finnish folk music can be roughly divided into two historical eras differing considerably from each other both in their music and culture and in their use in the community. The earlier stratum is often called the ancient Finnish period or the Kalevala era. It covers such genres as the singing of Kalevala poetry, the chain dance, the lament, and a distinctive brand of music performed on such instruments as the five-stringed kantele, the bowed harp, and a host of folk wind instruments.
The later stratum of Finnish folk music is the period of agrarian or pelimanni music and it is clearly rooted in Western culture.
The Sami, the indigenous people of Lapland, have had a culture and music of their very own. The Sami developed a unique archaic idiom the most distinctive feature of which is a vocal genre called the yoik. Even today the yoiks of the Sami from the north still represent one of the oldest strata of the arctic way of life. The singer may choose almost anything connected with nature, either animate or inanimate, as the subject for his or her yoik: a landscape, animal or person. The use of a witch’s drum reflects the shamanistic nature of Sami music.
The melancholy Finnish tango:
The grim conditions of wartime Finland provided the substance for a genre of the tango with a Finnish flavor all of its own. The lyrics, telling of parting and longing, held special meaning for many who had lost their loved-ones for ever. The tango has become an accepted form of Finnish culture. Even those Finns who personally have other musical preferences feel that the tango belongs to Finland just as much as skiing and the sauna.