Sámi music

Today, Sámi music is a mixture of traditions and modern music. The roots of Sámi music are deep in the traditional Sámi vocal music dialects, which are the Skolt Sámi leu´dd, Inari Sámi livđe, Northern Sámi luohti, Kildin Sámi luv´dd, Southern Sámi vuelie, and the Lule Sámi vuolle. In addition to the traditional vocal music dialects, Sámi music can be found in all genres from rap to jazz/foxtrot-style humppa.

Traditional Sámi vocal music dialects

Traditional Sámi music has several basic principles, such as the instrument of musical expression being the human voice and the absence of instruments. Another important factor is that the music is performed alone without other performers. These principles also apply to traditional Sámi music. The traditional Sámi vocal music dialects are the Skolt Sámi leu´dd, Inari Sámi livđe, Northern Sámi luohti, Kildin Sámi luv´dd, Southern Sámi vuelie and the Lule Sámi vuolle.

Leuʹdd- The Skolt Sámi music tradition

Leuʹdding is a Skolt Sámi singing tradition and form of melodic storytelling. It is typically the relating of stories and memories about people, in a special singing technique and a special leuʹdd language. In the old days, almost all sang leuʹdds, most commonly whilst performing everyday work, such as crafts or reindeer herding, in the process of clearing fishnets, while riding the reindeer, or in connection with the sitting of an evening.

Livđe - Inari Sámi music tradition

The own music tradition of Inari Sámi, the livđe, was almost forgotten as numbers of speakers dwindled. In fact, it was only at the beginning of the 21st century, that the existence of livđe was noticed when music researcher Marko Jouste, found some melodies resembling yoiks performed in the Inari Sámi language. As his investigations progressed, it became clear that there were several dozen of these melodies performed in Inari Sámi, which in turn began to prove true that the Inari Sámi had indeed had their own musical tradition. In addition to people, livđes also typically describe places or animals.

Modern Sámi music

Nils-Aslak Valkeapää’s album Joikuja started a whole new era in Sámi music and served as the foundation for the reform of Sámi music, not only in Finland but everywhere in the Sámi homeland.

The musical tradition of my family

Traditional vocal music has been passed on from generation to generation at home in the Sámi culture. The children have learned their tradition by listening. Families have had music that tells about the families, passed on from the parents to children. Traditional Sámi music is also a form of storytelling.