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VOCAL TRADITIONS

There are several genres within the vocal folk music tradition in Norway; herding calls, lullabies, ballads, country songs, stev, and religious folk songs.
In all types of vocal folk music, the transmission of the text is the most important element; a good singer is supposed to tell a story with the song. The words are sung as they would be spoken naturally, and the melody fits the verses such that it can vary somewhat from verse to verse.

Vocal folk music is also distinguished by having what are called svevande tonar, "floating" intervals; that is, intervals that are a little wider or narrower than those in the ordinary tempered scale which forms the basis for most other Western music. These intervals are called "floating" because they can change depending upon the direction of the melody and the singer's inflection. Many vocal folk musicians also ornament the melodies with krullar, intricate melismatic ornaments, and glissando is also often used. In Telemark and Setesdal vocal folk music is called kveding.

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