When it comes to pop music, Finnish singers are nowhere to be found in the world except in Finland. Unlike Sweden, a country with many young pop singers outside Sweden, Finland doesn't reach out to the rest of the world with their music. A good example is Eurovision Song Contest, where Finland hardly ever makes it to the finals. This year Sweden won the contest with the song ”Euphoria” song by the Swedish singer Loreen. ”Euphoria” has become a big hit in Europe. There's one exception from the rule that Finland never succeed in European Song Contest. In 2006 Finland sent their hard rock band ”Lordi” to compete and they won the competition with the song ”Hard Rock Hallelujah”.
Kalle Moraeus from Sweden, Linda Lampenius/Brava from Finland and Alexander Rybak from Norway are playing their violins. The song Linda plays is a typical Finnish song called "Säkkijärven polka".
Even though Finland may not seem like a musical country to the rest of the world, the country has many singers and musicians. In fact, music is an important part of the culture. Folk music is very popular in Finland. When it comes to music and dancing to music, tango is a typical Finnish music and dance. All around the country people regularly gather to dance tango to some of the Finnish tango singers – this is very typical for the Finnish speaking people living on the countryside.
Playing Finnish folk music includes the instruments accordions and violins. Our most famous Finnish violin player is Linda Lampenius. She is also internationally known as Linda Brava. Apart from the career as a violin player, she has been a model and she was also a guest star in the tv series ”Baywatch” during the 1990s. She started to play the violin as a 5 year old and studied music at the Sibelius Academy. Linda Lampenius now lives in Sweden – what a surprise!
Violins and accordions are, as already mentioned, common music instruments in Finland. Another typical Finnish music instrument is the Kantele. The Kantele is a string instrument that's very popular among both children and adults. They are made of wood and are in different sizes depending on what the player prefers.
The Sibelius Academy
In Finland you can study music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in the areas composition and music theory, conducting, church music, music technology, jazz, folk music and music education. You can apply for the school already as a child and also study there as an adult. On their homepage it says: ”Continuing Education organises education for music professionals to maintain and develop their proficiency. Courses are meant for all music and culture professionals. Continuing education also offers expert services and organises tailored education for music organisations, institutions, and associations. ” The Sibelius Academy is THE school for professional musicians in Finland. The Academy is named after the famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
Every year there are different music festivals in Finland. The annual ”Kaustinen Folk Music Festival” is nine day long and the biggest folk music and dance festival in the Nordic countries. There are thousands of performers and the audience is big, about 100,000 people.
Yearly there's the "International Pori Jazz Festival". Artists come from all over the world. This year (2012) Norah Jones will be one of the international artists performing at this festival.
Another annual festival is ”Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival”. People from other European countries also perform in this festival. Accordions are very common instruments in Finland and it's a natural thing to have an accordion festival in Finland.
Many more smaller music festivals are arranged annually all over Finland, mainly in the summertime in June, July and August.
There Is Hope
Maybe there's still hope for the Finnish rock and pop music. Back in the 1970s the Finnish rock band ”Hurriganes” became popular in both Finland and Sweden. Some members of the band are still playing and they perform every now and then.
Now a new star is rising in the genre of Finnish pop music. It's a young girl named Ronya – and her song ”Hyperventilating” is being played on the radios all over the country right now. Maybe Ronya's music can be the beginning of Finland's new pop music area. Who knows?
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