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Original content available for non commercial use under a Creative Commons license except where noted. For example, many bands started as a medieval market band, playing only medieval folk music, 80 See Appendix III for band profiles. Band Profiles Part Two p. First 4 bars: Gelman, and P.
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Back to home page Return to top. Back to home page. Listed in category: Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab Add to watch list. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab Postage: Item location: Therefore, it might occur in interviews that the German medieval metal bands refer to themselves in interviews as a rock band even though musically they sound as a metal band and they are part of the metal scene i.
Although not all will be discussed to an equal extent, the eight medieval metal bands that were examined in relation to the present discussion are Finisterra, In Extremo, Ingrimm, Saltatio Mortis, Schandmaul, Schelmish, Sonorous Din, and Tanzwut. Nevertheless, it is useful to say a few words about the musical scenes with which medieval metal is associated before moving on to specific musical examples and examining the ways in which the medieval is portrayed in folk metal.
Medieval metal can be linked to two musical scenes in Germany. First and evidently, medieval metal is part of the metal scene. But, secondly, medieval metal also has close links with a neo-medieval scene that includes neo-medieval music and medieval markets. This neo- edie al usi i ludes a ious ki ds of usi su h as authe ti performances of medieval art music, neo-medieval folk music, and various blends of popular music such as metal or rock with medieval or medieval-inspired music.
There is certainly an overlap between these two scenes. Most medieval metal bands regularly give or have given concerts on both medieval markets and metal festivals.
For example, many bands started as a medieval market band, playing only medieval folk music, 80 See Appendix III for band profiles. In Extremo started in as a mainly acoustic medieval folk band performing mostly at medieval markets. They eventually cancelled the acoustic band and consequently stopped playing at medieval markets in Corvus Corax was the name for the acoustic market band and Tanzwut was the name of its metal version.
Over time membership in the two bands shifted and now they exist as two distinct groups. For example, Faun and the above mentioned band Corvus Corax are both non-metal medieval-i spi ed folk a ds that ha e pe fo ed at o e of the o ld s la gest etal festi als, 85 Wacken Open Air. Every medieval metal band approaches the Middle Ages, medieval music, and everything related to this conceptual complex in a different way. Such approaches can be broadly grouped into three categories: The several bands that were examined for this discussion align with one or more of these approaches.
Over the eightee ea s of the a d s e iste e, In Extremo has adopted all three approaches: Kay Lutter von In Extremo, http: Interview with Filip Van Muylem on 23 February , http: Interview mit Fenris Gesang , http: Both bands are announced to play at the edition of Wacken Open Air in August. Corvus Corax has previously performed at the festival in , , and The attribute their medieval elements to the texts and the instruments they use.
Medieval music is, for example: As the name indicates, [medieval music is] music from the middle ages played on 89 medieval instruments. The members of Saltatio Mortis see themselves as a modern version of medieval minstrels. They call themselves a medieval band using elements of modern music. Most of their music is newly written but if they come across a medieval text or melody they like, they will use it as well.
Subway to Sally, although regarded by many to be the first medieval metal band, disregards this label. They see themselves rather as a modern metal band that sings in fliegen-mit-sterneneisen-auf-die-eins And In Extremo im Interview, http: Schandmaul also emphasises the fact that they make their own music, albeit with a medieval tone colour that is created because of the use of medieval instruments.
Each song analysis will be used as a case study to represent one of the three above mentioned approaches to medieval music in medieval metal. The final chapter, then, will draw some conclusions from these analyses about how the medieval is portrayed and represented in German medieval folk metal. Simon Michael von Subway to Sally, http: The major difficulty while making the transcriptions was finding the correct guitar chords.
Therefore I partly relied on online guitar tabs for the guitar and bass parts. However, some notes must be made on the accuracy of the transcription. It is indicated in the scores which type of guitar was used; i. Apart from this the transcriptions focus on the actual notes and chords played and therefore do not include the effects of the use of for example distortion pedals or fuzz boxes. As Spiel a ss h ur did not have a distinctive drum part i.
This gap in the transcription is indicated in the score. Each example represents one of the three possible approaches of edie al folk etal a ds to o i e the edie al ith hea etal: In the final chapter of this dissertation these examples will be used to draw some 96 Following sources were used: O e the years, the a d s musical output has included many songs based on medieval material of several European countries, including Germany, France, Ireland, and Scandinavia.
The inspiration for these songs comes primarily from the music played at medieval markets and library research, as I E t e o s si ge Das Letzte Ei ho eal a e: I played on the medieval markets for 12 years. You get a big library in your head. You hear songs from Ireland, from Scotla d; ou hea so gs f o ho k o s he e. Toda the e s the i te et, ut that s ot eall thi g. I d athe go i to the library, hours, sometimes a hole da.
It s fu. The so g s poem was originally written by Walther von der Vogelweide. He was a German Minnesinger, poet, and maker of Middle High German songs from the late twelfth to the first third of the thirteenth century.
Because of this reason and because Jaufre predated Walther by approximately half a century, it is plausible that Walthe ade his so g to Jauf e s elod. Walte o de Vogel eide , i Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http: The Chansons of the Troubadours and Trouveres: Oosthoek , p.
As is typical for the survival of medieval music, the different sources are not identical. They differ in number of verses, ranging from one to thirteen, and show some slight textual variants.
The metal version adopts the strophic structure of the original, as only one melody is used in both the vocal and instrumental parts of the song. In Extremo follows the melodic contour of Walthe s elod. The o l sig ifi a t elodi diffe e e is at the te t a die stat he e I E t e o leaps up a d to the fou th scale degree whereas the original melody went down to the seventh scale degree compare Figures 7 and 8 below. Further melodic differences are minor and primarily due to further embellishing the melody with appoggiaturas and passing notes.
The singer does not adopt a medieval singing style but sings with a raw vocal tone colour. Max Niemayer Verlag , pp. The main difference between the two melodies is the meter. The medieval melody, as is typical, has no time signature or a clearly defined meter.
The dotted minims and the slurs indicate a ternary pulse. This binary meter and the opening drum pattern are reminiscent of a kind of march or a io so g, hi h fits i to the so g s the e a out the usade. As mentioned above, the adaptation of the melody is used in both the vocal and instrumental sections of the song. Throughout the song, the bagpipe solos play the first eight bars of the vocal melody. At the end of the song, the bagpipes play the melody its entirety see Figure 9.
In all these bagpipe solos the melody is transposed and played a third higher than in the vocal parts, in A Dorian. The melody is also more embellished then the vocal version.
The drum here becomes more continuous, i. The guitar riff is repeated throughout the song. It is usually used as a bridge between the so g s diffe e t se tio s. The disto ted guita pla s po e ho ds o the fi st and seventh degree of the Dorian scale F and E.
During the first four lines of each verse the chords are played repeatedly in quavers, creating a rather sec and static accompaniment. During the last three lines of each verse, when the singer moves to a higher register, the chords are sustained. This creates a more open and flowing sound, compared to the static chords before. This way, the music intensifies towards the bagpipe solos. The bass guitar typically follows the guitar line by doubling the root note of the power chords and following the same rhythm as the guitar.
The most unusual section of the song is perhaps the guitar solo as is breaks completely with the rest of the song. The accompanying guitars introduce a new riff see Figure In fact, it is not melodious as all. It can best be described as sustained vibrato notes around the pitches F and G for eight bars. During live performances, the guitar solo is more melodious and is loosely based on the melody. This clip can also be seen on YouTube: To do this, the adapted the ete of the o igi al e sio ut othe ise kept its melodic contours.
By adding a full metal band — distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums — to the vocals, the so g as ot o l etalised ut also ha o ised. To add a additional medieval sound, other than the melody itself, In Extermo added bagpipe solos, an instrument associated with medieval music, in between the verses.
Overall, they have combined authentic medieval musical material, with heavy metal, and sounds associated with medieval music. The song was originally written by the band members of Saltatio Mortis. In other words, no authentic medieval materials were used.
Nevertheless, aspects of both the music and the lyrics can be connected to ideas about medieval life and music. During these tours they gain life experiences which serve as a source of inspiration for their music: The main source [of inspiration when writing music] is life itself!
Since 12 years, we live in a way the medieval minstrels did. We tour around through Germany and the rest of Europe, meet new people, we talk to people and they share their stories with us.
And that is i spi atio , life itself is i spi atio. The a d s asso iatio with the life of medieval minstrels is also reflected in their name. Saltatio Mortis means da se a a re o da e of death. I a i te ie Alea, o alist a d multi-instrumentalist for the band, explained that this name refers to the dances played by minstrels to keep up the hopes of the people in times of despair and death: The meaning of Saltatio Mortis us: Death dance — it is Latin in French: Danse macabre and basically means that in the Middle Ages minstrels played songs in times of despair and death.
These melodies gave hope to the people to fight death. Who dances does not die. Those dances were called: The ode Ge a title ea s Oath of the Glee a.
The glee a , o http: The text seems to celebrate the free life of the Spielmann. The song suggests that this life is free from the law, free from commitments, and free from steady jobs. The oath of the Spielmann is that he is ou d to othi g a d o o e. However, the idea of minstrels and travelling musicians is something that is certainly associated with the Middle Ages. The music itself seems less directly linked to medieval music.
Like in the previous example, the vocal tone colour is typical for heavy metal and is not reminiscent of medieval si gi g. Alea s o als a e uite agg essive, at times almost screaming. It is nonetheless still melodious, i. The music, however, has a medieval tone colour. This tone colour is primary created by the use of the bagpipes. The instruments used by Saltatio Mortis are specially built for the band by the one of the band s pipe s, El Silbador.
They are a larger variant of medieval bagpipes. The reason why they are specially made is because they need to be louder than any other kind of bagpipes and have to be made to face all possible weather conditions in which the band may perform. O l du i g the i t odu tio of the so g do the agpipes se e as a solo instrument. The remainder of the song has no instrumental sections and the bagpipes are blended in the sound of the rest of the band, accompanying the vocals.
The vocal lines consist of three different melodic ideas that recur throughout the song, all in A minor: A fourth melodic line, during a kind of contrasting bridge section, is only heard once. The melody of the chorus is not reminiscent of medieval song or even of folk music in general. This is because the rhythm is overall very syncopated and the melody has a lot of leaps of a fifth see Figure 12 below.
The first halves of the verses are more acoustic and are more reminiscent of folk or medieval music. The rhythm is still syncopated but the melody is simpler with fewer leaps see Figure The accompaniment helps to create a medieval, and somewhat pastoral, atmosphere. The first three bars of each verse are accompanied by drums and one chord per bar by the acoustic guitar only. During the fourth bar, the bagpipes return to lead the verse into its second, heavier, half.
The acoustic guitar makes way for distorted power chords and a thumping bass. The same pastoral atmosphere returns at the end of the song where a last repetition of the chorus is accompanied by acoustic guitar only.
The guita s o l pla t o sho t ho ds o the first beat of each bar and more openly sustained chords of every fourth bar of the pre- chorus. The bagpipes become more prominent during the pre-choruses decorating the vocal melody see Figure Again, it is the bagpipes that create the medieval character in these sections. It is su tle ut o etheless clearly present. The song is a heavy metal song using music and lyrics associated with the medieval, primarily through the use of the bagpipes and a text related to medieval musicians.
Walthe s song is a well-known medieval song and its use in a metal song makes the connection to the Middle Ages unmistakable. As to the use of the agpipes, i I E t e o s so g the agpipes see ed to e o e like an extra instrument, added on top of the whole to emphasise the medieval, whereas the bagpipes in Saltatio Mo tis so g a e t ul pa t of the hole.
The musicians come from a varied musical background: We have not yet played at medieval markets, because we do not make medieval music as such. We do not look for old texts and melodies to create new music. There are enough other bands that do that. We have always made folk rock in which we have incorporated medieval tone colours by adding the hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and all those other http: The band has always used electric guitars and a drum set for which there is no real place on medieval markets.
That is why we have never played at them. Also lyrically, they do not focus on medieval themes. Singer Thomas Lindner describes their text as Phantasietexte Ge a , fa tas te ts. They are set in no particular time or place but were inspired by books, poems, films, and everyday situations. The narrator addressed his girl and describes how he would try to paint, set to music, or write down her beauty and his love but that neither pictures nor sounds nor words can describe his feelings.
The lyrics are quite timeless and do not necessarily refer to the Middle Ages although the listener might link the song to the medieval theme of courtly love. However, there is no evidence that this interpretation was consciously made by Schandmaul. Suitable to the theme, the song is a metal ballad. The ioli p ese ts the first of four melodic ideas see Figure It is subtly accompanied by a flute — possibly a type of recorder — the acoustic guitar, the bass guitar, and a tambourine.
The dance character of the tune and the off-beat accentuation of the tambourine create the initial medieval tone colour of the song. The theme is then repeated with a heavier accompaniment. The distorted guitar replaces the acoustic guitar and the drum set is added.
The drums now emphasise the off-beats whereas the tambourine plays on every quaver. This metal version of the violin theme is how it will recur throughout the remained of the song. Quote translated from German by author. The o al to e olou of Dei A li k is the least etal of the th ee ase studies. Not u h is k o about the desired tone colour of medieval singers other than little-descriptive references to s eet a d pleasi g sou ds.
They are only accompanied be broken chords on the clean electric guitar, the bass guitar, and the drums that double the rhythm of the vocals.
The music slowly breaks away from the earlier intimacy during the first two bars of the pre- choruses. The broken guitar chords continue but the drums become more prominent and the violin and flute return.
The drums disappear again in bars 3 and 4 of the pre-chorus. This retains the narrator-to-girl intimacy of the verses. The same accompaniment is repeated in the following four bars of the pre-chorus. Medieval and Renaissance Music: University of Toronto Press , pp. Both choruses have the same melody in B minor, the dominant key, and text. They only differ in their accompaniment.
Chorus 1, which always follows the pre-chorus, is even more intimate then the verses with chords on the acoustic guitar, the bass guitar following the root notes of the harmony, the tambourine returning on the off-beats, and broken chords in pizzicato on the violin only during the second time chorus 1 is heard as accompaniment. It is only during chorus 2 that the music entirely breaks away from the intimacy of the other sections and where the chorus actually feels like a chorus.
This is due to the sustained power chords in the distorted guitar and the homophonic vocals. The male lead vocals are doubled in the upper fourth and upper minor sixth by soprano voices.
The earlier intimacy is gone and it is as if the singer heralds the love for his girl for the whole world to hear instead of directing his words to her alone.
Furthermore, the homophonic structure can be seen as a di e t li k, hethe o ot the a d as o s ious of this he iti g Dei A li k , to medieval music since paralleling a melody on a different scale degree was one of the earliest ways of accompanying a melody since the ninth century. Dei A li k s l i s a e those of a fairly general love song which may or may not be related to the medieval theme of courtly love. The principal solo instrument, the violin, although it has medieval predecessors, was actually not developed until the early Renaissance and is therefore not strictly seen a medieval J.
Pete Bu kholde. Grove Music Online. The same goes for the homophonic chorus: Also, ea h example has to a certain extent represented the musical aesthetic of each band discussed. In Extremo often relies on authentic medieval materials of which they make a metal cover. Schandmaul makes folk metal with a predominant medieval tone colour.
It must be noted, however, that not all music of these bands — especially that of In Extremo and Saltatio Mortis — fits neatly into these categories. In Extremo, especially on their more recent albums, also composes originals songs and Saltatio Mortis occasionally uses authentic materials.
In the three analyses, it became clear that each type of treatment of the medieval moved further away from a close tie to authentic medieval music towards a rather loose and less lea l defi ed o e tio to the edie al. In Extremo nevertheless succeeded in creating a new version of the song. The meter was slightly altered to make the melody more suitable as a metal song.
This idea is reflected in every aspect of their music. Their lyrics are based on medieval topics. But it is espe iall i thei usi that it is lea hat the ea ei g a ode edie al a d because the medieval instrument — in this case the bagpipes — are perfectly blended with the modern instruments — the metal instruments: I Dei A li k the di e t o e tio to the Middle Ages was the least straightforward to pin down. The analysis has shown how different aspects in the music and lyrics could be related to the medieval without being specific.
By adding these associations to medieval music to metal is how the medieval sound of Schandmaul is created. The medieval in medieval folk metal can be something very specific, e. Dei A li k is a good example to illustrate how essentialism is useful to explain how folk topics, in this case the medieval, are understood and used in folk metal. To create a edie al to e olou usi al ele e ts e e used hi h see to e ge e all associated with the Middle Ages without being necessarily authentic medieval.
Despite these differences, there are some similarities which connect these three and other medieval metal bands. As mentioned before, medieval metal or Mittelalter-Metal is an almost exclusively German phenomenon. All three bands prefer to sing in their mother tongue and especially tend to oppose to singing in English which otherwise is the most commonly used language in heavy metal.
The only exception to singing in German is made by In Extremo which keeps the original language of old songs to keep the medieval songs they cover as authentic as possible. They use modern German for originally written songs. Language is therefore certainly a major unifying factor within medieval metal. The second unifying factor is the instrumentation. By only presenting three songs, the case studies have not reflected all the instruments that are commonly used in medieval metal.
But it is clear that all bands understand tone colour, and thus instrumentation, to be of crucial importance when creating a medieval metal sound. The number of instruments listed in each of a ds li e-up is therefore much greater than bands of any other metal genres. Bagpipes are strongly associated with medieval music and their sheer volume is also suitable to fit into a loud genre such as metal.
It is then not surprising that the bagpipes are by far the most often used medieval instrument in medieval metal. Other mechanical medieval instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and shawms as well as some more expressive instruments such as a range of flutes a d st i g i st u e ts a e featu ed i ea h a d s li e-up.
It might be interesting in the future to look at how these bands present the medieval in comparison to German medieval metal bands and why it is that they do not tend to use the genre label edie al etal as su h. The uestio hat is the edie al i edie al folk etal? There are three levels in which the medieval or associations with it can be found in medieval metal. On a second level texts that relate to medieval topics or history can be created.
In the three case studies we have seen the topics of crusades, the minstrel life, and love. Also on this level we may find the creation of pseudo-medieval melodies, melodies that somehow sound medieval. The final level which is also the most important one, as it could be found in all examples, is the creation of metal with a medieval to e olou.
The si ge s o al st les te d to alig oe ith t pi al etal o al st les tha with for example medieval chant. Therefore the creation of a medieval tone colour is primarily an instrumental characteristic by combining medieval and metal instruments. Although this discussion has focussed on the medieval aspect of the songs, a final remark on the metal aspect of them is necessary as well. Medieval metal has shown how the unifying sound of heavy metal, i.
In conclusion, then, German medieval folk metal is a sub-style of folk etal i hi h the edie al a e po t a ed i etal i a ious a s ut is nonetheless unified by its language and instrumentation.
In the first part, I investigated what the o d folk ea s i the ge e la el folk etal. I o de to do this, I first e a i ed etal a d folk i di iduall i o de to ha e a asi understanding of each part of the term before discussing the subgenre itself. Heavy metal is a divergent musical genre which can be recognised by some unifying characteristics such as distorted guitars, heavy basses, powerful vocals, and the consistent use of power chords.
It is also a genre that can be characterised by what it is not: The definition and characterisation of folk faced many difficulties because the word folk a efe to diffe e t o epts such as a people, folklore, or folk music. In the Romantic period, he folklo e studies fi st ega , folk as ofte u de stood i a esse tialist a.
Essentialism entails that concepts such as folk can be defined by an underlying essence — a kind of defining characteristic. However, essentialism does not entail that this essence is necessarily known. Rather, a concept can be identified by one or more characteristics that are associated with it. Such characteristics, to recognise folk, can be found in the various definitions of folk, folklore, and folk music formulated by scholars that have been discussed in Chapter Two.
This esse tialist ie has ee p oposed to o t i ute to the u de sta di g of folk i folk metal. Six musical examples, taken from six different folk metal bands, have shown the different ways in which folk metal bands create the folk aspect of their music.
The folk character is created by elements which are associated with the idea of folk; this might be referring to a specific folk or people, to a specific traditional music style, or melodies with musical characteristics and an instrumentation that is generally linked to folk music without referring to a specific people or musical tradition.
Not only the essentialist understanding of folk, but also the lyrical themes in folk metal can be linked to Romantic ideas about folklore and lyrical topics that were common in this period. From these findings, I established a working definition and characterisation of the usi al a d l i al the es i folk etal: Musi all , folk etal d a s o ele e ts elated to primarily European traditional folk music, which is recognisable by its instrumentation, structure, meter, and melodic contours.
Thematically, folk music relies on themes that are closely linked to the Romantic Zeitgeist, themes that relate to the past whether historical or thologi al , so ial issues, atu e, a d e otio s.
The second aim, in Part Two, once there is an understanding of folk, was to examine how a specific folk topic can be portrayed musically. Of course not all folk influences could be examined in the scope of this dissertation. Therefore, I focussed on medieval folk metal. This is a primarily German sub-style of folk metal that was created by combining the kind of music played at medieval markets, i.
This neo-medieval folk music is folk music that has some characteristics — such as the use of medieval instruments and textual references to the Middle Ages — that ake it sou d edie al. The edie al , the , i edie al etal is not necessarily something authentic medieval but somehow evokes the idea of being medieval. Three musical examples showed the three ways in which this idea of the medieval can be portrayed in medieval metal.
First, bands borrow authentic medieval materials, such as melodies or texts, and create a metal version of these.
Secondly, bands create original music and lyrics based on medieval sounding music and medieval themes. Thirdly, bands write original music without being concerned with medieval melodies or themes as such but nonetheless add a medieval tone colour to this music.
The examples have shown how the musical and lyrical references to the Middle Ages may differ from being authentic, to loosely referring to medieval music or themes, and having no clear links to the medieval as such.
Tone colour, on the other hand, was for all three bands an important parameter to create the medieval sound of their music. More than musical or lyrical content, the use of medieval instruments make medieval folk metal sou d edie al.
In addition, it would have been possible to examine the visual aspects of medieval etal a ds. These visual aspects include artwork — such as album art, websites, and promotional photos — and on-stage appearances — such as costumes worn during performances and stage decoration. However, I consciously choose to focus on the aural aspects of the music in order to dete i e ho the edie al is u de stood as a musical influence.
As mentioned above, although there may be textual or melodic influences from medieval music, tone colour was of crucial importance to recognise the medieval in the folk metal sub-style. It might be useful in potential further studies, similar to the case study presented here, of other folk topics whether it is also tone colour that creates the primary association with the topic in question or if it is another parameter that is predominant in the representation of the topic in question.
Both folk a d edie al i the o te t of folk etal a e u de stood in an essentialist way. Despite the inevitable ambiguity of defining such terms, they can be instinctively recognised by certain musical characteristics when they are represented in folk metal. Folk proved to be a broad concept with many characteristics by which it can be recognised without necessarily referring to a specific people or a particular folk music style.
The medieval, in this regard, is created by an idea of how medieval sounds like. This is a kind of reinvention of medieval music that evokes this idea without necessarily referring to original music from the Middle Ages. Throughout this dissertation, I focussed on the music itself as a primary source in o de to u de sta d hat folk a d the edie al ea i te s of folk etal a d ho those concepts are musically represented.
As secondary sources, I have relied on writings from two disciplines, namely heavy metal and folklore studies. I hope to have contributed to each of these disciplines. Metal studies, as discussed in the introduction, have mainly adopted so iologi al app oa hes a d like ise ha e p i a il fo ussed o the ge e s audie es athe than on the music itself.
By adopting a musicological approach, I have shown that much can be learnt from the music itself. I have illustrated one way in which non-metal musical styles can be reconciled with the musical characteristics of heavy metal.
Simultaneously, I have also come to a new way of understanding ideas related to folk a d the edie al. Instead of formulating a new definition for each of these concepts as such, I have shown how these concepts are understood and can be represented in a particular context, namely that of folk metal.
I believe that with this approach this dissertation has not only initiated research on folk metal but has also contributed to both a musical and conceptual understanding of the subgenre s two components, metal and folk. Band Profiles Part Two p. Lyrics, Analyses, and Transcriptions of the songs in Chapter Five p. Trollhammaren , Finntroll 2. I Am Warrior , Cruachan 3. Herr Mannelig , In Extremo 4. Bella Natura , Tuatha de Danann 5.
Penny Dreadful , Skyclad 7. Spielmannsschwur , Saltatio Mortis 9. It i estigates the usi a d perfor a e aspe ts of Fi troll s Trollha are. Introduction This essa p ese ts a ase stud of o e folk etal so g, a el T ollha ae the Finnish band Finntroll in order to understand some of the musical and performance aspects of folk metal as a genre. In order to do this, I first present a short and general description of Finntroll as a band and their music.
Secondly, I will present a detailed analysis of T ollha a e. With the des iptio of Fi t oll s sou d a d the a al sis of the so g it ill become clear how the folk aspect of folk metal is created. This serves as an example of the defi itio of folk as used i folk etal that I p oposed during the Postgraduate Colloquium on 24 April Musically, folk metal draws on elements related to primarily European traditional folk music, which is recognisable by its instrumentation and structure.
Thematically, folk metal relies on themes that are closely linked to the Romantic Zeitgeist, themes that relate to the past whether historical or mythological , the nation, nature, and emotions.
Finally, in terms of performance, I will look at the official video clip and two live performances of the song to examine the behaviour of both the band and its audience. The Band Fi t oll s iog aph page o Metal Storm an online heavy metal community describes the moment when the band was founded: One night in March two men were sleeping in a rehearsal room in Helsinki. Soon the other one woke up too.
Liking the melody he asked the other guy to play the riff i t aditio al Fi ish hu ppa st le hu ppa is a a iet of polka…. This sou ded e ea a d guita s a d utal o als e e added i ediatel. Who A e the Folk? To a ds a Wo ki g Defi itio of Folk. Postgraduate Colloquium paper University College Dublin. Fi t oll s offi ial e site, www. Only the upcoming shows, booking information, and webshop are available at the moment.
Therefore I could not take any information about the band from their official website. However, similar tales about the a d s o igi s a e fou d o a e sites. These si usi ia s fo ed the a d s fi st sta le li e-up in The band is still active today but in the past fifteen years it underwent more line-up changes.
Humppa is the name for Finnish social dances related to the polka a round dance in a quick duple meter. Former Finntroll vocalist Tapio Wilska explained that the rhythm of both polka and hummpa is the sa e.
The e is ot u h st le diffe e e othe tha humppa is just the Finnish variant of Polka. Other than this general description of their sound, three more aspects are important to u de sta d Fi t oll s usi al ha a te: First, Finntroll uses the sounds of many folk instruments, such as accordions and harps, in their songs.
These instruments are usually played and recorded on Finntroll on Encyclopaedia Metallum — The Metal Archives, http: The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2 ed. Michael Kennedy. Oxford Music Online. Hummpa by Night, interview with Wilka , http: P a ti all , Fi t oll s fi st o alist Katla, ho has since his retirement from the band continued to write their lyrics, belongs to the Swedish- speaking minority in Finland and therefore preferred his native Swedish to Finnish.
Current singer Vreth stated in an interview: Well, f o the egi i g, ou k o , the e as the fi st si ge [Katla]. Musically, Vreth and Skrymer talked about how Swedish is more suitable for their music: Fi ish is ot eall , usi al, i opi io it s ot a e usi al sou di g la guage. Over the years Swedish became an importa t pa t of Fi t oll s sou d. The a d ould e e consider changing to English, which is the most commonly used language in metal.
Former si ge Wilska stated i: The la guage has al a s ee a ig asis of this a d a d I just wanted to continue it that way. The way the Swedish language fixes in our music and the way it is p o ou ed is su h a di i i g pa t of ou sou d. More recently, the band has broadened the topics of their lyrics to Finnish myths and legends in general.
Finntroll Bloodstock Open Air Finntroll interview with Vreth, Skrymer and Routa. Interview with Routa of Finntroll, http: Vreth and Skrymer believe that bands should primarily deal with their own cultural heritage: In short, Finntroll is a Finnish folk metal band that combines melodic elements of Finnish folk music with folk instruments and black metal.
Their lyrics, in Swedish, relate to Finnish mythology. The a d s li e-up at that time consisted of Trollhorn keyboards , Tundra bass , Skrymer guitars , Beast Dominator drums , Tapio Wilska vocals , and Routa guitars.
This is clear not only from the numerous uploads of the song on YouTube ranging from the video clip, to live performances, and cover versions of the song but also from statements of the band members. The song is so successful that they cannot omit it from their set-list during concerts, as stated in an interview by Baz Anderson with current singer Vreth: Yeah, so eti es, ou k o , it s ha d I suppose.
We have to play it. But you know, he ou see the audie es ea tio to it, it s i e to pla it. In the following analysis and transcriptio of T ollha ae I ill e plo e the so g s l i s, instrumentation, structure, melodies, and harmony. The transcription see Appendix, pp. Finntroll interview with Vreth, http: The vocal lines and melodic parts accordion, harp, and strings on the keyboard line are my own transcription.
For this reason, the percussion and additional guitars or other instruments that appear more in the a kg ou d like the Je s ha p i the ope i g a s of the so g e e ot t a s i ed. They talk about a st o g t oll ho uses his ight ha e to hu t do Ch istia s.
Fi t oll s t pi al the es of trolls and anti-Christianity are evident. The trolls are portrayed as strong and superior and humans as weak and inferior. The lyrics are constructed in four verses of each four lines. The verses are alternated by one to three exclamations of Trollha are! The line-up of the band consists of a vocalist, two guitars, bass guitar, keyboard and drums.
Nevertheless, we hear several other instruments such as the accordion, a harp solo, and strings. As mentioned above, Finntroll usually generates the sound of such instruments on the keyboard and no indication was found that they used the real instruments for this song. Therefore, these instruments have all been transcribed on the keyboard-line with an indication of the instrument that can be heard.
Even though these are synthesised sounds, they give the distorted metal music a folk-character. The song has a fairly simple verse-chorus structure with one instrumental bridge for a schematic overview of the structure see Appendix, p. It is built around one main melody: This tablature can be found on http: The song starts with a short introduction which presents this melody.
First, the A part is presented in a folk-style, i. After the instrumental introduction the first three verses, alternated by the Trollha are! Wilska sings with a growly, rough voice. It is not melodious and without a clear pitch, hence the primarily rhythmic transcription using crossed notes on the single pitch D. The verses correspond to the A part of the main melody. The guitars follow its harmonic structure even though the melody itself not heard in the first and third verse. The choruses correspond to the B part of the melody.
The melody is always heard in the accordion and the Trollha are! Between the first chorus and the second verse a three-bar instrumental riff is played. Before the final and fourth verse is presented, there is a long instrumental bridge in which a new four-bar melody is presented: The different presentations of the melody are contrasted not only by their instrumentation but also by different rhythmic patterns in the guitar accompaniment.
In the remaining bars of this section, two different guitar riffs are presented bars and After this instrumental section we hear the final verse and chorus.
The main melody is heard again in the accordion. As an outro, the chorus is repeated. Harmonically, there is an ambiguity between the main melody and its accompanying harmony, being in G Dorian and G Aeolian respectively.
This ambiguity is not present in the bridge where both the melody and its accompaniment are in G Aeolian or the G natural minor scale. Overall, strong cadences are avoided. The song uses, as is typical for metal, only power chords consisting of the root note, a fifth, and an octave above the root, as shown in the examples below.
The two melodies are harmonised consistently throughout the song. Therefore it was possible to summarise the harmony of almost the entire song in following two figures: Between some sections see bars 14, 25, and 70 the power chord on the flattened 2nd degree is given. This is the only chord that is foreign to the scales of G Dorian and Aeolian. Nevertheless, the use of this chord is not rare as it is typical to use a flattened 2nd degree in heavy metal music. Its folk ha a te is eated usi g a folkish melody throughout the song and the sounds of instruments that are related to folk music.
Both the structure and harmony are simple and consistent throughout the song. The Video Clip T ollha ae as the fi st so g of hi h Fi t oll ade a offi ial ideo lip. T ollha ae o Det Iskalla T oll lod. E e tuall si ge Wilska a gued that T ollha ae ould e the ost suita le so g fo a ideo lip a d si gle: Whose idea as it to do a ideo fo T ollha ae?
I thought it as the st o gest so g fo a ideo o si gle. It was our guitarist who did it and he did a great job, capturing the atmosphere of Fi t oll. The video was at the time broadcasted on television in Finland and received mixed reactions, as Wilska stated i a i te ie i: Since then, the clip has been viewed Both the members of crowd and the band have the The video clip can be found on YouTube: Ta ta ea Desi e We zi e i te ie ith Tapio Wilska , http: Tartarean Desire Website interview with Tapio Wilska, http: They are dressed mostly in rags or leathers, have long tangled and dirty hair, painted faces, and are covered in warts and scars.
Although the crowd looks human, their appearance and behaviour gives the setting a trollish nature. The whole scene is quite brutal. In the beginning of the clip two people dressed in black that do not seem to belong to the group are dragged into the room and killed by the crowd. The feasting crowd eats, drinks, laughs, but also fights and argues. Apart from this, the specific narrative of the video clip is not entirely clear. The a d pe fo s T ollha ae ut the pe fo a e is ot ealistic.
The band uses hand-made instruments that fit better in the whole scenery than actual instruments would have done.
Those instruments, primarily made of wooden sticks and ropes, resemble guitars and drums. Like the crowd, the performance is also quite brutal. Wilska directs his growly singing directly to the camera as if he is singing right in the face of the viewer. Whilst pla i g o ette , pla - backing , they head bang to the music. The ideo lip suits Fi t oll s o e all output a d the so g i pa ti ula.
The t ollish crowd is brutal, especially towards common people. The band portrays itself as a metal band, as is lea thei pe fo a e, i this t oll setti g, hi h is the a d s primary lyrical theme. These observations were confirmed and the narrative was further clarified in an interview by Boris van Verlo with Wilska: We a ted to ha e the isuals of the a d a d it s asi all a t oll pa t i a a e he e the priests Amun and Shepil are being served as dinner.
The video starts by this troll guy killing Amun and placing an apple into his mouth and then it breaks up into a party. We had a total of 25 extras all dressed as trolls in this cavern near Helsinki at the Suomenlinna fo t ess a d it s uite o die i the ideo.
A lot of people i t oll a d leathe ostu es, good looking girls made look bad with scars and warts, and it gets really rough. The Live Performances As e tio ed efo e, T ollha ae is o e of Fi t oll s most popular songs and many live videos can be found online. To look at the performance context of the song and of folk metal in general, two videos from contrasting performance settings were chosen.
The first video is a professional recording made during Fi t oll s pe fo a e at the Lo la ds Festi al i the Netherlands in The diffe e es et ee professional and non-professional recordings and the extent to which a performance can be captured with the respective camera positions have already been discussed during the video presentation.
Therefore, the remainder of this essay will only focus on the visual aspects of the performances. For a band, there is a clear difference between performing at a festival among many other bands and headlining a concert in a smaller venue. Festivals attract larger and more diverse audiences. Regular concerts attract a smaller audience but one that is usually more familiar to the band and their music. This creates more intimacy between the band and the audie e.
Fi t oll s si ge , he asked a out hether he preferred festivals or regular concerts, said the following: Be ause he ou are in a igge festi al ou ha e a e feet to the audie e a d ou do t eall see them. These differences are clear from the two clips. There is a larger distance between the audience and the band and the stage is much higher in the Lowlands-clip in comparison to the Brisbane-clip. The audience in Brisbane seems more familiar with the band. From what can be heard and seen in the footage, the Brisbane-audience knows the song much better and sings along even when the singer does not gesture them to do so.
Also, as Lowlands Festival is not a metal-only festival, it is not surprising that the audience does not look like a typical metal audience. Usually, an entire audience of metalheads is an entirely dressed-in- black crowd which is not the case in the Lowlands-clip. Nevertheless, metalhead or not, from what we can see in the footage, the audience enjoys the music and interacts with the music. In both clips we see aspects that are typical of metal performances.
The musicians regularly head bang during the song. The singer is responsible for the interaction with the audience. He gestures them to sing along—especially during the Trollha are! We get a better sense of the audience in the Lowlands-clip but it is clear that in both cases the audience responds to these gestures.
We can see them head banging, involved in a mosh pit, and showing the metal horns sign. Fe ua. The a d eates an on-stage persona by wearing costumes and facial and body paint. During both concerts, the singer wore a black kilt, black arm warmers, and had branch-like figures painted on his face and bare chest. Most of the other band members wore black T-shirts and trousers but otherwise have a similar appearance.
Singer Vreth discussed the costumes, the make-up, and their meaning in interviews: What a out ou stage ostu es a d akeup, ho desig s those? We also wanted to do something different, not the classic corpse- paint [i. This would be typical make- up fo la k etal a ds], ou s is st lish a d it s ou thi g.
It does t eall ha e a deepe ea i g. It gets so t of like oots f o t ees. Like in the video clip, the band gets into a kind of character — although this character is not as specific as the trolls in the video clip — when they go on stage. He does not always talk with his normal speaking-voice but, for example in the beginning of the Brisbane-clip, he sometimes addresses the audience in the same growling voice as he sings. In short, it is not only the live performance of a song that creates the entirety of Fi t oll s pe fo a es.
Conclusion I o lusio , I ould like to ide tif the folk a d the etal aspe ts of Fi t oll as a folk metal band as shown in their so g T ollha a e. The folklo i aspe ts a e fou d i their music and in some aspects of their performance. Musically, they draw on elements of Marina Sidyakina. All the past and present band members with the exceptio of Tapio Wilska e e o a e listed i the a d s li e-up with a nickname.
This might be a part of their on-stage persona. However, unfortunately not much information can be found about why they use these nicknames. Thematically, trolls are central in the song. This theme is carried forth in thei depi tio of t oll life i T ollha a e s ideo lip. Thei o -stage dress and make-up also visually fit into a folkloric character. The actual concert experience remains entirely metal. The o stage eha iou head a gi g , the audie e s eha iour head banding, mosh pits, metal horns sign , and the interaction between the band and its audience is no different than it would be in a concert of another subgenre of heavy metal.
Finntroll interview with Vreth.
Tartarean Desire Webzine interview with Tapio Wilska, http: Metal Warzon interview with Vreth, http: Interview with Routa of Finntroll. Fi t oll Bloodsto k Ope Ai. Hu pa Night, i te ie ith Wilska , o http: Tuatha de Da a , Bella Natu a p. My task is clear, to defend my land, To rally my men, to lead and command. My strength is hatred for these flaxen men, Who invade my country again and again! I am Warrior, ready to fight!
I am Warrior, ready to die! I am Warrior, noble and true! I am Warrior, Ceitheirn Abu? Black is the colour of my heart today, I see their armies, I hear their cries.
Sailing forth in their mighty ships, They are not men, they have no pride. They came to my land in search of spoils, To take my women, my home, my wealth. Today we stand, united we fight, Our Gaelic blades will now be felt! Structure Time Song structure Instrumentation Intro: Is not infinite The wonderful place which we all live It's better if all of us start to think What we can do to the Earth So come on my friends, let's look to this world! Learning with old mistakes Bella Natura Let's work - let's work!
Right now - right now! Time marches against us Take care - take care! Together - together! We all try to fix these nebulous Things we did a long time ago So come on my friends, let's look to this world!
Learning with old mistakes Bella Natura And when our chance is over We'll not have another place to go Why don't take care and love all this Green vastness and the whole world We'll become perfect partners Look out! Maybe it turns against us Shining rays, the sun is gliding over All these fields we live and wear out day by day To eat, drink and to use up all of you know But when I ask you, why don't you preserve it?
It may be good for making money, sadly that is not my goal.