Music sources for Scandinavian gammeldans

Many of the groups that play gammeldans for dancing do not record their dance music. Instead, they prefer to record more arranged and "artistic" music. The list below includes groups that have recorded good dance music for gammeldans. It is by no means exhaustive, but includes many of the groups we like to dance to.

These groups are all on Spotify. Many are also on YouTube. And a significant number have albums on iTunes and Amazon.

Norwegian groups

In the 1970s and 80s, many great dance albums were produced by Hallvard Kvåle for his company Heilo (now a part of Grappa musikkforlag). You'll recognize a Heilo recording by the last sound track, which is their logo - the call of the heilo bird. These older recordings are generally not avalaible on today's media, but some of you might have them lurking in your record collections.

In the eastern regions (especially Røros and Gudbrandsdal), there are an enormous number of gammeldans groups and so my list is heavily tilted toward them. Some regions, including the west and the north, are underrepresented because I couldn't find good, danceable recordings.

Here are a few compilations:

Album Description
Masterpieces from Norway (1997) 23 songs with many of the best bands
Gammeldans Norway Samles (2006) compilation
Norge danser (Dancing in Norway) (1994) Originally 3 cds, good breadth in music types
Group Description
Småviltlaget Based in the Røros area, one of the very best gammeldans groups today. Recordings often done with dancers in the room, slower tempos than many recording.
Dalakopa Based in the Røros area, one of the best gammeldans groups over a very long period, with lots of recordings. Mary Barthelemy plays in this band.
Sven Nyhus kvartett Based in Røros, may early recordings from the 1970s. Many gret tunes composed by Sven Nyhus. Recorded tempo was fast then, and very fast for today's tastes.
Lendmenn Group from Gudbrandsdal who won the Landsfestivalen competition in 2018. Album "Den fyrste" (the first one).
Jutullaget Fantastic two-row accordion based music from Gudbrandsdal.
Syvers orkester One of the very best bands for dancing from Gudbrandsdal today.
Lom spelemannslag In Gudbrandsdal there is a spelemannslag (open fiddle group) in almost every area: Lom, Vågå, Sør-Fron, Heidal, but I only see Lom on Spotify. The spelemannslag have a full, rich fiddle sound, great for dancing.
Letruds gammeldansorkester Many tunes from Ola Kampen, a well known player.
Hallingdal kraftlag Fine music from Hallingdal, mostly composed by the lead two-row player Jostein Sørbøen.
Toradertrio The two-row accordion group in Norway that started the two-row craze in the 1980s.
Askerladden A special sound with Hardanger fiddle, many gorgeous tunes composed by the accordionist Ingunn Bjørgo. Based in the Oslo area.
Gamlebanken spelemannslag Catchy hardanger fiddle music, played with traditional gammeldans accompaniment.
Honndalstausene A Hardanger fiddle group that plays music from the west of Norway. They made a huge splash with their introduction in Norway because they were a group of young women at a time when most players were older men.
P.A. Røstad Jrs orkester From northern Trøndelag, they play great music in the tradition of Hilmar Alexandersen. P.A. Røstad jr is the grandson of the original P.A. Røstad who played with Hilmar. (A fairly recent album of old P.A. Røstad recordings called På gjensyn has been produced, but it's not on Spotify or iTunes.)
Oddvar Nygårds kvartett Oddvar Nygård Kvartett is the most famous group from the 1960s. In many ways, this group started the "gammeldans sound" with fiddle, accordion, guitar, and bass. They made several albums, but I do not see them on iTunes. There are some melodies on Spotify.

Swedish groups

My knowledge of Swedish groups is fairly limited, but here are some with albums that we like.

There is a huge repertoire of tunes that are played for fun and dancing at Swedish fiddle gatherings, but to the best of my knowledge many of these are not recorded. I did find one compilation, as listed below.

Album Description
Fiolin min - Svenska spelmansslåtar A compilation of tunes often played at fiddler gatherings.
Group Description
Orsa spälmän They play lots of polskas, but have also cooperated with Benny Andersson (of ABBA fame) and also play lots of good gammeldans music.
Ôstersunds Spelmanslag Good music, with albums from the 1990s.
Offerdals Spelmannslag Several good, danceable albums
Norrtelje Elitkapell Several great albums from the 1980s.
Bröderna Lindkvist This was an early group (1970s) that had a profound influence on later gammeldans groups in Sweden and Norway.