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Folk songs are often about love, sailors, masculinity, hard winters, as well as elves, trolls and other mythological creatures, and tend to be quite secular and often humorous.
Bjarni Þorsteinsson collected Icelandic folk music between 19, and many of the songs he encountered were accompanied by traditional instruments like the langspil and fiðla, which are among the few musical instruments traditionally played in Iceland.
Her latest album Tookah, released in 2013, reached the Top 50 album charts in several countries.
Other artists that are attracting attention outside Iceland include the electro-pop group FM Belfast, indie pop / rock / folk band Kaleo as well as the singers and composers Sóley and Sin Fang, who are both known as founding members of the band Seabear.
Female singer-songwriter Emiliana Torrini is an established Icelandic artist.
Her song "Jungle Drum", from her 2008 album Me and Armini, is well known abroad and reached number one in the German, Austrian, Belgium and Icelandic single charts.
Rímur remained popular recreation until the early 20th century.
In recent years, efforts have been made to revive native Icelandic forms.
Rímur can be traced back to the Viking Age Eddic poetry of the skalds and employs complex metaphors and cryptic rhymes and forms.Well-known artists from Iceland include alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, singers Björk, Hafdís Huld and Emilíana Torrini, and post-rock band Sigur Rós, as well as electronic music groups like Gus Gus.Icelandic popular music today includes many bands and artists, ranging from indie and pop-rock to electronic music.Some of the most famous rímur were written between the 18th and early 20th centuries, by poets like Hannes Bjarnason (1776–1838), Jón Sigurðsson (1853–1922) and Sigurður Breiðfjörð (1798–1846).In the early 18th century, European dances like polka, waltz, reel and schottische begin to arrive via Denmark.
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The music of Iceland includes vibrant folk and pop traditions, as well as an active classical and contemporary music scene.