Iceland Airwaves 2012 Preview: Icelandic Music History

Tune in tomorrow for our Iceland Airwaves 2012 preview show! Here’s an interview giving us a peek into Icelandic music history. Visit WCRX’s Iceland Airwaves 2012 blog for more features and tune into WCRX 88.1 FM, stream live at, or catch us on your TuneInn Radio app, on Saturday, October 13th, from 1-3pm for a live broadcast of our Iceland Airwaves 2012 preview show.

We’re less than three weeks away from the start of Iceland Airwaves 2012, which brings artists from several musical backgrounds in one place to share and perform their work. Historically, Iceland’s music was known for their poems mixed with melodic tone. Dr. Kristín Jónína Taylor is the Associate Professor of Music in Piano at Waldorf College and a renowned Iceland-American pianist. She says early on there were two styles.

These two early styles were all Iceland had for centuries. Looked down upon as a third world country by the Danish crown, the isolation Iceland received kept the music from developing further.

The fact that Iceland was on a musical lockdown for five centuries makes it hard to believe that over the last 90 years this country has established itself within the world music market, with bands like Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men hailing from Iceland. Dr. Taylor says the country’s culture accelerated greatly after the formation of a republic in 1944.

The different directions that these Icelandic artists go help make Icelandic music diverse and Iceland Airwaves Music Festival so unique. They study the world, learning music from all sorts of cultures and then bring it back home for the rest of their country to enjoy.


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