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Independent Traditional Finnish Music

Over the past several decades, traditional Finnish music has enjoyed a revival. In the 1970s, folk music became all the rage in Finland with the emergence of performers and festivals in the media. A culture that had been given up for dead had come back to stay. Konsta Jylhä and other musicians steeped in the tradition were celebrated models for the re-introduction of folk music as a leisure pursuit.




A freshly minted transatlantic collaboration between violinist Sara Pajunen (Minnesota) and accordionist Teija Niku (Finland).

Bobby Aro - The Fabulous Finn

For over fifty years he entertained residents of Northern MN with his radio shows, his band, "the Ranch-Aros", and his recordings.

Café Accordion Orchestra

French, Finnish and Latin dance music in the Musette style.

Conga Se Menne

Finnish reggae from the U.P. of Michigan.

Doris and the Sidekicks

Minnesota accordionist playing Finnish polka.

Finn Hall

Finnish and Finnish-American dance tunes.

Barbara Hanka

Singer, pianist, kantele/Finnish harp player, accordianist, and songwriter.

Diane Jarvi

A third generation Finnish-American singer, songwriter, guitarist and kantele player.


Finnish-American musicians Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman.

Ninni Poijärvi

Talented Finnish classical-, pop- and country music singer-songwriter.

The Third Generation

Traditional Finnish folk songs and dance melodies.

Al Reko and Oren Tikkanen

Traditional Finnish folk songs and dance melodies.

Much of the music of Finland is influenced by Karelian (a member of the Finnish people living in Karelia in northwestern European Russia) traditional tunes and lyrics, as comprised in the Kalevala, an epic poem compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century from Finnish folk sources. It is commonly called the Finnish national epic and is one of the most significant works of Finnish-language literature. The Kalevala is credited with inspiring the nationalism that ultimately led to Finnish independence from Russia in 1917. The roots of the Kalevala culture extend back at least two or three thousand years, to a time when the original forms of the poetry and music of the Kalevala evolved amongst the Baltic-Finnic peoples. The most common instrument used in playing traditional Finnish music is the kantele. The kantele has been one of the Finns' most important instruments for hundreds of years, and most commonly has 5, 10, or 15 strings, although it can have many more.

The first millennium AD at the latest saw the emergence of runo singing that flourished in Finland, Karelia, Ingria and Estonia. Finno-Karelian runo singing survived well into the 19th century in places, and remnants of the old tradition can still be found today. The Kalevala culture was followed by a period of peasant culture or pelimanni music, or fiddler music. Fiddler music joined the old Finno-Karelian tradition from the 17th and 18th centuries onwards and supplanted it in the 19th century. Pelimanni music was generally played on fiddle and clarinet. Later, also harmonium and various types of accordions were used. Common dances in the pelimanni traditions include polska, polka, mazurka, schottische, quadrille, waltz and minuet.

Independent Music From Independent Bands and Musicians

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