The Folk Music Centre was officially opened on June 8th 2006. It is located in the so-called Madam-house, where reverend Bjarni Thorsteinsson, who spent about a quarter of a century collecting the items, lived for 10 years while serving his parish. He also wrote the book ‘Icelandic Folk Music’, which was published in 1906.
The centre’s main goal is to introduce Icelandic folk music in an accessible and entertaining manner. It offers CDs and video tapes of people of all ages singing, chanting, or playing musical instruments. It also depicts reverend Bjarni’s sources and allt the people, who lent a helping hand with the collection. Some of the belongings of reverend Bjarni and his wife Margret are on display.
Reverend Bjarni started serving this parish in 1889. He later became a highly esteemed leader of the community, and was the driving force behind the granting of municipal rights to Siglufjordur in 1918. During the first 10 years, reverend Bjarni and his family lived in the Madam-house, Siglufjordur’s oldest house (1884). An association contributing to the founding of the Icelandic Centre for Folk Music bought the house shortly after the year 2000 with the support of the community, and now the descendants of rev. Bjarni, the budget committee of the Icelandic Parliament, and old inhabitants of Siglufjorður have made it possible to restore the house in its original appearance.
The centre serves educational purposes by preseerving the history the musical endeavours of the Icelandic people. Old recordings contain the traditional musical heritage, and newer recordings, CDs, and vidio tapes with younger performers show the enthusiasm of the younger generations for this preservation. Reverend Bjarni’s manuscripts, musical instruments and common knowledge is depicted in a lively way. The centre is open for tourists during the summer and for school classes during winter. Curriculum regarding Icelandic music to be presented in schools and universities is being prepared, and the centre will support the research of the country’s musical heritage and courses on a university level.
The centre is open from:
1. June through August 12:00-18:00
1. September – 31. May upon request. Call: