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
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
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
The centre is open from
1. June through
1. September – 31. May:
upon request. Call:
The Folk Music Centre