Article from Vesterheim, Vol. 7, No.2, 2009 – That Old Norwegian Song and Dance.

Enjoy a story by Beth Hoven Rotto of how people shared music over the telephone party line during difficult winters in the early 1900s.

Beth updated with the following:

As in this story, people today, especially during this time of coronavirus, are using their creativity to share and enjoy music with others in unique ways. The internet allows those with access to participate in Live Facebook shows, like the Upper Midwest Old-Timey Listening Party, which combine interviews with musicians and recorded music with interaction from the audience via a comment feed.

Live concerts from an artist’s home can and are being watched by people around the world, as happened with Vesterheim event concerts for Syttende Mai with Vidar Skrede in Milwaukee and for Nordic Fest with the band Gangspil in Denmark. Organizations like Nisswastamma Worldwide Concert have brought performers from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland to anyone with an internet connection.

In addition, past performances of many artists can be accessed via YouTube or on sites hosted by organizations with a quick search. Look them up to enjoy an at-home dance party of your own!

As we wait for a time when it is safe to gather in community to play, listen, and dance together, we can take an idea from those who went before us and do the best we can.

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