Viking Music and Dance: Instruments, Songs, and Festivals

Viking Music and Dance: Instruments, Songs, and Festivals

The Vikings were known for their fierce raids, impressive shipbuilding skills, and advanced trading systems, but they also had a rich cultural heritage that included music and dance. From epic ballads to lively folk tunes, Viking music and dance were integral parts of everyday life and important aspects of festivals and celebrations.


The Vikings had a variety of instruments at their disposal, ranging from simple percussion instruments to complex stringed instruments. One of the most popular instruments was the lyre, a small harp-like instrument with strings that were plucked or strummed. The lyre was often used to accompany storytelling and singing.

Another popular instrument was the lute, a stringed instrument similar to a guitar. The Vikings also had various percussion instruments, such as drums and rattles, which were used to provide rhythm for dancing and singing.


Viking songs were an important part of their culture and were used to tell stories, pass down history, and express emotions. The Vikings had a variety of songs, including hymns, work songs, and ballads. One of the most famous Viking songs is the "Edda," a collection of poems that tells the story of the Norse gods and their interactions with humans.


The Vikings had several festivals throughout the year that included music and dance. One of the most important festivals was Yule, which celebrated the winter solstice and marked the beginning of the new year. During Yule, the Vikings would feast, exchange gifts, and participate in various forms of entertainment, including music and dance.

Other festivals included Midsummer, which celebrated the summer solstice and was marked by bonfires and dancing, and the Thing, which was a gathering of Viking tribes for legal and political purposes, but also included entertainment such as music and dance.


Viking music and dance were important parts of their culture and provided a way for them to express themselves, tell stories, and celebrate. The instruments, songs, and festivals of the Vikings have had a lasting impact on music and culture, and their influence can still be seen and heard today.

Works Cited:

“Viking Music.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, 22 Oct. 2021,

“The Vikings and Music.” National Museum of Denmark,

“Viking Festivals.” History on the Net,


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