Icelandic music is usually related to some forms of Nordic music and it includes traditions of folk and pop music. The most popular Icelandic musicians today are the alternative rock band called The Sugar Cubes with its leading singer Bjork and the well known artist Sigur Ros. There are a lot of folk bands in Iceland , but the only band that has records available outside the country is Islandica. Icelandic music is quite original and usually is considered to be less commercial than other countries’ music. Iceland ’s national anthem is called “Our Country’s God”. The lyrics of the song was written in 1874 by Matthias Jochumsson and the music was composed by Sveinbjorn Sveinbjornsson. The occasion on which the song as written was the celebration of a thousand years of the island’s settlement.
The traditional Icelandic music has a strong religious character. During the 17th century there have been written a large variety of such songs and the most popular would be Hallgrimur Petursson’s Protestant hymns. This type of Icelandic music was later modernized with the help of pipe organs and harmoniums. Bjarni Thorsteinsson was the one who collected a large number of Icelandic music between the years 1906 and 1909. Other traditional songs in Iceland are the so-called Rimur, which are epic alliterative and rhyming ballads. These songs are usually a cappella songs and can be traced back to the Viking Age The most famous rimur have been written between the 18 th and 20 th centuries by great poets, such as Hannes Bjarnason, Jon Sigurthsson and Sigurthur Breithfjorth.