Traditional dances of Norway are often performed on Hardangar fiddles, a fiddle with four or five sympathetic strings.
Fiddle playing in Norway often demonstrates the use of microtonal intervals and an appreciation of high silvery frequency ranges, typified by the violin and the flute. Flute Sonata No. 10 was inspired to mimic national traditional Norwegian folk music encompassing the bygdedans fiddling and singing traditions. The piano writing is based on the four open strings of the violin.
Movement 1: Gangar (walking dance) – a dance familiar to the south and west of Norway whose music consists of a lot of ornamentation. Variations on rhythm are typical and in turn drive the style and energy of the music. The flute soloist has a lot of freedom to make the music sound like inspired improvisation which is consistent with the dance itself. This dance can be compared to American swing dancing in that the man decides and leads the figures and the woman follows, traveling around the room.
Movement II: Ballad – a slow form producing a lyrical love song. Similar to traditional Norwegian literature this ballad is a self-contained story, concise, its inspiration relying on imagery, rather than description – the image of my wife, Kristin.
Movement III: Springar (running dance) the rhythm of the music for springars varies between different regions of Norway. The rhythm of this fast springar features three uneven beats per measure, giving each section its own pattern, a pattern which refers to the characteristic rise and fall of the dance itself. The music is typical of Norwegian folk music as the music does not usually follow a set -8 measure phrase familiar to us from other music.