When you think of Swedish music, something else that people rarely do, you probably think of ABBA. We saw little to make us think anything has changed since then. In a park in Orëbro we came across a group of young people rehearsing for a performance they were about to give. They were clearly trying to sing some form of jazz, but it was jazz as imagined by someone who has had jazz explained to him at some point but has never actually heard any. They were also tone deaf. Another group in the same park (it was a large and lively park), were entertaining children with the theme from Pippi Långstrump and similar works. They had a big crowd and the children were enjoying it, so I assume there was something I was missing.
There is a relaxed feel to the music you hear around you. The feel of it suggests they are unused to strong melodies and dynamic, characterful rhythms. Even the Hare Krishna we saw in Stockholm were not chanting as they do in other places, but were producing a slow, mellifluent, almost tuneless sound like a group of hippies expressing the sound of water flowing over stones on a summer’s day. You could almost see long, light, printed dresses moving in the breeze.