Among the various forms of stev:
- gamlestev (old stave) is the oldest type. It is likely that gamlestev were originally danced. Stanzas in gamlestev meter,were already established around the end of the 13th century.
Of the gamlestev that have been preserved, most of them are from Setesdal and øvre Telemark . This poetic form is equivalent to the metre of the medieval ballad, and is used over most of Northern Europe:
- Oh who will shoe my bonny foot
- and who will glove my hand
- and who will lace my middle waist
- with a long, long linen band.
The metre in most old staves is loose, and the rhyming is always on the second and fourth line.
Some gamlestev might be remnants of folk songs that have been split up, and thereby losing completeness.
In Telemark , nystev have been replaced by rural folksongs , to a great extent. By contrast, nystev in Setesdal have held much of their ground. Many folksongs are based on the form, which rhymes in pairs:
- Den dag kjem aldri at eg deg gløymer
- for når eg søver, eg om deg drøymer.
- og natt og dag er du like nær,
- men best eg ser deg når myrkt det er.
- slåttestev (tune-staves) are instrumental dancetune songs. This is dancetunes with a short text. Sometimes the staves grows to longer songs. In Ireland, an equivalent would be The Rocky Road to Dublin, a tune which is both a dance-tune and a song.
The people who can perform stevEdit
A person who can perform a stev, is known as a kveder (or "kvedar"), in Norwegian (a folk-singer).
A kveder from Setesdal, when performing stev, generally sings more slowly, than a kveder from Telemark. One reason for this, may be that Setesdal stev are often more meditative ( or elegiac ), in regard to the stev text.
The Meters of StevEdit
- "Old words to old tunes - Old Norse Havamal to Norwegian stev and ballad tunes" in "Folkemusikkinnsamling - Skrift nr.16 - 2002"(ISSN 0800-3734), p. 109; author: Jon Storm-Mathisen, publisher: Norsk Folkemusikklag