The Evolution of Finnish Schlager Music

14.2.2020 - 28.6.2020

Music Museum Fame’s 20 years of Iskelmä jubilee exhibition takes us through the changes of Finnish schlager music through four luminous artists with different starting points in their careers. Juha Tapio, Kaija Koo, Erin and Elastinen represent different music styles and age groups. On the exhibition’s video screens, each one of them share their views on the change of schlager music over the past 20 years and their attitude towards schlager. In addition to the artists’ views, the exhibition walls will feature facts from along the journey of both radio and music.

For the past 20 years, Radio Iskelmä has had a prime seat for watching modern schlager music climb to the top of the lists and reach top listener ratings, becoming Finland’s most popular domestic music style.

Long gone are the days of dusty hay barn romanticism. The reign of the new schlager began around the turn of the millennium and is going strong. Elements from other musical styles have blended in with schlagers, as artists bring forth their own styles with personal interpretations. Also, the meaning of schlager has broadened. These days, it encompasses a large part of all Finnish language mainstream music. Anything from rock to electronic dance music can be mixed into the modern schlager. Winds of change can be seen elsewhere; unlike before, schlager is no longer a curse word to an artist’s credibility. Today, it is a genre to be reckoned with, from which one can safely get inspiration for one’s own music.