Kulning with Heidi

Kulning (pronounced just as it looks) is a Swedish term that describes a unique form of singing used by Scandinavian herding girls who live in the high mountains with the dairy cattle during the spring and summer months. Think Heidi.

“The herding girls who drive the herds to the summer alpine pastures live in relative isolation and use kulning to communicate with each other and with their flocks over great distances,” explains musician and self-proclaimed history geek Sheila Louise Wright. “It is used to send the herds out in the morning, to call them back in in the evening, to entertain oneself while alone in the forests and meadows, as a means of scaring off predators, and as a means of communication with other herders.”

Families would traditionally have their own signature songs that were recognized by their herds. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to be in a beautiful setting with only your cows and belt out the sound of kulning? I’m game. How about you?

Here are a couple more kulning renditions:






  1. Reminds me of the sounds of some of the old celtic chants used in the highlands of Britain. Lovely, and I bet the cows really respond to this music as well.

  2. Krista says:

    Very lovely sounding. I really enjoyed listening to the videos. I found them very calming and enjoyable to listen to. They remind me of a perfect nap time music for little ones.

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Since I have never lived on a farm or experienced isolation , I have a hard time imagining such an experience and how the song would bring me a greater sense of peace and belonging. It is quite creative!

  4. Amazing! I would almost be afraid to make my cow dry up!! Such POWER in these voices!!

  5. Amazing! A song/sound I never would have heard without you, MJ

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