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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

OK, we're one week before Christmas, and over the next few days Morning Edition will bring you some sounds of the season.

(Soundbite of Trio Mediaeval singing)

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This is the music of the Norwegian group Trio Mediaeval. Their recording - it's called "Folk Songs" - has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

(Soundbite of Trio Mediaeval singing)

INSKEEP: They recently visited our studios to sing Christmas songs, both mediaeval and modern.

(Soundbite of Trio Mediaeval singing)

MONTAGNE: One member of the group, Torunn Ostrem Ossum, told us Christmas in America is a bit different than in Norway.

Ms. TORUNN OSTREM OSSUM (Singer, Trio Mediaeval): You start much earlier than we do with the decorating for Christmas.

INSKEEP: Also there's no Santa Claus in Norway. Instead, they have several kinds of what you might call a Christmas gnome.

Ms. OSSUM: Oh, he's coming on Christmas Eve to have porridge.

MONTAGNE: If you don't leave any porridge for this little gnome, he might get angry. And then there's the gnome who brings gifts.

Ms. OSSUM: The Julenissen. He's coming on Christmas Eve with the presents.

INSKEEP: Even if a gnome brings presents instead of Santa Claus, there's still plenty of Norwegian Christmas music about Jesus, Joseph, and in this song, the Virgin Mary.

(Soundbite of Trio Mediaeval singing)

Ms. OSSUM: Now this song of Mary is arranged for the group by one of our friends, Tone Krohn. She's a folk singer who lives in the county of Vestfold, which is the county where I come from.

(Soundbite of Trio Mediaeval singing)

MONTAGNE: The voices of Trio Mediaeval singing in NPR's Studio. You can hear more of their music and many other vocal groups on "Choirs and Carols: An NPR Christmas." It's at our Web site at npr.org/music and on the radio this holiday season on many NPR member stations.

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