Nyckelharpa

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Search out Vicki Swan on youtube. I had a very quick look but the Scottish tunes were all on smallpipes.

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I would love a nyckelharpa. Because all I really need in my life are more expensive instruments that are a pain in the butt to keep in tune. But they are COOL.

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goatsareus — brilliant name. Thanks Mark.

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Cheers , welcome back ormepipes, thats Jim Kline playing the Harp guitar, He does some wonderful Wood work too, Hand carving.

Nice one Prof! thats was brilliant

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Interesting stuff, thanks for posting.

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We had TWO nyckelharpas going in the session I was at a couple of weeks ago, though mostly playing Scandi music. That was Vicki Swan and a friend of hers. Sounds very nice with a mandolin, whatever the music…

Also check out Ruth Morris of Bellevous Rendezvous in Edinburgh.

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Oh, I must know. What is Scandi music?

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I think I have it sorted.
Scandi music is to Swedish music what Celtic is to Irish music. Close enough?

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Scandinavian

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Cheers, Weejie. I’ve never heard a Swedish waltz which I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Not usually one for the tongue myself (on flute) I’d say if you’re going to tongue, then by all means go for it.

Wyogal, I know.
;)

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Great stuff - amazing!

Welcome back ormepipes - we missed you. And my socks are blown off!

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Scandi music = nordisk spelmansmusic

The grouping differs from "Celtic" because Scandinavia is an actual geographical area (with some outlying lands like Iceland and Greenland) and there are strong links between the traditional music of the countries in the area - strong enough to be able to group them together, even though there are strong distinctions. "Celtic" is a bit more vague.

There are some pan-Scandinavian groups - of sorts - Spælimenninir í Hoydølum, for example, has members from Faroe, Denmark and Sweden. You might see hardingfele and nyckelharpa played together these days - possibly kantele and some joiking as well (though the Finno-Ugric cultures have some quite distinct traditions).
So, I wouldn’t say that "Scandi music" has quite the same negative connotations as "Celtic music".

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Fair play, Weejie! All of this music is exotic to me. I appreciate the heads up.

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Looks like the Swedish spelling of music - m u s i k - is too exotic for the scripting on this site!

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Scandi music - I’ve heard it referred to thus by several people including Vicki. I don’t think it’s derogatory. Also gets used with reference to design, furniture, architecture etc.

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Sorry to strike a discordant note, but for the sake of balance, as it were …

I absolutely detest the sound of nyckelharpas. Can’t listen to them. To me, they’re like - only much worse - squeaky chalk on a blackboard.

There. I’ve said it. I’ll get me coat.

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"To me, they’re like - only much worse - squeaky chalk on a blackboard."

Even the kontrabasharpa?

That would be some chalk!

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@ ethical blend
Well, even though I am 100% Swedish I’ll have to risk sounding treacherous and disloyal to my country - I actually agree with you..
Nyckelharpor (which is the correct plural form of "nyckelharpa") sound a bit too squeaky for my ear too. 🙁

- Vive le violon! 😀

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Thanks, Mattias! 🙂 Shame they were revived really … let’s hope it’s a fad …

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Ahh! The kälkborgerliga contingent!

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"Shame they were revived really … let’s hope it’s a fad .."

Well, if the carving in stone in Gotland are what it appears to be, the nyckelharpa predates "le violon" by about two centuries - and the "revival" was only a revival in popularity. The instrument never died out. With this taken into consideration, the "fad" might apply to "le violon".

"Nyckelharpor (which is the correct plural form of "nyckelharpa") sound a bit too squeaky for my ear too"

Well, Mathias, your own choice of instrument (the banjo) has its detractors too!

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"is what it appears to be"

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That second video, the one with the band in a carefully arranged stage setting, I don’t believe. I find the nyckelharpa sounds just like a fiddle, which is not how I’ve heard the few I’ve encountered before. I think it’s a carefully managed mime.
I’ll take considered opinions of this.

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Which "second video" are you meaning, Pete? Hedningarna?

If so, that is an ordinary fiddle.

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Or did you mean the second video link in this thread (Boann playing reels)? That richness of sound could only come from a nyckelharpa.

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Haha yes I’m well aware of banjo-förtalare! :’(

I bet they’re just really jealous of us, because the banjo is such an amazing instrument with it’s sophisticated and very refined, sweet sound! 😀 (Please add a grain of sarcasm to the last sentence! 🙂)

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How about a nyckelbanjo?

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Hahaha, yes that would be something, wouldn’t it? 🙂

Speaking of hybrid instruments..
How would you like an electric bodhrán? 😀

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"How would you like an electric bodhrán?"

A friend and I rigged up a bodhran with a drum synth pickup once. My friend was heard playing it through a wah-wah pedal.

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"My friend was heard playing it through a wah-wah pedal."

And what penance was required of him for this blasphemy?
😉

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It seemed to go down well. Fred Morrison gave it a nod of approval of suitable insanity.

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@Weejie Wow - I haven’t seen one of these in years. Thanks for the link! I used to have one of these when I was three (a long time ago!) while living in Singapore, so I guess my father must have brought it home from a business trip. It had some writing on the long flat bit, but what I most remember was the smell of the orange varnish. It was a bit like a cross between a harp and a piano, and I loved it.

Probably explains why I ended up playing the piano later in life, and then the harp after that.

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Wow.. A wah-wah bodhran sounds totally surrealistic!!

Do you have a video of it? I would love to ear/see it in action 😀

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Unfortunately I don’t think it was ever recorded even as an audio track. The drum synth isn’t available from the source any more. If anyone has a drum synth and pickup, I suggest you experiment with it. It can amuse you for at leat twenty minutes.

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I would point out that you can also use a wah-wah with close miking on a bodhran. It isn’t quite as insane as with the synth, but it is interesting.

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Haha that sounds hilarious! 😀

Speaking about experimenting, it would be interesting to plug my tenor banjo into my Line 6 150 watts half-stack.. I wonder what a distorted banjo with delay, chorus, phaser, flanger and tremolo would sound like! 🙂

I’m pretty sure I’d prefer playing unplugged, though! 😉

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For anyone interested in Swedish tunes for nyckelharpa scores for lots of such tunes can be found at http://www.folkwiki.se/

Here are some tunes in the tradition of the famous 18th century player Byss-Kalle:
http://www.folkwiki.se/Notb%c3%b6cker/57L%c3%a5tarEfterByss-Kalle

And here are tunes from Uppland - the region where the nyckelharpa tradition survived and is still strongest:
http://www.folkwiki.se/Platser/Uppland

For anyone thinking of picking up nyckelharpa playing I would suggest looking at clips of how Swedish players place the right arm since some players in other countries use a very nonstandard placement (apparently it works for them, but I doubt it’s optimal).

Here are some further nyckelharpa links:

Ranarim - Skulle jag sörja
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwhNSnPJigA


Ranarim - Maj vare välkommen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7wXcJiGH-o


Nordic (with Erik Rydvall on nyckelharpa)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU2cHY1qfRM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyD_7IiQNZM (a "swedish reggae")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiLbonpAK5s


A nice showcase of the nyckelharpa (played by Erik Rydvall) as part of a modern art project:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiJhRjBEm6o


I play nyckelharpa myself, but unfortunately no Irish/Scottish music.

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Hi!
I’m the one playing the flute in the clip mentioned above. Just want to clarify one thing;
The tunes recorded in the video are Scanian music. Scania is the most southern region in Sweden, next to Denmark. It became Swedish in the 17th century and has a very special cultural identity. It is not to be confused with the term Scandinavia wich refers to Norway and Sweden.
In Scania we have a wooden flute tradition besides all the fiddles.
Here are some more examples of Scanian music,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfREq2VOuVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgCnlzO_o64&feature=related

The clips are taken from the newly released CD "Music of Skåne", Skåne being Scania in Swedish
Cheers,
Markus

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Hi Markus!

I don’t think there was much confusion. As for Skåne being anglicised to Scania. I haven’t heard it used here, people tend to use the Swedish version (though often mispronounced). The word ‘Scania’ is more associated with trucks, which I believe originate in Sörmland! We were treated to some views of some of the Skåne landscape in the TV series "Wallender".

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"In Scania we have a wooden flute tradition besides all the fiddles."

Markus, is the träskofiol still played in Skåne?

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I should have witten "Wallander" too!

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"Witten"? Aaargh!

Silverbasharpa

Not forgetting the lower reaches and dear Sigurd Holmsberg…

Holmberg! - no ‘s’

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@Weejie
It’s just me being confused 😉
Oh yes, Scania is the big truck company. Since many years it’s located to Sörmland, although the company was founded in Malmö, the "capital" of Scania in the end of 19th century. I actually think that the Swedish word for Skåne comes from the latin name of Skåne, which is Scania.
The träskofiol is still being played, not that much though..

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Aye, but the plural is "nyckelharpor".

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That right there is the most useless fact I’ve learnt all day!

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"That right there is the most useless fact I’ve learnt all day!"

Useless if you never converse with Swedish folk, I suppose.

But then this is a site where they get uppity if people call tunes "songs", when, in fact, it’s patently obvious what is meant.

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Meow!

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Embracing the remix?

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Here’s a clip from our session last night in the House of McDonnell, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, which featured flat Pipes { C# } & Nyckelharpa!

Tom O’Neill’s Session: Nyckelharpa & Uilleann Pipes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJj1p2VIhSs


Cheers,
Dick

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Enjoyed a Session last night, here in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, which included 2 Nyckelharpor, Moothie, Oboe, Scottish Smallpipes, 2 Northumbrian Pipes, Low Whistle etc.

Here’s a wee video clip with some of us playing Da Slockit Light: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_-wxrETpdw


Cheers,
Dick

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As I said on your video: Always good to hear these tunes played on the proper traditional Irish instruments 🙂

Seriously, fun to hear and thanks for sharing.

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Da Slockit Light played as a march in Northern Ireland, with 2 nyckelharpor, oboe, Geordie pipes etc - and a bodhran - now that’s a novelty - and that it can be done is what it’s all about, I reckon.