Visits – Mobilities of the CADENCE project

The "Grundtvig learning partnership” focuses on the mobilities of the participants. We centred our partnership to the meetings of the whole CADENCE study group in the three participating institutes.

We decided to travel to Sweden first because of the feeling of several hundred years of nyckelharpa tradition you can get there. We went to Tobo in January as the Swedish winter is the most remarkable season for the visitors from the south of Europe.

Next we went to Italy as it seemed the best place to deal with medieval music and its connection to local popular music. We travelled in June hoping for lovely Italian weather, though it was raining the first days.

For the third and last time we met in Germany in "Golden October” where we studied contemporary music and had the opportunity to meet a lot of other nyckelharpa players during the "International Days of the Nyckelharpa”.


1st Preparation meeting, February 17 - 19, 2009

Management meeting in Forlimpopoli, Italy – together with the three mayors of the respective communes and signing the municipal cooperation

Internal consultations, making plans for the project

Public lecture event on nyckelharpa

Press conference with signing the agreement of cooperation between the three communes by the mayors (from left):

Hermann-Josef Scheich, Bürgermeister, Marktgemeinde Eiterfeld, Germany
Bo S Englund, Kommunalfullmäktiges ordförande, Tierp, Sweden
Paolo Zoffoli, Sindaco, Comune di Forlimpopoli

three mayors from Eiterfeld, Forlimpopoli an Tierp singning the cooperation

The three mayors

  Forlimpopoli fiesta artusiana Forlimpopoli, Nyckelharpa class room Forlimpopoli discussing the cooperatopm
  Forlimpopoli public lecture on the nyckelharpa Forlimpopoli lecture on the history of the nyckelharpa Forlimpopoli public lecture, performance of the nyckelharpa class
  Jule Bauer, first certified gratuate of the European Nyckelharpa Training

Jule Bauer received the first certificate of the European Nyckelharpa Training

Forlimpopoli, press conference on the nyckelharpa cooperation

Press conference with the three mayors and the responsible for the project

Forlimpopoli, the mayors playing nyckelharpa together

Mayor Zoffoli trying a nyckelharpa


2nd Preparation meeting, October 08 – 11, 2009

Management Meeting at Burg Fürsteneck, Germany – with organizers and teachers

The management meeting was held at the same time as the International Days of the Nyckelharpa. Thus, the teachers could join in from time to time, some of the participants of the project were present, and about 80 nyckelharpa-player from 13 nations could be informed about the CADENCE-project.

Participants of the management meeting:

  • Esbjörn Hogmark (Eric Sahlström Institutet)
  • Håkan Larsson (Eric Sahlström Institutet)
  • Marco Bartolini (Scuola di Musica Popolare di Forlimpopoli)
  • Karsten Evers (Akademie Burg Fürsteneck)
  • Günter Schmuck (Akademie Burg Fürsteneck)

The teachers of the International Days of the Nyckelharpa and the mayor of Eiterfeld were partly participating in the meeting.

Håkan Larsson, Esbjörn Hogmark, Marco Bartolini and Karsten Evers at Burg Fürsteneck

Håkan Larsson, Esbjörn Hogmark, Marco Bartolini and Karsten Evers at Burg Fürsteneck


  Burg Fürsteneck, nyckelharpa session Burg Fürsteneck, Bürgermeister Hermann-Josef Scheich und Koordinator Karsten Evers Burg Fürsteneck, Internationale Nyckelharpa Tage, conference on the nyckelharpa
  Burg Fürsteneck, lecture of Esbjörn Hogmark Burg Fürsteneck, Sonja Sahlström and Hakan Larsson performing Swedish music Burg Fürsteneck, nyckelharpa concert
  Burg Fürsteneck, International Days of the Nyckelharpa, finale Burg Fürsteneck, International Days of the Nyckelharpa, nyckelharpa mandala Burg Fürsteneck, International Days of the Nyckelharpa, nyckelharpa mandala


1st Mobility of the CADENCE group, January 11 - 16, 2010

The visit to the Eric Sahlström Institutet, Tobo, Sweden

The first visit led us to the Eric Sahlström Institute in Tobo. The ESI resides in a manor house from the late 19th century, a lovely building with a marvellous atmosphere. Tobo belongs to the municipality of Tierp in the district of Uppland, the area in Sweden where the nyckelharpa has continuously been played for at least 3-4 centuries.

The first goal was to form a group of 18 individuals, most of whom were meeting for the first time. It worked better than one could expect. Being connected by a mutual special interest in the nyckelharpa helped all to feel familiar with each other quite quickly.

One specific feature of the ESI is that they offer one-year full-time courses for playing and dancing. The CADENCE group had the chance of observing several lessons with Ditte Andersson, Sonia Sahlström, and Olov Johansson, and of talking, playing, and dancing with their students. Traditionally Swedish nyckelharpa music is taught by ear. This method was also used in the lessons dealing with Swedish polskas that Ditte Andersson gave to the CADENCE members. As a special impression they were also invited to a dance lesson with Andreas Berchtold to get a first glimpse of dancing polska and of his fundamental ideas of teaching to dance.

A public seminar with the former and the present professors for folk music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Ole Hjorth and Sven Ahlbäck, was very exciting for the participants from the continent because in their home countries traditional music and dance are usually not regarded as academic university subjects. But in Sweden this university education is on a high level and very successful. The graduates generally get jobs quite easily. At this occasion Bo S Englund, the mayor of Tierp, also welcomed the group.

We joined "Tobotorsdag”, a periodic event every other Thursday from October until April. These evenings start with a short concert by a local folk music group. About 30 musicians and 20 dancers from the neighbourhood meet and have a whole evening of dancing and playing nyckelharpa and fiddle. There you can get a feeling of how a living tradition works.

In a trip to the countryside, we visited Tolfta church where two ceiling frescos of medieval nyckelharpas from about 1500 can be found, which gave us an impression of 500 years of tradition. We continued the trip to view sites of the former Swedish-Wallone steel production, which happened to be in the same region where the nyckelharpa used to be popular, and still is.

ESI Tobo, participant in front of the ESI

Eric Sahlström Institutet

Eric Sahlström Institutet

 The Eric Sahlström Institutet


ESI Tobo, first meeting of CADENCE participants

ESI Tobo, Michael Näslund presenting the ESI ESI Tobo, chalkboard painting

This was the daily schedule in Sweden:

Mon 11 Jan


Dinner 17.30 and informal evening

Tue 12 Jan

Start of Meeting

8.00 - 9.00 Breakfast

9.00 – 12.30

Participants present themselves

Presentation of the EU project (Karsten Evers)

Presentation of the program for the visit in Tobo (Håkan Larsson).

National groups meet and discuss their prepared questions/ideas about the ESI-visit. Sweden answers questions. (Secretary takes notes, collects/copy documents if any).

The history of the foundation of the Eric Sahlström Institutet (Esbjörn Hogmark)

Presentation of the Institute (Michael Näslund)

The Swedish nyckelharpa and its history.

Discussion of prepared questions.

12.30 Lunch

13.30 1st EU-lecture with Ditte Andersson. EU-teachers and EU-mangers observe

15.00 Coffee and talks

15.45- 17.15 2nd EU-lecture with Ditte Andersson together with ESI- dancing teacher Andreas Berchtold. EU-teachers and EU-mangers observe.

17-15-18.00 Summarize the day. Discussion of prepared questions.

18.00 Dinner

Evening: Listening to some instruments played solo. Open evening for invited guests and others to play.


ESI Tobo, Cadence participants

ESI Tobo, Karsten Evers presenting the programme

ESI Tobo, lecture on Swedish music

ESI Tobo, body and rhythm

Wed 13 Jan

8.00 Breakfast

9.00 -10.00 Attending a regular ESI-lecture with Ditte Andersson. All EU-participants observe. 

10.30-11.00 Coffee

11.15 – 15.00 Trip to Tolfta Church and lunch. Visit old historical industrial sites Forsmark, Lövsta, Österby where the Nyckelharpa has been continuously been played for hundreds of years.

15.00 Coffee and talks.

15.45-17.15 3rd Lecture with Ditte Andersson. Didier François with the ESI-class. Managers meet.

17.15-18.00 Summarize the day

18.00 Dinner

Evening. The head teachers of the ESI nyckelharpa/fiddle class Olov Johansson, Sonia Sahlström and Ditte Andersson play some tunes. Open for everyone who wants to play, especially Didier and Jule since they leave next day. And open for people outside the EU-project that wants to come.

ESI Tobo, warm up

ESI Tobo, Didier François teaching

  Tolfta Church, outside Tolfta Church, Nyckelharpa playing angle Tolfta Church, Esbjörn Hogmark lectures on history of the nyckelharpa in Uppland
  Forsmark Forsmark industrial side

Thur 14 Jan

8.00 Breakfast

9.00 – 10.00 Visit a regular ESI-lecture with Olov Johansson

10.30 Coffee

11.00 4th Lecture with Ditte Andersson. Managers meet.

12.30 Lunch and discussions

14.00 - 17.00 Seminar on folk music education and research in Sweden. All interested in folk music are invited to attend the seminar and take part in the discussions. Media is invited as well as the mayor of Tierp.

14.00-15.00 Marco Ambrosini plays and talk about how he started to play the nyckelharpa and where he thinks it stands in Italy and Germany today.

15.00-15.30 Coffee break

15.30 Ole Hjorth and Sven Ahlbäck speak and play some tunes. Ole Hjorth started the folk music education at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Sven Ahlbäck is the first professor of folk music in Sweden.

16.00 Discussion

17.30 Dinner for the EU-group

19.00 ’Tobotorsdag’ – A regular public ESI-evening with performances followed by the typical Swedish ‘allplay’ to the dance. Hosts this evening is Trollrike spelmän. The scene is open for everyone in the EU-project who wants to play a tune between 20-21.

ESI Tobo, Olov Johansson teaching

ESI Tobo, Ole Hjorth and Sven Ahlbäck playing

Sven Ahlbäck and Ole Hjorth

ESI Tobo, Marco Ambrosini lecture on Siena nyckelharpa

  ESI Tobo, Tobotorsdag music and dance ESI Tobo, Tobotorsdag music and dance ESI Tobo, Tobotorsdag music and dance

Fri 15 Jan

8.00 Breakfast

9.00 – 10.00 Visit a regular ESI-lecture with Sonia Sahlström

10.30 coffee

11.00 5th Lecture with Ditte Andersson. Marco Ambrosini with ESI-class. Managers meet

12.30 Lunch


  • Individual and group documentation (Secretary takes notes)
  • Planning activities on the wiki before next meeting
  • Discussion

Evening. Play and Party.

ESI Tobo, finger warm up

ESI Tobo, lecture

ESI Tobo, dinner

Sat 16 Jan

Touristing, lunch and shopping in Uppsala before going by train ‘Upptåget’ to Arlanda airport.



ESI Tobo, good by, departure



2nd Mobility of the CADENCE group, June 20 - 24, 2010

The visit to the Scuola di Musica Popolare di Forlimpopoli, Italy

June  20 to 24, 2010 the multinational CADENCE-group was invited to the Scuola di Musica Popolare di Forlimpopoli, Italy.

Forlimpopoli is a small town that surrounds a castle in the centre. It belongs to the district Emilia-Romagna and has a really long history. The Scuola di Musica Popolare is a democratically self-governed association by its teachers and students. It has no building of its own, but uses exclusively suitable municipal rooms in the castle and in a former convent, now a primary school. Our group was quartered in the local hotel close to the centre. Coming in June we could experience the Festa Artusiana, when the whole town and thousands of visitors enjoy excellent cooking and cultivated eating. We too enjoyed this and contributed a public CADENCE concert to the festival.

Musically Marco Ambrosini introduced the group to teaching early and modern sheet music. The tunes were chosen exemplarily to follow the influence of medieval music on folk music of the region and on modern pop music. We could observe private lessons given to students of the European Nyckelharpa Training and hear a concert of one of the ensembles of the Scuola di Musica Popolare.

From Sweden two additional guests travelled with us: Michael Näslund, director of the ESI, and Sonia Sahlström, daughter of Eric Sahlström and musician herself honoured as "golden riksspelman”. Being together with almost all people responsible for the international nyckelharpa cooperation we used the opportunity to meet delegations from Belgium (Henri Vandenberghe and Dianne Leenders) and Spain (Ana Alcaide) interested in joining future projects. We also met Paolo Zoffoli, the mayor of Forlimpopoli, who introduced the CADENCE concert to the public.

Working together we also started to collect and discuss ideas for a final report, additional publications and the personal contributions of each participant. A touristic trip led us to one of the oldest but still working salines with its salt museum and to the Adriatic Sea.

SMP Forlimpopoli, participants

SMP Forlimpopoli, castello

SMP Forlimpopoli, castle

This was the daily schedule in Italy:

Sun 20 June

Arrivals, meeting, talking and play together

Mon 21 June

08:00 Breakfast at the hotel EDO

09:15 Presentation of the meeting-program & the SMP (Marco Bartolini & Marco Ambrosini)

10:30 Coffee-break

12:00 CADENCE work-time ("questions to Italy")

13.00 Lunch at Casa Artusi

14:45 1st lesson with Marco Ambrosini, SMP-class watch

16:00 Coffee-break

16:30 Cadence-meeting: documentation, brainstorming

17:15 2nd lesson with Marco Ambrosini SMP-class watch

19:00 Dinner at hotel EDO

22:00 Concert of traditional folk music from region Emilia-Romagna, our participant Davide Castiglia and his ensemble play.

SMP Forlimpopoli, nyckelharpa class room

Marco Ambrosini with historical scores and modern transcription

  SMP Forlimpopoli, castle at night SMP Forlimpopoli, dancing at night SMP Forlimpopoli, lecture Marco Ambrosini

Tue 22 June

08:00 Breakfast at the hotel EDO

09:15 3rd lesson with Marco Ambrosini, SMP-class watch 

11:00 Coffee-break

11:30 SMP-class lesson with Ditte Andersson, CADENCE attends

13:00 Lunch at Bar Italia

14:30 Ensemble-practice, rehearsal for the concert / Manager meeting with the Belgian and Spanish delegation

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Ensemble-practice, rehearsal for the concert / Manager meeting with the Belgian and Spanish delegation

19:00 Dinner at hotel EDO

20:30 rehearsal for our concert & sound check, meeting with the mayor of Forlimpopoli

22:30 Public Concert CADENCE

SMP Forlimpopoli, playing nyckelharpa together

SMP Forlimpopoli, lunch at cafe Italy

  SMP Forlimpopoli, Cadence participants playing nyckelharpa Managers meeting of Cadence Nyckelharpa Project, forlimpopoli Marco Ambrosini with sindago Paolo Zoffoli
  SMP Forlimpopoli, Sonja Sahlström and Hakan Larsson public concert Forlimpopoli, Cadence Nyckelharpa concert at fiesta artusiana Forlimpopoli, Cadence Nyckelharpa concert at fiesta artusiana

Wed 23 June

08:00 Breakfast at the hotel EDO

09:15 Cadence-meeting, planning documentation

11:00 Coffee-break

11:30 SMP-class lesson with Didier François, CADENCE attends

13:00 Lunch at Casa Artusi

14:30 Start of the touristic tour, salt museum, country side, beach

19:00 Dinner at hotel EDO

20:00 Play together in the class and visit of the Festa Artusiana

SMP Forlimpopoli, warm up in the class room


  Italy touritic programme, seaside Italy touritic programme, salt museum Forlimpopoli, dinner at casa artusi

Thu 24 June

Morning CADENCE-WORKING-Breakfast


 Forlimpopoli, Fiesta Artusiana


3rd Mobility of the CADENCE group, October 5 - 10, 2010

The visit to the academy Burg Fürsteneck, Germany

October 5 to 10, 2010 the multinational CADENCE-group was invited to the academy Burg Fürsteneck in Eiterfeld, Germany.

Burg Fürsteneck is a medieval castle, completely maintained and carefully renewed during the last few years. It is located in the centre of Germany but far away from big cities. Since 1953 it has been used as an institute for adult education. It surpasses the two other institutes in size of the building, in number of students, and in the scope of educational subjects.

When we came to Burg Fürsteneck in October it was to be the last meeting of the whole group. Earlier in summer we decided to meet an extra day than originally planned. Thus, we had two days before the "International Days of the Nyckelharpa” and the "European Nyckelharpa Training” joined in. The last day almost 100 nyckelharpa players from 12 nations stayed at the castle.

Thus, a lot of exchange happened officially by observing lessons and informally by playing and talking together. We also met additional guests who had already joined us in Tobo and Forlimpopoli. The musical work of the CADENCE group was focussed by Didier François on teaching methods for improvisation and contemporary music. Beside this some rehearsal was done to prepare a public concert recorded and broadcasted by the national German radio "Deutschlandfunk”.

The mayor of Eiterfeld, Hermann-Joseph Scheich, opened this concert. He also invited us for dinner to another castle in his community. On our way there we saw two more castles, and even got a little private organ concert by Matthias Steinmacher in a lovely fortified church. Near Burg Fürsteneck the former East and West border ran through Germany. We visited it together with Anita Heller. She had been living there with the border dividing her family’s farm into two parts. Her story gave us a lasting impression of the life in times of the Cold War.

The last day of our stay we discussed the experience of the CADENCE project. We all agreed that it was worth all the effort but that we would have liked to have more time for it. We collected the ideas for the publications and made clear agreements on the further work. We are glad to say, they were kept nearly hundred percent. The managers of the schools met with the Swedish publisher Per-Ulf Allmo (Tongång) and the German publisher Michael Hofmann (Verlag der Spielleute) to prepare the editing of the results.

Per-Ulf Allmo, also very engaged in research on nyckelharpa history and Olle Plahn, professional nyckelharpa builder from Sweden, have been accompanying our cooperation for many years.

Burg Fürsteneck, Cadence Nyckelharpa participant in Germany

Burg Fürsteneck, wappon Adalbert von Schleifrast

Burg Fürsteneck at night

Burg Fürsteneck, clouds

This was the daily schedule in Germany:

Thu 2 Oct

18:30 Dinner

Come together, talk together, play together

Lecture on characteristics of Germany and the region

Burg Fürsteneck, Karsten Evers at introduction

Wed 6 Okt

08:00 Breakfast

09:00 "Fürstenecker Morgenkreis”, warm-up

09:30 Presentation of the meeting-program & Burg Fürsteneck

11:00 CADENCE work-time, "questions to Germany" and planning the final report

12:30 Lunch 

14:00 1st Lesson Didier François

15:30 Coffee

16:00 Planning concert, rehearsal

17:30 Touristic program, Visit of church and the three castles of Eiterfeld-Buchenau

19:00 Dinner with the mayor of Eiterfeld, Hermann-Josef Scheich

afterward: Come together, talk together, play together

Burg Fürsteneck, Morgenkreis, war up

Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa playing together

Burg Fürsteneck, touristic programme, visit Schloss Buchenau

Thu 7 Okt

8:00  Breakfast

9:00 "Fürstenecker Morgenkreis”, warm-up

9:30 2nd Lesson Didier François

11:00 CADENCE work-time

12:30 Lunch

13:30 - 18:30

13:30 Touristic program: The former boarder through Germany, meeting with Anita Heller (contemporary witness)

16:00 coffee

16:30 3rd Lesson Didier François

18:30 Dinner

19:30 Start "International Days of the Nyckelharpa"

20:30 Music – Concert rehearsal

Burg Fürsteneck, Didier François teaching Nyckelharpa

Burg Fürsteneck, Sonja Sahlström presenting the Nyckelharpa

Burg Fürsteneck, mindmap Burg Fürsteneck, touristic programme, the former boarder in Germany touristic programme, montain of salt Burg Fürsteneck, nyckelharpa session in the evening

Fri 8 Oct

08:00 Breakfast

09:00 4th Lesson Didier François / managers meeting with editor

11:00 Concert rehearsal

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Concert rehearsal

15:30 Coffee

16:00 Cadence group watch lessons in International Days

17:30 Cadence work-time / pedagogical review

18:30 Dinner

20:00 Conference on nyckelharpa teaching and history of the instrument (together with Days of the Nyckelharpa)

Burg Fürsteneck, lunch of ny teachers and managers

Burg Fürsteneck, nyckelharpa yoga

  Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa class room Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa class room Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa conference

Sat 9 Oct

08:00 Breakfast >

09:00 Concert rehearsal

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Concert rehearsal, soundcheck with "Deutschlandfunk"

18:30 Dinner

20:30 CADENCE-concert with German radio "Deutschlandfunk"

Burg Fürsteneck, broadcasting Deutschlandfunk
  Burg Fürsteneck, broadcasting Deutschlandfunk Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa CADENCE concert Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa Cadence Concert, 2010
  Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa Cadence concert, Ditte Andersson soloist Cadence concert, 2010, Didier Francois and Marco Ambrosini Marco Ambrosini, and responsable of Deutschlandfunk, Christiane Lehnigk
  Burg Fürsteneck, Nyckelharpa session in the evening Esbjörn Hogmark, Per-Ulf Allmö and Olle Plahn Burg Fürsteneck, nyckelharpa session

Sun 10 Oct

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast

9:15 Cadence work-time / final report / final statements of the participants

11:00 Conclusion together with Days of the Nyckelharpa

12:30 Lunch

Good bye and departure


 Burg Fürsteneck, last meeting with personal review of Cadence
  International Days of the Nyckelharpa, final meeting International Days of the Nyckelharpa, last tune International Days of the Nyckelharpa, good by


1st Postprocessing, February 21 - 25, 2011

Editorial meeting in Tobo, Sweden

February, 21 to 25, 2011 there was a meeting at the Eric Sahlström Institutet in Tobo, Sweden, to work on the edition of the results of the CADENCE project.

We are working on

  • a booklet with an overview of the project,
  • an audio CD of the concert at Burg Fürsteneck and
  • this website with additional contributions of all participants.
  • Later, maybe publication of these articles and sheet music as a book.
Eric Sahlström Institutet, Tobo
  Eric Sahlström Institutet, Tobo Tobo, Esbjörn Hogmarks Nyckelharpa workshop ESI TOBO, Esbjörn Hogmark and Jule Bauer with cake Nyckelharpa
  ESI Tobo, editorial conference, CADENCE ESI Tobo, Editors at work ESI Tobo, Editors at work
  ESI Tobo, session Snow in Sweden Tobo, editors meeting


2nd Postprocessing, June 1, 2011

Public presentation of the printed report and audio CD in Forlimpopoli, Italy

1st of June 2011 the printed report and the CD have been presented to the public on the market place in front of the castle by the mayor of Forlimpopoli, Paolo Zoffoli, and the director of the Scuola di Musica Popolare, Marco Bartolini.

The nyckelharpa players perform at this occasion played in an ancient fridge room, in former times filled with snow. That will keep the nyckelharpa fresh for a long time ;-)

  Forlimpopoli, public presentation of CADENCE brochure

Marco Bartolini and mayor Paolo Zoffoli present the CADENCE brochure and CD in front of the castle of Forlimpopoli

Forlimpopoli, Marco Bartolini and Sindago Paolo Zoffoli presenting the CADENCE results Forlimpopoli, session in an old ice cellar


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