European Nyckelharpa Cooperation - ORchestral Experience

  - between European folk music and contemporary compositions

Siena: Nyckelharpa Viola d'amore a chiavi
nyckelharpa family - Olle Plahn

The "Scuola di Musica Popolare di Forlimpopoli" was hosting an
European Nyckelharpa Workshop, 5th to 11th August 2013 at Forlimpopoli, Italy

10th August 2013, 9:30 pm.: Public concert at the cathedral of Bertinoro.

Participants of this ENCORE-workshop have been 24  nyckelharpa players from 10 European countries as well as composers writing contemporary music for nyckelharpa.

The workshop has been supported by the European Commission – Live Long Learning Program / Grundtvig.

  30th October 2013, www.dradio.de/dlf

A detailed report on the ENCORE nyckelharpa orchestra will be broadcast by the national German radio "Deutschlandfunk"on the 30th October at 10:05 - 10:55pm. The broadcast will be available worldwide via the Internet and can also be scheduled recorded with the little program dradio-recorder. (www.dradio.de/dlf)

Nyckelharpa, key fiddle, Schlüsselfidel, viola d'amore á chiavi

The nyckelharpa is a bowed instrument with keys to change the pitch. One of the earliest depictions (1408) has be found in Siena, Italy. Since the Baroque period, the instrument was played only in the region of Uppland in Sweden as a folk instrument. In the 20th century, the nyckelharpa has been preserved from an impending final demise primarily by two exceptional Swedish musicians: August Bohlin (1877 - 1949), who improved the instrument technically to be played fully chromatically, and Eric Sahlström (1912 - 1986), who set an entirely new musical stimulus with an improved technique and many own compositions. Today, the nyckelharpa is played worldwide by a fast increasing number of musicians and in more and more musical styles.

Outside Sweden, there is no traditional nyckelharpa repertoire. In the pan-European folk revival since the 70s, many musicians composed new tunes on traditional roots. Since Bartok and Kodaly, contemporary composers often rely on folk music of their countries. These different trends we will assemble in a verbal, medial and musical exchange about folk music in the respective home countries of the participants and contemporary compositions with their specific challenges of playing technique. Thus we contribute to a European repertoire for the nyckelharpa that does not neglect the roots but at the same time points a musical way for the future.

An information on “Symbols and Notation” for the nyckelharpa is available here.

A short history of the instrument by Per-Ulf Allmo is available in English, Swedish, German and Italian here.

For more information on the instrument see:

Auf Deutsch: Artikel in der Hildesheimer Allgemeinen Zeitung vom 4. Mai 2013