It’s a while since I collected my lovely nyckelharpa from Olle Plahn in Falun, Sweden, in May 2014. This was me trying to get a tune out of it in the hotel in Falun.

Now we have the first World Nyckelharpa Day! There’s lots going on, including people all over the place playing Björnlåten at 12 noon (UK time). I have added some links here to stuff especially on YouTube which is related.

To get us in the mood, here’s a polska! It’s “Polska efter Johan Jacob Bruun” which I recorded a week ago.

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nyckelharpa strings

When we were in Sweden, I had forgotten to ask someone to bring some nyckelharpa strings to Österbybruk for my stock – I like to change the playing strings every year or so. I was going to ask someone to bring some over to Halsway in September, but duckduckgo-ing revealed that the String Zone now stock them. Excellent!

Here are videos from the Nyckelharpstämma that I’ve put on YouTube. Thanks Marwyn for doing the recordings, this time on a little Nikon Coolpix A10 which at present is our video camera.

It starts with the spelmanståg (players’ procession), this year with the two tunes Brännvinsmarschen and Harpar-Klas Gånglåt.

Once we reached the stage, the allspel was started by Peo Österholm on cowhorn – the “inblåsning”!

The allspel followed; here are a couple of tunes. An old favourite, Polska efter Båtsman Däck:

The allspel finished with an audience request – a tune not on the allspel list. It’s Eric Sahlström’s “Spelmansglädje” which is not (yet) in my repertoire so I chickened out:

It was great fun and I enjoyed it even more this year as I know the tunes better.

nyckelharpa and bow

One object of the trip to Sweden was to pick up a new nyckelharpa bow from Erik Arro in Uppsala. I had tried a couple of his bows (owned by Vicki Swan and Pete Rigg) and really liked them. It’s a real improvement on the one I have been using. Here it is sitting on top of my lovely Olle Plahn nyckelharpa.

We visited Älvkarleby whilst in Sweden so that I could see the clock tower immortalised in two tunes which Byss-Calle wrote to win a bet. “Byggnan” is still on my to-learn list, but I played “Klockstapelvalsen”; here’s the video.

Byss-Calle is probably turning in his grave at the fluffed notes, but hey, when in Älvkarleby standing next to the Klockstapel you have to go for it.

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