It’s been an exciting week exploring the nyckelharpa – as ever in the context of modern life! I’ve spent the week on a cruise ship with the wonderful Rosamunde Quartet: violinists Xandria and Nina Kopparhed, violist Chris Brody and myself on cello. We’ve had a lovely time preparing three concerts of classical, baroque and film works and are now looking forward to giving a performance of Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet. Anyway, excuses over – this is a long way of saying I’ve not had much time with the nyckelharpa!

One of my first challenges was how to hold the instrument and I’ve been through a few different methods before settling with the French way as demonstrated by Didier Francois. Another decision was how to tune the instrument and I’m presently trying the traditional way: C,G,c,a with the 12 sympathetic strings tuned chromatically so that their sound will resound with every note.

So, I’ve made a little week 1 recording and I’m planning to keep a diary here of my discoveries on the instrument. The folk song ‘Drive the Cold Winter Away’ seemed appropriate due to the weather in the UK at the moment.

Stay warm everyone and enjoy all you do.

Nyckelharpa Diaries – week 1

One thought on “Nyckelharpa Diaries – week 1

  • 7 September 2016 at 12:12 pm

    It’s actually the *Belgian* way of playing. 🙂
    However, Éléonore Billy from France also plays that way.


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