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Earbrass

My Nyckelharpas

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Posted (edited)

Here are my nyckelharpas. The acoustic one was built by Kjell Lundvall in 2015, and the solid body was by Olla Plahn, 2019, and features a piezo pickup under the bridge and a built-in preamp.  The "band" pickup on the Lundvall harpa is used for live performances - for recording I find a ribbon mic gives the best results - an example can be heard here: 

 

P1020401_small.JPG

Edited by Earbrass
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I love these instruments, the sound they make is incredible. Would love to hear you playing them once the lockdown is lifted.

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They are amazing instruments....

Funnily enough my double bass teacher is better known for her nyckelharpa playing - she's a great all round musician and plays all kinds of things (swedish bagpipes anyone) but  her music degree was on double bass........

http://www.swan-dyer.co.uk/n

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Posted (edited)
On 14/04/2020 at 11:00, haruki said:

They are amazing instruments....

Funnily enough my double bass teacher is better known for her nyckelharpa playing - she's a great all round musician and plays all kinds of things (swedish bagpipes anyone) but  her music degree was on double bass........

http://www.swan-dyer.co.uk/n

Yes, I know Vicki (nyckelharpa is a small world!) - I first played a nyckelharpa at her house, before buying one of my own. She's a great player and has done a lot to popularise the instrument in the UK.

Edited by Earbrass
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A hurdygurdy with proper bowing?  So I guessing you bow all the strings at once but the keys tune and push the strings up onto the bow?  What about the sympathetic strings, are they bowed or just resonant ( like a viola dAmoure ) and do you have to retune them to play in different keys ( like nothumbian bagpipes)

As for the electric version .. sympathetic strings synthesised?

  I love strange instruments.  That early music shop in Bradford was alladins cave for me..

 

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Posted (edited)

You can bow up to 2 strings at once (or 3 if you have your bow very slack). You can bow only the four main strings - the other 12 strings are sympathetic, and usually tuned in a chromatic scale, so equally good for all keys. Pressing a key  moves a piece of dowel against the string, stopping it at the appropriate length - like moving frets against the string instead of the other way around. Traditional Swedish tuning is (low to high) C-G-C-A, but some players, especially those from a violin or viola background prefer have the second string a D rather than a C, thus giving straight fifths - C-G-D-A - pitched like a viola. The traditional design has 3 row of keys, one for each of the top 3 strings - so the lowest string can function only as a drone on its open note, but these days more builders, especially perhaps those continental builders outside Sweden, are also producing more "4 row" harpas, on which there 4 rows of keys, one for each of the main strings.  

Edited by Earbrass

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