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Program 570: Nyckelharpa

KALW Broadcast Date: August 23, 2019 | Host: Randall Wong

The Nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish bowed string instrument, its name meaning keyed harp or keyed fiddle and its origins can be traced at least as far back as 1350. It’s similar to a hurdy-gurdy in that it has wooden keys, when pressed serve as tangents or frets. It typically has 3 melodies strings and one or more drone strings. Additionally, it has sympathetic strings that aren’t bowed directly. Rather, these strings provide a sort of built in reverb, each string vibrating sympathetically giving the instrument a sort of echoe-y resonance.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links

Title:  Nyckelharpa
Composer: Matti Paalanen
Performers: Celestial Aeon Project
Recording Title: Light Years
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: Origins, Distances, Triptych
Composer: Lawrence Wilde
Performers: Lawrence Wilde, nyckelharpa
Recording Title: Pendulum for Nyckeharpa
Record Label: SoundInk
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: The Serpent, Angels and Ravens, Syskelia
Composer: Chris Rippey
Performers: Chris Rippey, nyckelharpa and cello
Recording Title: Tales of the Boatman
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: Music for Nyckelharpa and Electronics
Composer: Rob Bentall
Performers: Rob Bentall, nyckelharpa and electronics
Recording Title: Music for Nyckelharpa and Electronics
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: The Cat Ate my Rondo
Composer: Chrissie (AKA Christine Caulfield
Performers: Chrissie, nyckelharpa and viola d’amore
Recording Title: Ten Sides to Every Story
Record Label: Self Released
Catalog Number:  n/a

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