The Nyckelharpa in the CADENCE Project

By Esbjörn Hogmark

This document is intended to answer some of the questions which have arisen about the nyckelharpa during the course of the CADENCE project. Unfortunately very little is known of the earliest history of the instrument but from the 17th century onwards we have a good idea of its history in Sweden. It is fascinating to learn that the instrument has been played there in an unbroken tradition, which also includes the making of the instrument, a process predominantly carried out by the players themselves.

The document gives an overview of the history of the instrument from late medieval time until today with a conclusive visionary view into the future

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Nyckelharpa Manufacturing in Sweden, Past and Present.

By Esbjörn Hogmark

The intention of this document is not to give a detailed step-by-step description of how to make a nyckelharpa. On the contrary, it deals with a wider perspective on high quality instrument making in general, with its focus on the nyckelharpa. To get the whole picture, it is important to understand how the instrument has been made throughout history. The nyckelharpa in The Swedish National Acton Plan for Folk Music and Folk Dance and The Eric Sahlström Institute in Sweden with its regular seminars and courses directed to the instrument are also included.

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Esbjörn Hogmark (Sweden)

Esbjörn Hogmark is a professional nyckelharpa manufacturer and nyckelharpa player from Uppland. He was a scholar and friend of Eric Sahlström. He was one of the founders of the Eric Sahlström Institute and is now member of the board. Together with family members he plays in the ensemble “Hogmarkarna” (the Hogmarks).