The folk music tradition in Älvdalen, Sweden goes back many years. We have names and music from musicians as far back as the 17th century. Fiddlers often played alone, sometimes in twos, but seldom in large groups. Musicians were employed to play at weddings, midsummer festivities, birthday celebrations and dances.

It was a coincidence that Älvdalens Spelmanslag was formed at all. In September 1971, a local radio station decided that they wanted to broadcast a program about Älvdalen's music and musicians. Ragnar Forslund made some phone calls and managed to gather nine local musicians together. The recording went so well that it was decided that a more permanent folk group should be formed.

The older musicians became the core of Älvdalens Spelmanslag. They met regularly for rehearsals every week to learn each other's tunes and compose harmonies. They also put together a repertoire that could be used on the occasions the group were called on to play.

Ragnar Forslund has always been the driving force of the group. He has been focused on convincing younger members to join. Recently, Ragnar has decided to step down as chairman, but still continues to encourage the group with his wide knowledge and love for music. When Ragnar stepped down as chairman, Björn Gyris replaced him. Björn comes from a musical family and is the second chairman in the group's history.

During the group's 35-year history, they have been a natural element of entertainment at local festivities. The group has completed several tours, often traveling to perform in Norway.

Today, there are between 30 and 40 musicians in the group. Many of these live outside Älvdalen. During the winter a group of 15 musicians gather every Monday to practice, learn new tunes and share each other's experiences. During the summer, when many are back in Älvdalen, the group swells to over 30.

Being a member of Älvdalens Spelmanslag not only means making friends for life and giving pleasure to countless listeners and dancers, it also means that you help nourish and develop the special form of music that the Älvdalen tunes represent.


Jump to Âlvdalens Spelmanslag's homepage here

©2007 Nisswa-stämman - All Rights Reserved