1740 to Now, Gammal Nyckelharpa with Judy and Wes, accompanied by Mary Hegge on the Cittra

The modern Swedish Nyckelharpa, dating from the early 1900s, is today played in many countries around the world. It is a versatile and beautiful instrument that can play in any key and any style of music. However in the 18th and 19th centuries, earlier versions of the Nyckelharpa were uniquely adapted to certain musical keys and certain styles of music local to Uppland, Sweden.

These earlier instruments are still played today by a limited number of dedicated players, mostly in Sweden, but a few in the United States as well. Two of these players are Judy Kjenstad and Wes Peterson of Minneapolis, Mn.  Their performances feature the unique sounds of the "Kontrabas" nyckelharpa (dating from the 1700’s) and the "Silverbas" nyckelharpa (dating from the 1800’s). Often accompanying Judy and Wes is Mary Hegge on the Cittra, a Swedish instrument that has co-existed with the Nyckelharpa for many centuries.

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