Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag

The nyckelharpa has been played in Sweden for hundreds of years possibly as early as the 1300's. The more recent chromatic version has 16 strings 4 of which are played with a short bow in the right hand. The remaining 12 strings are under strings which vibrate sympathetically giving the nyckelharpa its unique big sound. There are 37 keys in 3 rows which are played with the left hand. Each key has a tangent attached to it which touches the string when the key is pushed to change the pitch of the string.

In 1998 four local nyckelharpa players began practicing and playing together. By mid 2001 more than 18 other nyckelharpa and accompanying players had joined making it one of the largest nyckelharpa groups in the United States. The group calling itself the Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag meets at least twice each month at various members homes around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Their repertoire is drawn mostly from the folk traditions of Uppland, Sweden where the nyckelharpa tradition has its roots. For further information on the group e mail them at

Also, visit the American Nyckelharpa Association's web site 

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