Olov plays 4 different types of nyckelharpa in some of our concerts. Here is a photo, audio clip and description of each instrument.

This is the 3 rowed chromatic nyckelharpa made by Esbjörn Hogmark 1982. This is the most common type or standard type of nyckelharpa, made popular by Eric Sahlstrom in the 1940's.

There are 3 strings that are bowed and 12 strings are sympathetic.

Description - transparent sound, rich in the bottom and lots of sparkly overtones.

audio clip featuring the 3 rowed chromatic nyckelharpa - Höök trad. arr.CM/OJ - from cd FOOGY

Kontrabass Harpa made by Hans Gille 1989.

A drone instrument , fully chromatic, was the nyckelharpa that was played mid 1600 to mid 1800.

Sound - more focussed sound than chromatic nyckelharpa with a rough edge.

audio clip featuring the Kontrabass harpa - 1st Class to Glasgow comp. Olov Johansson arr.CM/OJ - from cd FOOGY

Silver-bass nyckelharpa

We first played this combination at our Lövstabruk concert in July 2011. We don’t have a recording of this nyckelharpa with Scottish harp yet.

Octave Nyckelharpa.

Just like the normal 3 row chromatic nyckelharpa only bigger and an octave lower. Made by Olle Plahn.

Sounds like a cello nyckelharpa.

audio clip featuring the Octave nyckelharpa - Harpers’ Dismissal trad. arr.CM/OJ - from cd FOOGY


Painting by Helen Ersbracken

Catriona McKay 2020