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Tips on buying a new nyckelharpa

If you are interested in acquiring a nyckelharpa, the following sources and general comments might be useful. You can find current exchange rates here.

You might also be interested in tips on buying a used nyckelharpa.

Please note that the ANA does not sell nyckelharpas directly, nor does it favor or endorse any one of the following sources over any other. This page is merely intended to be a help those not living in Sweden who are interested in buying a nyckelharpa.

In an effort to help deter e-mail harvesters, e-mails are not listed as links. You will need to copy and paste the address, and replace (at) with @, and (dot) with a period.

American Sources

The first place to look is the nyckelharpa email list, which is the most direct way to contact or read latest nyckelharpa news.

Bart Brashers

3039 NW 62nd Street
Seattle WA 98107
bart(dot)brashers(at)nyckelharpa(dot)org

I occasionally have a nyckelharpa on hand for sale. I also have (or can get) bows, straps, cases, etc. See my ad in the Oct 1996 Nyckel Notes for more info.

I know a lot of nyckelharpa players in Sweden, and can likely assist in finding you a nyckelharpa, or at least more detailed information. I’m willing to act as middle-person for those who speak no Swedish wanting to contact Swedish makers with poor English skills. I’m not really in this for the money — I’m just a fan of the nyckelharpa and want to promote it in the US.

Most of the information and contact info that I have is listed here on this page.

Earl Holzman

Wisconsin, USA
Telephone: 715-271-5238
E-mail: Earl(at)EarlHarpas(dot)com
EarlHarpas(dot)com

In 2011 I spent 2-weeks studying nyckelharpa building with Esbjörn Hogmark. In 2012 I entered the Nyckelharpa builders’ competition at the Nyckelharpa Stämma in Österbybruk. The results are on our web site.  I am now selling instruments and I have several available. I can custom build an instrument for your body and playing needs (such as extra keys).

My wife, DoAnn, and I are making Nyckelharpa Bows.  My sister, Betty, has developed a semi-rigid (stiffened) soft case. The case provides good protection and works as a carry on for airplane travel.

Don Peterson

234 North Market Street
Paxton, IL 60957
Telephone: 217-379-4683
http://www.petersonsswedishgifts.com/music.html

Don is a skilled woodworker, experienced with violin restoration and repair and building nyckelharpas.

 

International Sources

Holger Funke GbR

Fachgeschäft für Nyckelharpa
und historische Musikinstrumente
Instrumentenbau & Restauration
ID:   DE172243535
Am Erbsengarten 2
D – 35216 Dexbach
06461 2427

website:  www.nyckel-harpa.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nyckelharpa.holgerfunke

Born 1964, Education for woodwind-instrument maker by Günter Körber. Learned from Björn Björn and Olle Plahn how to build Nyckelharpas. Developer of new models f.e. electric nyckelharpa and doublebass-nyckelharpa.  Specialized in restoring of used nyckelharpas.
Biggest nyckelharpa-collection in germany with over 35 types, oldest from 1860.  I work together with several nyckelharpa-builders in sweden for more innovation.

Nikolaj Marks

Genbroekstraat 32
5912EE Venlo
Netherlands
Telephone: 01131-077-3522155

cabrette(at)orange(dot)nl
http://www.nyckelharpa.nl
Fluent in English

The Summer 2007 / Number 38 issue of Nyckel Notes featured an article about Nikolaj.

 

Jeff Swann

Englishman & English spoken, but can translate most languages.

16 Findon Road
Worthing,
West Sussex
BN140AB
United Kingdom

Skype: at home “harpahome”, & on the move 3G: “harpawarrior” N.B. Please email or SMS first to arrange appointment

Email: jeffswann(at)nyckelharpa(dot)co(dot)uk

Mobile: +447711679724

website: www.nyckelharpa.co.uk

I have been building & repairing things most of my life, bought my first nyckelharpa in 2006, meet Esbjörn Hogmark some 4-5 years ago, have studied history & building of nyckelharpa with Esbjörn since 2010 at ESI Tobo, completing 2 Gammelharpa’s & a Nyckelharpa which were presented at Nyckelharpstämma in Österbybruk 2011 & 2012, although not finalist they were judged as being of a good standard of build.

During my years with Esbjörn I have learned & shared many ideas, he invited me to be part of the inner circle, asking me to speak of my time with him learning to be a builder at the Nordic Symposium in Finland 2011 & in Norway  2013.

I build children’s: 1/4,2/4, 3/4, Adult: 4/4, Bespoke, Gammelharpa & Nyckelharpa, also bows with stock mostly from Scandinavia, in the future I plan to build  Mora, Silverbas, Tenor & Octave nyckelharpa to include in my range.

I undertake repairs,  bow re-hairs, can supply high quality stock & kits, Prim strings, etc., see website for full range, check back regularly for updates.

 

Swedish Sources

The makers are listed alphabetically. Most makers sell their harpas privately, so you don’t have to worry about being charged Swedish VAT.

Figure about 700 SEK (a little less than $100) for shipping from Sweden, above and beyond the price of the nyckelharpa and any extra cost for a bow and case.

Leif Alpsjö

Rångsta, VIKSTA
SE-74030 Björklinge
SWEDEN
Telephone and fax: +46-18-37 23 00
leif(at)alpsjo(dot)se
http://www.nyckelharpa.com
Excellent English skills

In 1974 Leif became a Swedish National Fiddler (Riksspelman) with the fiddle.
Leif has been a dealer of nyckelharpas and fiddles for more than 25 years and really knows his stuff.  Leif is also a very experienced teacher of the fiddle and the nyckelharpa.  He runs his business out of his home, speaks excellent English, and carries many nyckelharpas of varying quality and price, including harpas made by others listed on this page.  He is the sole distributor of new harpas made by Harry Hedbom.  Leif also carries bows, cases, strings, rosins, etc. for fiddles and nyckelharpas.  See his web site for more info.

Björn Björn

Botvide, Lau
SE-62016 Ljugarn
SWEDEN
Telephone +46-498-49 10 08, Fax +46-498-49 10 95
bjorn(dot)bjorn(at)i(dot)lrf(dot)se
http://www.bjornbjorn.se
Good English skills

Björn is the 1998 and 2002 World Champion in the gammelharpa class, and a fine maker of nyckelharpas. He has a shop/store on his farm in Gotland. He sells ready-made instruments, kits and plans for medieval nyckelharpas (a copy of the one found in Esse, Finland), kontrabasharpa, silverbasharpa, and modern nyckelharpa as well as a whole lot of other instruments. He also sells bows, cases, rosin, etc. His web site says you can deduct 20% for the Swedish value-added tax (VAT) if you live outside of the EU.

Mikael Grafström

Åkarp 10
S-555 92 Jönköping
SWEDEN
Tel. +46-70-225 28 44
mikael_grafstrom(at)hotmail(dot)com
www.mikaelgrafstrom.com
Excellent English skills

MIkael Grafström, an active musician himself as guitarist and nyckelharpa player comes recommended by the likes of Esbjörn Hogmark (his building teacher) and Marcus Svensson (his former playing teacher) as well as Ben Lagerberg Teitelbaum and other players.

Esbjörn says about him: Mikael is one of Sweden’s youngest nyckelharpa builders. He has been a good student, very detail-oriented and ambitious. If he continues to develop as he has thus far, he will be counted as one of the country’s best makers...

Esbjörn Hogmark

Gyllby 206
SE-748 94 Örbyhus
SWEDEN
Telephone: +46-295-107 06, Fax: +46-295-104 81
esbjorn(at)hogmark(dot)com | Web site
Excellent English skills

Esbjörn is in the top tier of nyckelharpa builders and his instruments are top-of-the-line. He is constantly searching for the ultimate nyckelharpa sound, balancing the quality features of the ancient 18th century Kontrabasharpa with the 20th century Eric Sahlström chromatic model. The concept of a full spruce body, which is common among other makers today, is a result of this development.

Between 1980 and 1986 he visited Eric Sahlström on a regular basis to learn his music and technique for building nyckelharpas. Now, he regularly leads building workshops and master classes, and in this respect, carries on in the tradition of the late master builder.

He is also in charge of the annual winter seminar and the distance education course in nyckelharpa making at The Eric Sahlström Institute. (http://www.esitobo.org)

Since 1986 Esbjörn has been president of the jury for the annual nyckelharpa maker’s competition, held during the Nyckelharpstämma in Österbybruk.

Esbjörn got his recognition (called “Riksspelman” in Swedish) playing Eric Sahlström tunes in Västerås in 1983.

Take a closer look at one of his instruments on his web site: http://www.hogmark.com/esbjorn/nyckelharpa/

Peder Källman, Violinatelje (Violin Maker)

Amiralitetsgatan 20
SE-414 65 Gothenburg
SWEDEN

Telephone    +46-31 142403   +46-70 3252139

info(at)pederkallman(dot)se
www.pederkallman.se
Good English Skills

Peder Källman is perhaps best known for building many of Johan Hedin’s new experimental nyckelharpas: the tenornyckelharpa and altnyckelharpa. He also makes traditional 3-row chromatic nyckelharpas, and does restoration work. He has played nyckelharpa since the early 1970’s, when the “folk music wave” of that decade hit Sweden. He is also a member of the jury for the annual nyckelharpa maker’s competition at Österbybruk.

Bo Nilsson

Sickla Allé 35
131 65 NACKA
SWEDEN
Telephone: +46-8-716 96 96

harpa(at)bonilsson(dot)se
http://www.bonilsson.se (best viewed in Internet Explorer)
Very Good English skills

Bo Nilsson is a relative newcomer on the harpa-building scene. His work with a contracting firm doesn’t allow him a lot of time for making harpas, but he manages two or three a year. One of his harpas got “Best in Show” at the builder’s competition in conjuction with the Österbybrukstämma in 2008. He will build to order, if you require something special, like a child-size harpa. Or even a green one…..

Olle Plahn

Herrhagsvägen 463
SE-79176 Falun
SWEDEN
Telephone: +46-23-235 64
http://www.tongang.se/olle/welcome.html
Good English skills

Olle Plahn got the highest marks in 1996 at the annual judging of nyckelharpa makers at Österbybruk.

Martin Westermark

Bergsjö
Telephone: +46-652-10120
asmyran(at)swipnet(dot)se
www.MartinWestermark.com
English skills Unknown

Peter “Puma” Hedlund turned us on to Martin, saying that although he’s not as well-known as e.g. Sören, his quality is very good.

Sören Åhker

Lissbo 436
819 65 Hållnäs
SWEDEN
Telephone +46-294-30120
soren(at)sorenahker(dot)com
www.sorenahker.com/
Good English Skills

Sören’s instruments are top-drawer and he is considered among the very best makers alive today. Sören also sells just about everything else having to do with nyckelharpas! He has written a book about nyckelharpa building that is available in English and Swedish and is the subject of a documentary DVD by Rita Leydon. Paul Morrissett writes:

“My new instrument has 6 extra keys (8 extra if you count the Eb and F# keys high on the A-string that are usually missing). They are the Eb, E, and F on the G (3rd) string, the B and C on the C (2nd) string, and the high G# on the A (1st) string.

I had always wanted a B on the C (2nd) string so that all twelve notes are represented on the C (2nd) string, in particular for harmonizing with a G note on the A (1st) string to imply a G chord. In Oct 1998 I was in Stockholm at music shop in Gamla Stan and a guy who works their said he had an instrument with 2 extra keys on both the G (3rd) and C (2nd) strings. So I decided to ask Sören for those same 4 keys thinking that maybe I would come up with a use for them. He initially said that he thought the C key on the C (2nd) string would be difficult and offered an extra key on the G string instead.

When I got the instrument from him in October 1999, I found out that he had been able to make a C key after all and also had included a G# on the A string which we had not discussed (but not at all to my displeasure). I do wish that I had requested both the G# and the A above it which would make a full 2 octaves available on the A (1st) string. Peter Hedlund played my instrument a month or so before I ever saw it, and seeing the G# made him think about ordering an instrument with a high A. He plays a tune that uses that A, but currently he gets it by reaching to the front of the instrument and touching the string to create the harmonic.

When adding the B key, a decision has to be made as to whether to make a straight G# key on the A (1st) string so that the B key can be straight, or to bend the B key out of line so that the G# can be in it’s usual out of line place. I chose to have both keys be straight. There is plenty of room to straighten the G# into the row with the other A (1st) string keys, and I did not want to have one and only one key on the C (2nd) string out of line with the others.

The C key turns out to be more useful than I thought. It sounds much better to me when I play the high C along with the other 3 strings if the interval is one octave rather than two. So I would heartily recommend the B and C keys to better players who are ordering instruments, as long as they can deal with having one key (G#) in a non-standard place.”