What is a Nyckelharpa?

Nyckelharpa is a Swedish word that roughly translates to key fiddle. The modern nyckelharpa is a chromatic instrument with 16 strings: three melody strings, one drone string and twelve resonant strings. Those twelve strings lie underneath the melody strings and vibrate sympathetically, giving the instrument a robust tone. A tangent attached to each key touches a string when the key is pushed, effectively “stopping” or fretting it to make a particular note. Players use a short bow with the right hand and push on the keys with the left

The purpose of the TCNL is to educate its members and others about the nyckelharpa traditions as found largely in the Uppland region of Sweden; to conduct educational programs and activities that will promote awareness and knowledge of the nyckelharpa; to provide competent instruction in the traditional music associated with the nyckelharpa; and to provide practice and performance opportunities for its members.
The Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag is a 501c(3) non profit educational organization.