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A Hardingfele Fiddle

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Hardingfele The hardingfele also know as a hardanger fiddle is a unique and historic instrument traditionally from Norway. This instrument with its rich history is quite possibly a gem in the string family that is normally overlooked. Even though many people have never heard of a hardingfele it is commonly considered the national instrument of Norway! In this paper I hope to show you a brief history of the hardingfele and then a look at how the hardingfele is still used today. The hardingfele came to be in the mid 1700’s in the area around the Hardanger fjord of Norway. It is easy to see from this where the American name for the hardingfele, the hardanger fiddle, comes from. Olav Jonsson Jaastad is normally credited with the creation of the hardingfele and it successive popularity as a folk instrument. As hardingfeles became more widely used a plethora of literature was written for this peculiar instrument. Many researchers believe that over 1,000 distinct tunes, or slåttar, were composed for the hardingfele. This fiddle is made to be listened to, but is better known as an accompaniment to traditional Norwegian dances. A couple popular hardingfele dances are the springar and the gangar. These lively dances were played all over Norway by hardingfele players. A hardingfele has a distinct sound that is quite similar to that of a violin, but more like a dulcimer in some aspects. The body of a hardingfele is the same size and contour of that of a violin. The main difference
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