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Hardanger Fiddle

National Folk Instrument of Norway

The Hardanger Fiddle or Hardingfele dates back to 1651 with the Jaastad fiddle now in the museum at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway. The origin of the Hardingfele is unclear. It could have descended from the family of baroque instruments found in Europe or possibly from some early Scottish instruments. The early Hardanger fiddles, although certainly related to modern Hardanger fiddles , were really quite different. The early instruments were very narrow in their body and the arching was extremely high. They have under strings yet the number of the under strings varied. The patterns of their decorations were more geometric.

More information about Hardingfele's can be found at the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA) web site.
Hardingfele scroll

The modern Hardanger Fiddle appeared about 1850 when influences from mainland Europe began to have a much greater influence in Norway. It is about this time that the body became very violin like yet kept the unique style of the "f" hole. The decorative patterns became more floral in their appearance. Four understrings became the standard. Recently a fifth understring has been added.

Hardingfele full view top

There are many tunings for the Hardingfele. A very common tuning is E A D A with the whole instrument raised at least a full pitch. The under strings are often tuned A F# E D with the A and D being the same pitch as the upper A and D. Pitch references are from high to low.

Hardingfele back view

My Instruments

Each instrument I make is individually crafted with tight grain spruce tops and moderately flamed maple back and sides. Occasionally I will use alder for the back and sides as many of the old Norwegian instruments used black alder. Mother of pearl and bone is used for decoration. The decoration is a combination of traditional patterns and artistic liberties.

I supply each instrument with a quality rectangular case customized for the extended length of the instrument's peg box.

Hardingfele front view

Special Projects

Hardingfele Quartet
1/16 size Hardingfele
Hardingfele Quartet
click here for larger picture
1/16th size Hardingfele
click here for larger picture

Hardingkvartetten: The Hardingfele Quartet
Hear MP3 music of the quartet which was played at Amerikappleik 2003.

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Lynn R. Berg
1630 Cameo Dr.
Eugene, Oregon 97405
Tele: 541-343-7341
e-mail: lberg@peak.org


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