Ancient Music

The Hardanger Violin


    The Hardanger Violin is a traditional instrument of Norway. There are two things that are dramaticly different between Hardinger violins and all other violins. First they are usually ornately decorated. No part of the instrument is left unembellished with either fine flourishes carved into the surface of the wood and stained dark for contrast, or elaborate inlays of mother-of-pearl and ivory and abalone. They are works of art. Musically they are unique in that they have four or five extra strings that are not bowed or fingered but function only as sympathetic resonators. These strings pass through the middle of the bridge and up inside a hollow neck (underneath the fingerboard)!

    The resonators give the traditional music a lingering ghostly aspect which combines well with a unique playing style that involves a lot of double-string bowing, the second string sometimes being an open drone behind the melody.

Clich Here for a sample of Norwegian Hardanger music!

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