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Letter: Hardingfele

Letter: Hardingfele

by Loretta Kelley

Originally published in American Lutherie #8, 1986


Dear Editor:

In connection with Hardingfele: People who are interested in this instrument might want to become members of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (126 S. Thayer Avenue, Sparta, WI 54656) Members receive a quarterly newsletter containing not only informative articles, but sources for instruments and supplies.

The book on making this instrument is “Vi Byggjer Hardingfeler”, by Sverre Sandvik, published by Tiden Norsk Forlag, Oslo, 1983, ISBN 82-10-02357-8 (in Norwegian).

Irving Sloan writes about making a hardingfele in “Making Musical Instruments”, Dutton, 1978, ISBN 0-87690-293-X. He is interesting, although his guess that the f-holes are bent instead of carved is wrong, and some of his other assertions are just assertions.

Some additions to Mr. Peters’ articles: neither of my fiddles have purfling, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one with purfling, except converted violins. The traditional carving on the top is usually described as a dragon or perhaps a lion. And many hardingfeles have five sympathetic strings instead of four.