Posted on

Hardanger Fiddle

Hardanger Fiddle

by E.M. Peters

Originally published in American Lutherie #7, 1986

The Hardanger fiddle differs from the conventional violin in several respects. Most apparent is the fact that it has eight strings. It has four strings which are bowed in the usual manner, and in addition it has four strings on a lower level, running under the fretboard. These lower four, sympathetic strings resound to the vibration of the four upper strings when these are stroked with the bow.

There are other differences between the Hardanger fiddle and the common fiddle, too. The bridge and the fingerboard are flatter, making it easier to stroke two strings at the same time. Much of the time they are stroked two at a time, one open and one stopped. The usual fiddle is tuned one way (E, A, D, G), but the Hardanger fiddle, in the hands of an expert, may be tuned in over twenty ways.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.