This isn’t an instrument you’ll see played every day, and definitely not to the standard you’re about to watch in the video below. This weird violin, hurdy-gurdy, guitar-looking thing is called a Nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish musical instrument. Thomas Roth is one of the best Nyckelharpa players in the world, so sit back and enjoy the sounds of this impressive and relatively unknown musical instrument.
The Nyckelharpa, which is also known as a “keyfiddle”, has keys attached to the base of its neck that is attached to tangents so when a key is pressed by the musician’s finger, a change of pitch occurs. The keys, when depressed, change the pitch of the resonating strings in the same way a guitar’s fret would work.
You won’t find a huge list of musicians who play the nyckelharpa, at least not in comparison to how many musicians play the guitar for instance, but there are some out there! Below is a brilliant version of Pirates Of The Caribbean on the nyckelharpa.
The video above comes from the YouTube channel “L’Instrumentarium de l’Insolite” ran by a professional musician passionate for all kinds of musical instruments.
Thomas Roth Has made a name for himself playing this unusual instrument. After becoming an exceptional nyckelharpa player, Roth’s unique style of playing has and instrument choice has allowed him to enrich the medieval music scene for over 30 years. He was the lead musician in the band called Geyers’.