New Music for Hardanger Fiddle

On this New Sounds, listen to new music for the old Norwegian violin known as the Hardanger fiddle. The fiddle is most unusual in that it has a set of drone strings that lie under the fingerboard of the instrument. These drone strings are tuned to vibrate sympathetically to the chords and keys of Norwegian mountain music. Because of the powerful emotional response from both player and listener, the instrument was considered to be the “Devil’s Instrument” and had associations with dark magic. Thousands of fiddles were burned or destroyed by religious fanatics throughout the 19th century. In fact, even playing a Hardanger fiddle in a church building was forbidden well into the 20th century, although a normal classical violin was allowed into the sacred space. So, on this program, we’ll hear new music by Trollstilt and So Percussion, in addition to music from Steve Tibbetts and Knut Hamre, along with much much more.

PROGRAM # 2768, New Music for the Hardanger Fiddle (First aired on Fri, 2/15/08)





Bukkene Bruse

The Stone Chair

The Northern Fjords [5:00]

North Side #6032. *

Annbjørg Lien

Baba Yaga

Aja [6:30]

North Side #6044 *

Steve Tibbetts & Knut Hamre


Bygdatråen [6:00]
Fjellmanngjenta [5:00]

Hannibal #1438. *

So Percussion & Trollstilt

Five and a Half Gardens

Cal's City Garden (with Cage) [6:30]

Shhh #0001. *

Steve Tibbetts & Knut Hamre


Huldreslått [5:30]

See above.

Carla Kihlstedt

New Sounds Live, 9/18/2003, Merkin Hall

Hold My Own [5:00]

Available soon on Carla's new Two Foot Yard CD, see

Knut Reiersrud

Live, Oslo, Norway, 1994

Brudermarsch [2:30]

This recording not commercially available.

Various artists: Torleiv Bolstad

Nordisk Sang

Svein I Sy' Garde [1:30]

New Albion #031** *