The nyckelharpa is a stringed instrument from Sweden that is played with a bow. It has been documented going back over 600 years.


In Swedish, “nyckel” means key, and “harpa” was a word for a generic or basic instrument — some open strings on a box.

There is a lot of good information about the nyckelharpa at the site of the America Nyckelharpa Association (I am a proud member). Also see for more nyckelharpa background, as well as other pages at

There are a number of videos on YouTube with nyckelharpa. One of my favorites is Magnus Holmström at

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