are stringed instruments. He is a classically trained violinist which he started at the age of three. Since 1994, his focal
instrument was the Irish or Celtic harp. Since 2006, his focus has been on the Swedish Nyckelharpa, or keyed fiddle.
The Swedish Nyckelharpa or “keyed fiddle” is an unusual instrument that dates back to about at least the 14th Century in Sweden, and probably has a history much earlier than that. Unusual in the US, it is prevalent in the folk music of Sweden and has become surprisingly popular in Europe. Like a violin, it is played with a bow. There are 3 rows of keys which, when tapped, hit one of 3 strings to make different notes. It also has 12 “sympathetic strings” which are not bowed, but rather, resonate sympathetically to create a distinctive ethereal and other-worldly sound. Makers and dealers can be found in Sweden, Germany and France. To learn more about this instrument visit: Nyckelharpa.org.
The Celtic harp (Irish harp, folk harp,
or Clàrsach), is an ancient instrument whose history dates back to at least 500. B.C.. The national instrument of Ireland it was originally strung with wire and flourished from the 10th - 18th centuries, but fell into disuse by the early 19th Century. Eventually strung with nylon or gut, there has been resurgent interest since the mid 20th Century and a new Celtic harp tradition now flourishes. The ancestor to the larger orchestral harp, the Celtic harp differs not only in size, but also because it does not have pedals which allow a player to quickly modulate keys during a piece. The folk harp's open box and earthy resonance, however, is often found to be a more pleasing and beguiling than the gilded and complex mechanical construction of the pedal harp. There are countless websites about the Celtic harp nut one good resources to start is: www.harpcenter.com.