Monday, June 25, 2012

My Friend Bill

Sometimes working at a Historical Museum can be a good thing.  One of the good things about being in charge is that I can plan the programs.   Some programs are gently suggested by Board members. Some ideas just happen and grow and blossom.

I met Bill in the museum..he told me that he had a keen interest in musical instruments. I invited him to one of our meetings..he showed up and has been coming ever since.

Bill plays the Nyckelharpa or Swedish Key Fiddle.  There are thousands of nyckelharpa players in Sweden.  There are about 175 nyckelharpa players in the United States.  Twenty of them live in Minnesota..and one in Hubbard County..my friend Bill.

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There are 16 strings, 4 of which are played with a short bow in the right hand.  The remaining 12 strings vibrate sympathetically giving the instrument its unique sound.  There are 37 keys in three rows that are played with the left hand. A tangent attached to each key touches the string when the key is pushed to change the pitch of the string.

Bill played for our carving showcase in May. It was a perfect time for me to get some publicity photos!

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Bill loves to play and he loves to share everything he knows about the nyckelharpa.

For local people who read my blog.  Bill will be performing this evening on the courthouse lawn in Park Rapids Minnesota. Bring your lawn chair the weather looks like it may cooperate..we should have a wonderful evening!  Mark our very talented new President plays the Banjo and the Mandolin..he will be playing also..I call this event “Music on the Courthouse Lawn.”  The event begins at 7:30 PM today Monday June 25th 2012.

I felt this program would generate some publicity and it is a good way to reach out into the community.  We are not your grandmothers historical museum anymore:)

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21 comments:

  1. A very interesting post. Bill sounds very talented!

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  2. Awesome ! I have never seen one before . Sounds like the event will be fun have a great time !

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  3. I had never heard of the nyckelharpa before. It looks like an intriguing instrument. Bill looks like a really nice guy. He would be MY friend, too, if I lived there, and I would be right out on the lawn with my chair if I lived there, too. BTW, thanks for the funny Bent Humor pictures. I laughed and laughed. :-)

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  4. This is a new instrument to me. My husband is very into musical instruments and I will definitely have to show this one to him. You are very fortunate to have a person like Bill as a friend. Thank you for sharing him with us.

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  5. I have never seen a nyckelharpa - and I thought a violin was challenging to tune and to play!

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  6. Bill's instrument looks so complicated. Wish I could bring my chair and listen tonight!

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  7. That looks wonderful. So do you know is there any you tube videos of people playing this instrument (or maybe Bill would let you make one)?

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  8. The strangest instrument I've seen is the saw...The player was wonderful...

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  9. Amazing! I have never even heard of the nyckelharpa before. I just "googled" it and found some interesting music. Wow! Glad to learn about this amazing thing.

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  10. You are the best thing that ever happened to that museum:)
    Wow, that is such an interesting looking instrument, I'll have to find some music to listen to.

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  11. You are definitely leading the museum in positive directions!

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  12. I love the music of the nyckelharpa!

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  13. Oh my! I had to search for that instrument on youtube and I got to hear it play a few tunes. Love it! Kind of like a fiddle, but different. That should gather people and get them dancing or at least toe tapping! You are the best thing that has happened to that museum!! :)

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  14. Never heard of that instrument before. Really neat!

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  15. I'd be there in a heartbeat if I lived closer. I hope you have a HUGE crowd.

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  16. What an amazing instrument. Never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing this, Far Side!

    I'm sure your ideas work out a lot better than the Board member suggested ones. ;o)

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  17. I have never seen or heard of such an instrument! Would be cool to listen to one! Nice photo's!

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  18. I would love to attend. I dearly love all musical instruments.

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  19. Oh, I wish I could be there. This is amazing but I never had one minute of doubt that you would keep improving things for the community.

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  20. It is a great idea. I have never seen nor heard of the instrument before now.

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  21. Amazing! I've never heard of it or seen one. I wish I could be there to see him and hear it played. I think that is a great program and if I lived there I would be on the courthouse lawn with y'all! LOL! Have fun, it sounds like a great way to spend a summer evening.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie