bout the Hargander Fiddle
A particularly beautiful variant of the fiddle developed in Norway. It is known as the hardanger fiddle or hardingfele. These fiddles have four strings that are bowed and two or more strings that vibrate sympathetically. The sympathetic strings run under the fingerboard along the length of the instrument. These strings are not the only difference between hardanger fiddles and violins. Hardanger fiddles have a flatter bridge than a regular violin to allow a player to bow multiple strings more easily. Historical hardanger fiddles from the eighteenth century are narrower than a violin, and usually have deeper ribs and a more highly arched back and soundboard. Hardanger fiddles also have short necks with relatively flat fingerboards. Unlike violins, whose tuning has become standard, Hardanger fiddles are tuned to one of more than twenty different tunings. A common tuning is a, d', a', e'' for the bowed strings and d' e' f#' a' for the sympathetic strings. However, the bowed strings are sometimes tuned like a regular violin g, d', a', e''
Hardanger fiddles are known for their elaborate decoration. The fingerboard frequently features inlaid patterns. The long legboxes are carved into the shape of nordic creatures.
Thanks to D. Glenn Arthur Jr. for supplying us with the photographs of the Hardanger fiddle pictured on this page. Visit his home page at www.dglenn.org
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