The instrument that we commonly call the violin or fiddle has many close cousins around the world. This is a Hardanger Fiddle

Photo by Frode Inge Helland

The inlays and decoration are fascinating – no two are alike. The head is generally carved into the shape of an animal or woman’s head. Similar yet quite different than the instrument we know as the violin. Higher in tone, rounder of body, different bowing technique, four or five additional sympathetic strings for an ethereal sound. Should I add the hardingfele to my “to-build” list?

Annbjørg Lien is a world-renowned hardingfele player and member of the String Sisters