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The hardingfele, or hardanger fiddle, is a member of the violin family. The instrument looks little like a richly ornamented violin, but that is about where the similarities end. The hardanger fiddle is really a much different instrument than a violin and is designed to produce very different sound qualities.

Hardanger fiddles are highly decorated instruments usually ornamented with bone, mother of pearl and pen and ink drawings.

The hardanger fiddle is also quite unusual in that it has a second set of strings, usually four or five lower strings. The second set are called drone strings and they run under the fingerboard and through the center of the bridge. These drone strings are not played as the overstrings are but rather vibrate to the harmonic vibration of the overstrings producing a delightful droning sound.

The hardanger fiddle is a symbol of Norway and Norwegian culture and is considered a national instrument of Norway.

Traditional music forms written specifically for the Hardingfele include music such as springar, waltz, halling, mazurka, pols, wedding marches, and more.

Listen to the sound of a hardingfele!

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