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The Norwegian Jew’s Harp festival 2019

The Jew’s Harp festival will this year be held in Rauland from 20th to 22nd September.

Reserve this weekend already now!

More details to come.




Musich weekend in Gjøvik 2019

Music weekend 10th – 12th May


Temporary program, to be updated.

Vi opnar fredagskvelden med Krydderkonsert med Kenneth Lien. Kursa blir laurdag  og sundag kl. 10 - 16.

-         Munnharpe forging: Sven Håkon Jørgensen, Alexander Sørnes and Stein Terje Mathisen.

-         Langeleik: instructor not decided.

-         Munnharpe playing: instructor not decided.

As it may be a bit early to make willow flutes, we will try a something else this year:

-         Tin flute playing on Saturday: instructor Lasse Stang.

-         Willow flute playing on Sunday:  instructor Steinar Ofsdal.

-         Song/dance/playing for children on Sunday.



Courses: NOK 500.

Lunch: NOK 100 per day.

Concert Friday in Tingbygningen: NOK 100 for the course participants, NOK 200 for others.

Registration to Stein Villa, tel. +47 93495806, stein.villa@mjosmuseet.no


Accomodations: We recommend Gjøvik youth hostel Hovdetun: www.hovdetun.no


Article about «the Norwegian munnharpe revival”

by NMF-member Deirdre Áine Eilís Morgan


In the last 50 years, Norway has experienced a wave of new interest for the jew’s harp. For example, this has resulted in foundation of the Norwegian Jew’s Harp Forum - Norsk Munnharpeforum.

Deidre Morgan has written about this in the article «Cracking the code: recordings, transmission, players and smiths in the Norwegian munnharpe revival», published in Ethnomusicology Forum.

It is about the role of audio-visual recordings in the transmission of munnharpe playing and smithing techniques, featuring several members of the NMF. The article is available to download for free until September 30, 2018 at this link. After that, please contact deirdreannemorgan[at]gmail[dot]com to request a copy.





New Jew’s harp CD


Sigurd Brokke has released a new CD with munnharpe music. Sigurd Brokke writes in the attached booklet:

After many years working with old recordings of “munnharpe” [mouth-harp, jew’s harp] playing, I have now been looking into other traditional Setesdal repertoire that can also be suitable for playing on the instrument. This album presents “new” jew’s harp pieces/tunes that are based on traditional fiddle and vocal material from Setesdal. In developing these, it has not always been my goal to make exact copies of the traditional

fiddle versions. Fiddle and jew’s harp differ in many ways, so I have felt no need to bind myself completely. This has probably also been the case for musicians in generations past. On old recordings one finds jew’s harp versions of tunes that are quite different from the fiddle versions, even from the same area. One can also find harp pieces/tunes that contain elements from a variety of fiddle tunes. Daniel Sandén-Warg contributes as a guest artist on the album, playing four tunes on Hardanger fiddle.

The album’s “bonus-CD” - exclusively jew’s harp and recorded at the same time as the “main CD” - contains newer versions of tunes presented on my earlier albums.


The CD is published by Etnisk Musikklubb. You can hear samples here.





Videos from the 2008 festival


Videos from the 2008 festival can be viewed on YouTube, look here:

The videos are recorded and edited by Fernando Sallum, www.wuante.com


Listen to some music samples from our festivals

New munnharpe CD





Sputer og drev - munnharpe i 100” of Hallgrim Berg and Erik Røine was released at the Munnharpefestivalen 2010 in Fagernes.


On this CD we encounter a rich variety of tunes, rhythms and sounds from two of the top Jew’s harp players in Norway. Erik Røine and Hallgrim Berg, veterans in the field, now have a combined total of 100 years as virtuoso performers. They are marking their jubilee with a ”full speed record” which presents som e suprising tracks.


The CD is published by Grappa Musikkforlag.




New Jew’s harp CD!


Rammeslag II


Omslag.jpg Daniel Sigurd.jpg

Sigurd Brokke, Jew’s Harp and Daniel Sandén-Warg, Hardanger fiddle.


Read more on the record company’s pages.  




New Jew's Harp CD: Fille-Vern


ImageOne of the reasons for establishing Norsk Munnharpeforum (Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum) was to make available the old Jew's Harp material hidden in archives around the country, mainly in the NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation). Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum  have now released the double CD: "Fille-Vern - Old and new masters in Norwegian Jew's Harp tradition". The first CD contain archive recordings from 1937 to the1970s. The second CD gives samples of  what has been performed at the NMF festivals and at "Landskappleiken", the main national competion for traditional music, song and dance.


The album has got brilliant reviews, e.g. in the music guide "groove.no": http://www.groove.no/html/review/96255731.html


Here is a translation of the end paragraph:

"Productions like this are seldom seen, even iternationally. There is no doubt that 'Fille-Vern' is one of the most important and excellent (publications).  Initially, I called this CD a monument over the Jew's Harp. It is a monument over a highly vital, vibrant and electrifying instrument, that has gained new vitality and energy from the enthusists' love and cultural roots. May the sound of this publication carry far off! I have no doubt; this is the Norwegian 'record of the year'.


The album contains 93 tunes and the total playing time is close to two and a half hours. Included is also a 104 page booklet with descriptions of traditions and musicans plus some notes and pictures (half the booklet is in English).


This album is a must for all those who are interested in Norwegian Jew's Harp traditions.



Thesis in music archaeology on Jew's Harps

Gjermund KolltveitPortrett.jpgNorway has got it's first music archaeologist.  Gjermund Kolltveit has been conferred a doctor's degree on the history of the Jew's Harp in Europe. This is the result of ten years of research on this part of European music history that so few have been working on till now.

Gjermund Kolltveit has documented and analyzed 830 Jew's Harps from archaeological excavations in Europe. The material represent hundres of years of  Jew's Harp history, most of the instruments are from the period 1200-1600.

Download the summary here. (English summary on page 2.)




Munnharpe with case from TelemarkThe Jew's Harp is an instrument with traditions in many countries: Norway: munnharpe, Sweden: mundgiga, Denmark: jødeharpe, England and USA: Jew's Harp or Jaws Harp or Trump (old name), Austria: Maultrommel, Germany: Maultrommel, France: guimbarde, Italy: scacciapensieri, Italy (Sicily): marranzano, the Netherlands: mondharp, Estonia: Parmupill, Latvia: Vargans, Lithuania: Dambrelis,  Russia: vargan, Central Asia: khomus, Japan (Hokkaido): mukkuri, Japan: koukin, Philippines: ruding (kubing), Indonesia: genggong, India: morsing, India (Rajastan): morchang, Thailand: rab ncas, China: hoho, sheng, sho, Spain: Arpa de boca.



Norsk Munnharpeforum (NMF) (Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum) is a forum for all who take an interest in the Jew's Harp, be it just for listening, learning to play themselves or learning to make their own instruments. On the web site of Norsk Munnharpeforum you will find news about events in the Jew's Harp field in Norway. Overseas members receive an English translation of our quarterly newsletter "Munnharpa".

Teaser: Can you find the Jew's harp melody on this page?


Munnharper from Setesdal

Jew's Harps made in Setesdal, Norway:

1: Knut Nikolson Berg, ca 1930. 2: Knut Gjermundson Hovet, ca.1970.

3: Knut Tveit, ca.1988. 4: Bjørgulv Straume, ca.1998.

5: Folke Nesland, ca.1995. 6: Bjørgulv Rysstad, ca.1994



Brass harps:

1: Munnharpe-Jakob (Jakob Lavoll), 2003.  2: Einar Turtum, 2005.

3: Leif Arne Bakke, 2005.


Our main activity is to arrange the annual festivals. We often have participants from several countries, and one of the festivals has been arranged in cooperation with "the International Jew's Harp Association", "the 4th International Festival and Congress for the Jew's Harp" held in Rauland in 2002.

Norsk Munnharpeforbund is also involved in the publishing of new and old Jew's Harp music. We will especially emphasize the double DVD and the double CD + DVD from Rauland 2002. You will find more about this on the productions page.


If you are interested in learning how to play Jew's Harp the Norwegian way, please tick.

If you are interested in Jew's Harp music, either Norwegian or international, here are some links.

If you are looking for a Jew's Harp, here is a list of Norwegian Jew's Harp makers.  Prices and quality vary – you strike a deal with the individual maker.


©2000 Norsk Munnharpeforum

Sist oppdatert 2019-02-20