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Norwegian Jew’s Harp Festival 2017


Image result for Smedsgården hotell

Will be arranged in Smedsgården Hotel, Nesbyen, Hallingdal from 15th to 17th of September.


You can download the program here.


On the course in Hallingdal traditional playing, the tunes Fru Stenersen and Trulseguten will be used. You can download or listen to them by clicking the links.

On the course in “setesdalsgangar” with Per Helge Alnes, «Fillevern» in the style after Mikkjel Kåvenes will be taught. The tune can be found on the CD «Fillevern» .



Festival Pass costs NOK 500, - for students and members of Norwegian Jew’s Harp Forum.

For non-members it costs NOK 700, -.


This sum covers courses and concerts.

If you sign up for the festival until September 1st, you get a discounted price of NOK 450, - for students and members and NOK 600, -  for non-members.


Please register by payment to the account number: 2320.15.35565, and e-mail treasurer

Sigbjørn Solbakken (kjl-t-4@online.no) or sms +47 48 23 27 46.

Please include your name and what kind of courses you sign up for.


If you sign up for a membership when arriving, you pay as an ordinary member. The members fee will then be NOK 300,- for the rest of 2017 and for 2018. As all new members, you will get all the issues of “Munnharpa” as a bonus.


Accommodation at Smedgården hotel

Full board and lodging 15th to 17th September:

NOK 1525 per person in a double room and

NOK 1825 in single rooms.


Call directly to the hotel, tel. +47 32068125 or +47 90991610 for bookings.

You can also use e-mail: annithoen@hotmail.com

Ask for the agreement with NMF.




Music weekend in Gjøvik 12nd-14th of May 2017



Klangen før fela 23rd-25th of February 2018

The sound before the fiddle. Riksscenen, Oslo

This event has earlier been arranged in 2014 and 2016. It is a cooperation between Riksscenen,

Norsk Kvedarforum, Norsk Lur- og Bukkehornlag, Norsk Langeleikforum and Norsk Munnharpeforum.

There will be courses and conserts in kveding (traditional singing), munnharpe (Jew’s Harp), langeleik (Norwegian dulcimer), (bark) lur and bukkehorn (Ram’s horn).


The Norwegian Jew’s Harp festival 2016


In Bykle Hotell in Setesdal from 16th to 18th September.




The Munnharpe monument in Valle


Folke Nesland



Nesland-smithy at Lislestog (Setesdal museum)


Irina og Vladimir

Sudan Dudan


From the conserts


Gunnar Stubseid

Hallvard T Bjørgum


Lectures and courses

Viggo Vestel

Sigurd Brokke

Svein Westad


Erik og Bent

Johan Zaar


Saturday night

Photos: Mona Ottesen and Einar Turtum



Erik Røine

new honorary member in Norsk Jew’s Harp Forum


At the Norwegian Jew’s Harp Festival 2016, Erik Røine was appointed honorary membership for his long engagement for the Jew’s harp. He has been a central member since he in 1998 participated in the founding og Norwegian Jew’s Harp Forum. He has also been a board member from 2002 to 2004


We all congratulate!



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 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 2017-08-15