Norwegian Jew's Harp Forum
Norsk Munnharpeforum (NMF)
NMF was founded in 1998 and we now have nearly 150
members. NMF wants to fuel the interest in the Jew's Harp in Norway by
teaching playing technique and supplying knowledge about our traditions, both
on how the instruments are made and on music made for Jew's Harp. We find it
important to maintain contact with societies in other countries and the
international interest has become so huge that it has become an important
task for us to publish this web site. Comments and suggestions on how to
improve it are welcome.
The Board of Norsk Munnharpeforum:
Chairman: Bent Åserud
Deputy chairman and treasurer:
Sven Håkon Jørgensen
Secretary: Mona Ottesen
Board member: Reidar
Please contact Sven Håkon Jørgensen
E-mail: sven.jorgensen<at>vegvesen.no (Spam filter; replace
<at> with @.)
Membership includes the journal Munnharpa. Overseas
members receive an English translation with each quarterly newsletter.
The quarterly newsletter "Munnharpa" is included in the
membership fee. The newsletter contains
articles on well-known Jew's Harp players, smiths
and on Jew's Harp traditions in Norway,
information about our festivals,
national and international news,
CD productions and other special events,
letters from interested readers.
We encourage readers to contribute! Please contact
E mail: bernhard.folkestad<at>gmail.com (Spam filter; replace
<at> with @.)
Folke Nesland, Heidersmedlem i 2019
kjem frå Bykle kommune, lengst nord i Setesdal. Han vart fødd i 1948. Han
gjekk yrkesskule på Blakstad ved tømrar-linja, og var ferdig der i 1967.
Seinare gjekk han 3 år på ingeniørskule i Malmø, og i 1975 vart han tilsett
som kommuneingeniør i Bykle, der han jobba fram til han vart pensjonist i
mange andre som voks opp på ein gard, dreiv han i tidlege år med litt
smedarbeid. Mellom anna lærde han å
smi knivar av far sin, men det var fyrst nokre år etter at han var komen heim
til Bykle igjen at han for alvor tok til å interessere seg for smiding. Saman
med ein annan kommunalt tilsett, Sven Håkon Jørgensen, samla han ein liten
gjeng med smedentusiastar. For Folke sin del blei det i denne tida mest
smiding av knivblad, men etter at dei i 1991 fekk tak i Bjørgulv Straume sin
videokassett i munnharpespel, ville dei prøve seg på munnharper. Det gjekk
tåleg greitt å lage bøylar til munnharpene, men fjøra skulle bli ei
utfordring. Etter mykje eksperimentering fann han framgangsmåtar og materialar
som gav god og kraftig lys. Harpene til Folke blir rekna som munnharpas
Stradivarius. Etterspurnaden har vore umettande, og Folke fekk kundar over
heile landet og i utlandet.
lager òg skrin til munnharpene. Til desse bruker han gjerne bjørkeknutar som
han finn lokalt. Både skrin og munnharper er lett kjennelege. Folke var av
dei fyrste som tok til å stemme munnharpene, noko som mellom anna gjorde det
mykje enklare å halde kurs i munnharpespeling.
har med stor entusiasme delt kunnskapane sine med andre. Han har vore
instruktør for ulike munnharpekurs, mellom anna fleire gonger på det årlege
kurset på Gjøvik som blir arrangert av Norsk Munnharpeforum og Gjøvik
spelemannslag. Med sitt arbeid har Folke ført munnharpa eit langt steg
Nesland er ein ekte kulturberar. I 2018 fekk han Bykle kommunes kulturpris
for arbeidet som munnharpesmed, men også for sin store innsats som
Røine, Member of Honour in 2016:
Erik Røine played munnharpe longer than most. He was born in 1946 and grew
up in a musical environment. His father was a violinist, but also a
renowned fiddle-player who also played most other folk instruments, langeleik, ram's horn, lur
started folk dancing at an age of five and supposedly he had also begun
with harmonica then. Moreover, he attended the Conservatory and learned to
play the piano. Nine years old, he was almost like a professional to work
on munnharpe: In 1955 he played in radio at
several occasions, and in the late sixties he had a radio hit together with
guitarist Robert Normann.
and 1994 he won the Landskappleiken (national
folk music competition). He participated in the founding of Norwegian Jew’s
Harp Forum, and was a popular instructor and
Erik Røine has made several recordings, of which “Munnharpa” and Munnharpa i 100” have to be highlighted. These were made together
with Hallgrim Berg.
Erik Røine is appointed honorary membership for his lifelong
engagement for the Norwegian munnharpe.
Member of Honour in 2013:
Bernhard Folkestad was born in 1946 and grew up in various
places in Vestfold. He has been a high scool teacher, and he has engaged
himself in a lot of voluntary organizations, including collecting folk
music and instrument making in addition to his work for Norwegian Jew’s
Harp Forum, where he was a board member from the founding in 1998 till
2011. Beeing a teacher, he has made a great contribution to
developing education methods and material and he has been a instructor for
numerous munnharpe courses.
Bernhard Folkestad has been the editor
of the members newsletter, Munnharpa, since the
beginning in 1998.
During this time, he has developed the journal into what it is today with four annual issues in color print. The journal plays an important role in documenting and informing about activities related to minnharpe in
Norway. He has allways contributed
with articles, and also translated all issues into English for foreign members. This has contributed to making the Norwegian munnharpe tradition
known fare beyond the Norwegian borders. Bernhard Folkestad has a huge network of contacts all over the world.
Bernhard Folkestad’s contributions have been essential for making the Norwegian Jew’s Harp
Forum one of the most active Jew’s harp organizations of the world.
The board of the Norwegian Jew’s Harp
Forum find that
Bernhard Folkestad more than full-fills the criterias
in the statutes for beeing appointed a honorary membership. By doing this, the board of
the Norwegian Jew’s
Harp Forum want to thank
Bernhard Folkestad for an unusual strong contribution for the Norwegian munnharpe, and we
hope that we can benefit from his experiences and knowledge for years to come.
Leif Løchen, Member of Honour in
Leif Løchen (1921 - 2011) was appointed honorary membership for his strong engagement for folk
music and for his work on collecting information about, and revitalizing,
older folk music instruments. He was also honorary member of
"Landslaget for spelemenn" and of "Norsk lur- og
bukkehornlag". In 2001 he got “The King's Medal of Merit” in gold. He
got several other prizes for his cultural contribution.
He published several articles and books.
Rolf Karlberg, Member
of Honour in 2004:
Rolf Oddvar Karlberg was appointed honorary membership for his work on arranging
the first Jew’s harp festivals
in Norway. He was judge
at competitions and held several
courses in playing and dancing techniques, of primary interest are the annually held Jew’s harp playing courses. Rolf had an outstanding knowledge of folk music and dance and he was also a top performer on Jew’s harp, Hardanger fiddle and kveding (folk song).
Together with his wife, Magny, he has won a first prize
in dance at the
Rolf has been
CEO at Valdres Folk Museum and has taken on several duties in folk culture organizations. He produced the Jew’s harp CDs "Låtta o låttestev frå Valdres" and "Tre ord te de", and published several articles, resulting from his music and dance research.
Bjørgulv Straume, Member of Honour in 2008:
Bjørgulv was one of the main contributors in the
Norwegian revival of the Jew’s harp in the 1980s. The cassette
"Luftslaget", the first with munnharpe as the main instrument,
was enthusiastically received by several younger people, and became a
reference for the new trend in Jew’s harp playing for several years. Apart
from creating his own style, Bjørgulv has held several workshops and published
the CDs Frå ætt til ætt and Hrynhendt, the latter with the
pianist Øystein Kikut. He has also participated on other recordings, like Frå Senegal til Setesdal together
with Kirsten Bråten Berg, Solo Cissokho and Kouame Sereba.
Both at home and abroad, he has built a
reputation as one of the best and most productive munnharpe smiths. He has
won his class at the Landskappleiken two times, and this has led to the
acceptance of the munnharpe as a serious instrument.
Reidar Sevåg: Member of Honour in 2008:
Reidar Sevåg has been central in the folk music
research in Norway. He has had several positions at the Norwegian Folk
Museum and at the University of Oslo. He has also been editor and author of
several publications. Especially, his book on folk music instrument, “Det
gjallar og det læt” (1973), has become a classic.
In 1966, Reidar Sevåg participated in a popular TV
program, Falkeklubben, where he told about the Jew’s harp. This was the
main reason for the Norwegian munnharpe boom in the late sixties.
With his engaging lectures and radio programmes,
he was a force behind the increasing interest in the munnharpe, and gave
several people their first knowledge of it as a Norwegian music instrument.
Sevåg also encouraged Arne Haugli, one of the employees at the Folk Museum,
to start making munnharpes. It became a great success, and Haugli produced
more than 600 instruments.
Are you interested in receiving e-mail
about upcoming events?
Send a mail to: sven.jorgensen<at>vegvesen.no
(Spam filter; replace <at> with @.)
Web page editor is Einar Turtum.
E mail: einar<at>turtum.no (Spam filter; replace
<at> with @.)