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Honorary members of the Norwegian J Harp Forum

Honorary members are represented in increasing distributions from 2004.

Honorary Member 2019
Folke Nesland

Folke Nesland, Heiders member in 2019:

Folke Nesland comes from Bykle municipality, furthest north in Setesdal. He was born in 1948. He went to vocational school in Blakstad by the carpentry line, and finished there in 1967. Later he went to engineering school in Malmö for 3 years, and in 1975 he was employed as a municipal engineer in Bykle, where he worked until he was retired in 2012.

Like so many others who grew up on a farm, in the early years he did some blacksmithing. In between, he learned to forge knives from his father, but it was not until a few years after he had returned home to Bykle that he became seriously interested in forging. Together with another municipal employee, Sven Håkon Jørgensen, he gathers a small group of blacksmith enthusiasts. For Folke's part, at this time it was mostly forging of knife blades, but after they got hold of Bjørgulv Straume's videocassette in mouth harp playing in 1991, they wanted to try mouth harps. It went really well to make hoops for the mouth harps, but the shore was going to be a challenge. After much experimentation, he found procedures and materials that provided good and powerful light. Folke's harps are counted as the mouth harp's Stradivarius. The demand has been insatiable, and Folke gained customers all over the country and abroad.

People also make boxes for the mouth harps. For these he likes to use birch knots that he finds locally. Both chest and mouth harps are easily recognizable. People were among the first to vote for the mouth harps, something that, among other things, made it much easier to hold courses in mouth harp playing.

People have with great enthusiasm shared their knowledge with others. He has our instructor for various mouth harp courses, including several times at the annual course in Gjøvik which is arranged by the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum and Gjøvik fiddle team. With his work, Folke has taken the mouth harp a long step forward.

Folke Nesland is a real cultural bearer. In 2018, he received the Bykle municipality's culture award for his work as a mouth harp smith, but also for his great efforts as a local historian.

Honorary Member 2013
Erik Røine

Erik Røine, honorary member in 2016:

Erik Røine has played the mouth harp longer than most. He was born in 1946 and grew up in a musical environment. His father was a violinist, but also a well-known harding fiddle fiddler who also played most other folk musical instruments, langeleik, buckhorn, lur and mouth harp.

Erik started dancing leikarring as a five-year-old and presumably he also started with mouth harp then. He also attended the Conservatory and learned to play the piano. But as a nine-year-old, he was almost as professional as counting on the mouth harp. In 1955 he was in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and played on the radio.

In the archive it says: Erik Røine, mouth harp, "Stårøyguten" (0´55 "), NRK Store Studio 30. Jan 1955." Stårøyguten "will also be found on an RCA recording, but here it is 1`10 long. another program report from NRK the same year: Barnetimen, 11 June 1955; "talk to Erik Røine, who plays the mouth harp" (interviewed by "Uncle Lauritz", or Lauritz Johnson as he was called. And 20 November 1955 he is on the radio again with "Pål sine høner" in Barnas Musikkstund, a feature of 0´40 ".

He did not realize that the mouth harp was dying out towards the end of the sixties. Instead, he almost got a mouth harp hit in the early seventies with super guitarist Robert Normann. "Here you see the guys from Hallingdal and Valdres", was the song. Possibly this had a certain significance for the mouth harp becoming very strong in the wind throughout the seventies, when around one hundred thousand Austrian factory harps were sold in Norway.

Throughout the seventies and eighties, we have no information about how often the mouth harp was produced. Erik was busy with family and work. Corporate culture and management development is his field and he is also a co-author of the widely used book "Project work" which deals with this area.

But in the nineties it was time for mouth harp again, and in 1992 he wins the Landscape Play at Fagernes and repeats this at Rauland in 1994. And in 1995 Ånon Egeland starts the first mouth harp festival at Fagernes and there is of course Erik. He excels as the experienced harmonica player he was, and over the next three years he will be drawn in as an instructor and participant in the concerts. There will also be some mouth harp courses around, i.a. in Oslo together with Hallgrim Berg.

After the mouth harp festival at Fagernes in 1998, some of the most eager were left to discuss the festival's future, and of course Erik was there. An eager participant in what was to be the founding meeting of the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum.

Erik is an elite-level folk dancer and has taken countless courses at home and abroad, often with Anne, one of his daughters. All the way to the USA, the journey has included both dance and mouth harp courses. He has even directed Hungary's great dancer Viktor Rona in Setesdalsgangar. Viktor was at the Norwegian Opera Ballet for many years as Erik's dance partner Ellen Kjellberg's regular ballet partner. Erik was a 3-4 year part-time teacher of folk dance at the Statens Balletthøgskole and Statens Teaterskole. His brother Harald played, and he could not, so Erik used the mouth harp.

A rather unknown side of Erik is his piano skills and fascination for everything with keyboards, such as organ, electric piano and synthesizers. In his home studio he has composed lots of music in different styles.

He has made many recordings with the mouth harp, such as the previously mentioned "Stårøyguten" from 1955 and is on a cassette from the collection of Valdres Folkemusikkarkiv 1997. Also the duo albums "Munnharpa" and "Munnharpe i 100", both with Hallgrim Berg. In addition, the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum's own publication Fillevern.

Erik Røine becomes an honorary member of the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum for his lifelong commitment to the mouth harp. He has been a key member since he was involved in the founding process in 1998 and has also been a board member in the years 2002 to 2004.

Honorary member 2013 Bernhard Folkestad

Bernhard Folkestad, honorary member in 2013:

Bernhard Folkestad was born in 1946 and grew up in various places in Vestfold. He is educated as an associate professor and has worked all his life in upper secondary school in Finnmark, Nordland and Møre og Romsdal. He has been very involved in voluntary organizational work: TenSing, parish council, collection of folk music in Hamarøy (via Tromsø Museum), song and instrument building, in addition to the work for the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum. Bernhard Folkestad co-founded the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum in 1998, and he sat on the board all the time until 2011.

Bernhard Folkestad has, as a trained pedagogue with a long background from the Norwegian school system, had special prerequisites for training in mouth harp. He has put a lot of work into finding suitable training melodies and learning methods. He has been instrumental in developing course material, and he has been a diligent and valued instructor on non-medical courses. He has especially had a good hand in educating children, but both young and old feel that they get particularly good contact with him.


Bernhard Folkestad has been our magazine editor for the member magazine Munnharpa since the start in 1998. Trottug has had 4 issues every quarter, punctually. From a technically simple beginning, he has developed the magazine into the booklet in four-color print that is now coming out. He has always asked for access to the magazine, and if it has not come in enough, he has written himself. The magazine fulfills an important function as a source of documentation and information about what is happening on the mouth harp front in Norway. Furthermore, the magazine is an important source for knowledge about all aspects of the mouth harp, games, production, history, culture, etc. All important articles he has translated into English and attached to the sales of foreign subscribers. Through this, he has created awareness of the Norwegian mouth harp traditions far beyond Norway's borders. Bernhard Folkestad has a large network of contacts, both domestically and abroad. He has actively corresponded with foreign experts on everything related to the mouth harp.


Bernhard Folkestad says that strong interest in the mouth harp is evident in many ways. He plays the mouth harp at a high level. He is not only interested in the Norwegian traditional game, but also in mouth harp playing outside the central traditional areas in Norway and in foreign gaming traditions. He conveys this both through playing and writing about it in Munnharpa.


Over the years, Bernhard Folkestad has collected mouth harps, mouth harp curiosities and adjacent instruments. This is the backbone of the exhibitions of mouth harps he stands for at most every single festival. He has also acquired a rich collection of books on all aspects of the mouth harp. This means that he stands out with authority in discussions about the instrument.


Without Bernhard Folkestad's efforts, the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum would be different. His efforts are absolutely crucial for the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum to emerge as one of the most active mouth harp organizations in the world, and the strong awareness of Norwegian mouth harps and Norwegian mouth harp playing internationally.


The board of the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum finds that Bernhard Folkestad more than meets all the criteria in the articles of association to be appointed an honorary member. By appointing Bernhard Folkestad a honorary member, the board of the Norwegian Mouth Harp Forum will thank for an unusually strong effort for the mouth harp in Norway, and hope that we can benefit from his experience and knowledge in the years to come.


Bjørgulv Straume, honorary member in 2008:

Bjørgulv was one of those who contributed to a new breakthrough for the mouth harp in the 80s. The cassette "Luftslaget", the first release with mouth harp as the main instrument, aroused great interest among many young people, and was a guide for the new trend in mouth harp playing for many years to come. Apart from creating a new style of play, Bjørgulv has also held many mouth harp courses, both in Setesdal and around the country. He has released the CDs Frå ætt til ætt and Hrynhendt, the latter together with the pianist Øystein Kikut. He has participated in several other productions, such as From Senegal to Setesdal together with Kirsten Bråten Berg, Solo Cissokho and Kouame Sereba.

Both here at home and abroad, he has earned a big name as one of our best and most productive mouth harpists. Bjørgulv has a drivingly good dance game, and he has helped to make the mouth harp attractive as an instrument for dance at competitions and in other contexts. He has won the class for older folk music instrument at Landskappleiken twice, and this led to the mouth harp being perceived as a serious instrument.

Honorary member 2008 Bjørgulf Straume
Honorary Member 2008
Reidar Sevåg

Awarded at the Norwegian Mouth Harp Festival in Oslo


Reidar Sevåg: honorary member in 2008:

Reidar Sevåg was born on January 20, 1933 in Oslo and died on November 7, 2016. He has played a central role in folk music research in Norway. He was curator at the Norwegian Folk Museum from 1947 to 1972, and later associate professor at the Norwegian Folk Music Collection, University of Oslo. Sevåg was part of the editorial staff for the work Hardingfeleslåttar, Norwegian folk music, Series I (1979, 1981), and has published a number of articles on Norwegian folk music both in Norway and internationally. The book Det gjallar og det læt (1973), which is about folk musical instruments, has become a classic. Sevåg also has our camp of the Norwegian Folk Music Group, from 1965 to 1980.

In 1966, Reidar Sevåg was on the popular TV show Falkeklubben, where he told about the mouth harp. This was the main reason for the great mouth harp boom in the late sixties.

In the 1970s, he made radio programs about older folk musical instruments. Here, for the first time, many received the right mouth harp playing from the old masters. This, together with engaging dissemination work aimed at students at UiO and at children and young people at the Norwegian Folk Museum, has created the basis for the growing interest in this instrument today. Sevåg also got Valdris Arne Haugli, who was a caretaker at the museum at the time, to produce mouth harps to meet the growing demand. Haugli's mouth harp was a success, he made over 600.


Rolf Karlberg, honorary member in 2004:

Rolf Oddvar Karlberg was born on March 26, 1931 in Oslo and died on November 21, 2014. He was educated as an architect at NTH and had an intermediate degree in art history from UiO. He worked as an architect in a private company, in the Norwegian Building and Property Directorate and from 1984 to 1996 he was director of the Valdres Folk Museum. As museum director, he was involved in starting the annual mouth harp festivals, the first at Valdres Folk Museum in 1995.

In the announcement text for the position of museum director, it was stated that there was a requirement for knowledge of folk music and the dance traditions in Valdres, something Rolf had in mind. Rolf has been involved in projects around dance traditions and rhythm issues, and writes articles on various aspects of music and dance research.

Rolf is our deputy leader in the National Team for Fiddlers, leader in the Team for Folk Music and the Norwegian Folk Music Team. He has a site as a member of the Council for Folk Music and was a honorary member of Øystre Slidre spel- og dansarlag. Together with his wife Magny, he received Haldor Røyne's honorary award.

He has and our kappleiksdomar, and hold courses in games and dance. He has recorded the CD "Låtta o låttestev från Valdres", and together with the family he plays and sings on the CD "Tre ord te de". Rolf was present when Øystre Slidre's playing and dancing team achieved a 3rd place in team play harding fiddle at the landscape play at Gjøvik. As a soloist, he had first prize both in kveding and on mouth harp at competitions, in addition to the fact that he and Magny have first prizes from Landskappleiken in dance class A.

Honorary Member 2004
Rolf Karlberg
Honorary Member 2004
Leif Løchen

Leif Løchen, honorary member in 2004:

Leif Løchen (1921 - 2011) was also a honorary member of "Landslaget for spelemenn" and of "Norsk lur- og bukkehornlag". In 2001, he received the King's Fortune Medal in gold. He received several other awards for his cultural efforts, among others he received in 1997, together with his wife Gunnhild, the culture award from Vågå, their home municipality.

Leif Løchen was educated as an architect and has worked as a curator at the Folkemuseet in Oslo and at "De Sandvigske samlinger" (Maihaugen) in Lillehammer in addition to periods as a farmer on Valbjør, Gunnhild's farm. All the time he had a strong commitment to folk music and he was a driving force in gathering knowledge about old traditions and not least in breathing new life into them. He thus had much to say for the flourishing that has been within "older folk musical instruments" such as mouth harp, hymn icon, langeleik, buckhorn, nap and flutes. He has our editor in Spelemannsbladet.

Among other things, he published the books "Fra skorofele til salmodikon" and "Kantor Lars Roverud og hans salmodikon".

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