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date: 23 October 2019


  • Birgit Kjellström
  • , revised by Styrbjörn Bergelt


A term coined by Andersson (1923) for a bowed lyre without fingerboard commonly used for folk music-making until the beginning of the 20th century in Finland, particularly in east Karelia, and in the Swedish communities of Estonia. Since the early 1970s there has been a revival in making and playing the stråkharpa in all these regions.

The Finnish instrument (jouhikannel, jouhikantele or jouhikko) has a flat soundboard let in to the box-shaped base (sometimes with convex or concave sides), which has an extension on the same plane as the soundboard, with a long, narrow opening on the right for the player’s left hand, or with openings on both sides of a narrow central arm. It has two or three strings of horsehair, gut or wire, which run from a string-holder over a straight bridge to the pegs, usually dorsal, in the upper end (for illustration, see...

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