Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Notes on psalmodikon and Swedish hummel in Stig Walin's "Die Schwische Hummel."

Important discussion below of the relationship between a Swedish hummel and a psalmodikon on my Facebook feed this morning. Link here or click on permalink address just below this screenshot to see the original:


Background: This morning I posted to Facebook my pictures of the Dillner Museum behind the church in Östervåla, and Gunnar Fredelius questioned whether the instrument identified in the museum as a hummel toward the end of my photo album wasn't really a psalmodikon. This led to threads on my FB feed and Gunnar's, where he had posted a copy of my pix.

Upshot: I quickly agreed the instrument in question was a psalmodikon, but one with a body shape modeled after a hummel -- at least it resembles my Frisian hummel (Friesische Hummel) made by Willfried Ulrich of coastal East Frisia in Germany (pictures at http://s642275850.website-start.de/neue-hummeln/). I'll won't repeat the thread here. Instead I'll link to:

In the process of researching the Ostervala psalmodikon, I consulted Stig Walin's "Die Schwedische Hummel" and copied his discussion of psalmodikons below, along with an unedited Google translation. Rely on it at your peril, but it'll give you a rough idea of what he says.

If I am reading Walin correctly, both the hummel and the psalmodikon traced their origins back to the medieval monochord and a related folk instrument in parts of northern Europe called a långspel. (The word is Swedish, and I think it might be a generic term for an stringed instrument played lengthwise -- i.e. up and down a single string over a fretboard on the long side of the instrument. Cf. Icelandic langspil.) Like an American dulcimer or any other instrument where the melody is played on a single string.

Background on hummel. Långspel and långharpa are also words for the hummel (see discussion in Wikipedia, which is unusually informative, at https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummel_(musikinstrument): "Hummeln är ett (troligen medeltida) instrument som funnits i hela Europa i lite olika varianter. Instrumentet var vanligt i Nederländerna, Nordtyskland och Danmark under 1700-talet. I svensk bondekultur finns belägg för instrumentet först från 1600-talet och det verkar ha förekommit mest i de södra delarna. Under 1800-talet ansågs hummeln vara ett primitivt bondeinstrument och dess popularitet avtog men några entusiaster har, med start från 1970-talet, återupptagit traditionen att spela hummel." [Google trans.: Hummeln is a (probably medieval) instruments that existed throughout Europe in a few different directions. The instrument was common in the Netherlands , northern Germany and Denmark during the 1700s. In the Swedish farming culture is evidence of the instrument to the 1600s, and it seems to have been mostly in the southern parts. In the 1800s it was considered Hummeln be a primitive peasant instruments and its popularity waned, but some enthusiasts have, starting from the 1970s, resumed the tradition to play Hummel.]

Stig Walin, Die Schwedische Hummel: Eine Instrumentenkindliche Untersuchung. Stockholm: Nordiska Museet, 1952. Ethnomusicology http://allourmusic.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/wallin_hummel/. pp. 95-96.

Unedited excerpts in English translation are by Google. Use at your own risk. [One example will suffice: When the text refers to "bumblebee," it is Google's translation of the name of the instrument. The name comes from the buzzing sound made by the drone (bourdon) strings.] I am putting these pages, Walin's only mention of the psalmodikon, up on the blog for convenient access. I am not attempting a translation at this point.

Around 1830 began the incredible fast triumph of Psalmodikons over the areas.1 The instrument was developed by the powerful revivals of 40s and the following decades put into use. but Still the Tonwerkzeug could never so quickly can spread and would in the tradition-bound Rural population never come to immediate application, if not the bottom of the related older zither type Hummel as good would have been prepared. As a popular Tool of a purely secular musical culture (Including dance) had the Hummel many places as hard considered a sin and therefore burdened aside been pushed or simply destroyed be 2 to instead of Psalmodikon to be replaced, the 3 t the beginning of A an instrument for worship and house devotion was. Where the Hummel despite everything further held that both types could be confused.

The Hummel was also certain constructional details of Psalmodikons acquire. The right in Fingerboard cut chromatic Bund series at G 40 we have already by above as a sign of the influence the Psalmodikon angenommen.4 Maybe has the same effect at the chromatic (re) grouping the frets at G 2 9 5 asserted, the instrument I. Westerlund, the various religious purposes served. W hen but also to Psalmodikon victoriously penetrated, it possessed but far from the same tradition force as the bumblebee.

* * *

This is, inter alia, from his Mold development produced. Dill Ner original instrument supposedly now in N M under N r. 14152 is, has an elongated body with straight sides and the same width Later the web as in Sattel.6 but the Psalmodikon was often with extensions and bulges of various Article provided. but these have not the formal unity and the organic Beauty, which bulges the the native bumblebee ajjszeichnen. It often seems as if they quite by accident and not natural Way from the actual basic shape developed hätten.7 In the rich flora of this form Psalmodikons can be of different influences feel sides - in a few notable cases of the Bumblebee! Three Psalmodikon in Västergötland Museum, Skara, N r. 13754, 41966 and 45778, with respect to the outer body shape a side bulged Hummel's amazing ähnlich.1 order but it is not enough. also regarding the size they close the Hummel at. Dill former Psalmodikon has a gr. L. 1027 mm.2 The three about equally large instruments in Skara are However, considerably shorter. No. 41966 has a gr. L. 810 mm. The gr. L. of Most native bumblebees is between the limits 692- 890. The Psalmodikon therefore closes this Plurality of. According to the catalog information originates the instrument of Vastergotland, 3 of the landscape, in the "långspel" already on widespread at the beginning of the 18th century was, of which we only a bumblebee (G 26) have registered. The Psalmodikon however, shows that the Hummel tradition in the countryside in the 19th century was strong. Perhaps one could even the "långspel» -Tradition say. The length of the "långspel" was about 890 and the width of about 223 mm. The corresponding V alues ​​of Psalmodikons N r 41966 are 810 and 215 mm.

W hen we now again the question over the age of zither instrument from Type Hummel turn in Sweden, we must say that a type of instrument, already at the beginning of the 18th century. Century in at least a portion of the spread Swedish country areas and was popular and then in spite of all unfavorable conditions around the country one such striking force Tradition showed spoken of here, that such type of instrument, as already indicated, a local history must have that far out stretched on the said date. The sources of this ancient history but are difficult to access and uncertain. One reason for this is the terminology Ambiguity. Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder

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