Welcome to the Holzman Folk Traditions site!

Here you can find information about the products and services that we can provide, as well as useful information about nyckelharpas.

If you are looking for general information about nyckelharpas, the two sub-pages you should focus on are Nyckelharpas and Links. the Nyckelharpas page includes a brief history and discription of the various types and characteristics of this instrument. The Links page connects to other web pages, videos, performer sites, North American Nyckelharpa events and lessons.

In September 2015, Earl and our son, Ian, were interviewed for Wisconsin Life, a program on Wisconsin Public Radio. Here is a link to the broadcast, which was aired in December 2015. In the fall of 2016, staff of the Wisconsin Public Television version of Wisconsin Life came to our home to interview Earl and Ian. The video was broadcast in the fall of 2017; here is the link to that program.

We've added a Calendar page under Activities. We will be listing dates and places where at least one of us will be if you want to talk or see our instruments, bows or other nyckelharpa related merchandise. Earl travels some during the summer months. Contact him if you are interested in having him stop for a presentation or maintenance workshop and he will see when it might fit into his schedule.

The Links page has a couple of new sub-pages: a Events page that lists events that have nyckelharpas in attendence and/or workshops that include nyckelharpas in North America and Europe, and an online lesson provider page. We do not get any benefit from posting these pages; it is just to help the growing nyckelharpa community. If you are aware of an event or lesson provider that you would like us to include, please contact us.

We have a Beginner Nyckelharpas page, which discusses the attributes of a beginner instrument versus an advanced instrument. We also suggest a source for beginner instruments, as Earl is not building those anymore. nyckelharpa kit

Several new pages have been added to the photo gallery. There are now pictures of the new tenor nyckelharpas as well as the 4-rowed intermediate soprano range instruments.

In January of 2016, we were asked about putting a kit together, which Earl did. Here's a picture (left) of all the pieces. Kit parts can be customized to your requests, such as upgraded backs, keyboxes that are ready to fit, etc.

We were asked about the possibility of providing key boxes for kit instruments or closet instruments others have made that due to poor keyboxes are not playable. Our son, Ian, has gotten these together and information on them is provided on our Building Nyckelharpas page.

We have been involved in building nyckelharpas since 2009. During this time we have asked a lot of questions. We do not consider ourselves to be expert musicians, but we do know a lot about nyckelharpas. This site provides brief discussions and opinions on a number of issues related to nyckelharpas.

Neither Earl nor DoAnn have any ethnic lineage connecting them to any Scandinavian country, including Sweden. Our connections are based on shared interest in cultural activities and friendships we have made through the years. We met while doing Scandinavian folk dancing. We do respect that there is a well-defined Swedish Nyckelharpa tradition, but in the American cultural melting pot tradition, we encourage and support the use of this great sounding instrument for all types of music.

We have been folk dancers for most of our lives, and teachers of folk dancing for more than 25 years. We host English Country dances monthly. See our English Country Dancing page for more information on dates and times.

The site is a work in progress … we will be adding items as we are able.

We hope you find our site helpful.

(Note: Any text that is a different color and underlined is a link to another web page. Clicking on it will take you there.)

(Site last updated on 2/17/2024)