Nyckelharpas have long fascinated me. I built a moraharpa-styled nyckelharpa quite awhile back. Though it is fun to play, it is limiting, and I wanted to make something larger and with sympathetic strings, while sticking to tradition.
I chose to build a kontrabasharpa over say, a chromatic nyckelharpa as I like the drone string placed in between the two melody strings, and to be honest I don’t like the look of all the metal tuning heads on chromatic harpas (for all the sympathetics) – it takes something from the ancient
look of the instrument.
To the left is a gallery of that Moraharpa. In a way it is very like a kontrabasharpa, the way I did it, as it has two melody strings with a drone in between. No sympathetic strings though. The historical Moraharpa had one key row and 2 drones.
There is some info on building this fine swedish folk instrument on the web, but not really enough.
Hoping you find this interesting and I am sure the Swedish builders will be amused at my techiniques and ideas.