View Full Version : Swedish folk on mandolin

Martin Jonas
Jul-03-2016, 6:43pm
Here are some Swedish folk tunes I've just discovered -- these arrangements are by the Japanese folk flutist "hatao", from his site at celtnofue.com. I have long been a fan of hatao's arrangements of Irish and English tunes, but have only just come across his more recent Scandinavian arrangements. Lots of good stuff at his site, but it's a bit difficult to locate all the sheet music as the site is Japanese-only and there is no single link site to all the PDF arrangements.

I've recorded two of hatao's arrangements over the weekend, and expect to add a few more as I explore these tunes. I've been using my French "Gelas" mandolin for both of these, because of its ancient and eery tone which works well for the other-wordly character of Swedish music.

1) "Hårgalåten" (or "Horgalåten")

This is a traditional Swedish dance tune, associated with the Swedish folk tale of Hårga, in which the devil disguides himself as a fiddler playing a tune that causes the young folk of the village Hårga to dance up the Hårgaberget mountain and to their death. This tune is used to dance the Hambo, and to accompany a folk song retelling the legend.

This arrangement is by hatao, from his site at:


Played on two mandolins and tenor guitar.

Réné Gerôme "Gelas" mandolin
Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

2) Eric Sahlström (1912-1986): Andakten

This is a contemplative tune by the Swedish nickelharpa player and luthier Eric Sahlström. My recording is based on hatao's arrangement for two recorders:


I have adapted this arrangement for two mandolins and tenor guitar.

1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
Réné Gerôme "Gelas" mandolin
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


Ron McMillan
Jul-05-2016, 11:49pm
Nice work, Martin. It's always a pleasure to hear something a little different on mandolin to remind us that it is so much more than just a bluegrass instrument.

Martin Jonas
Jul-06-2016, 11:22am
Thanks, Ron! These Scandinavian tunes are fun, and there are lots of good harmony arrangements out there on various sites.

Here are another two, this time recorded on my 1921 A-jr paddlehead for a rather different mandolin tone. Both tunes are trios of two mandolin parts with tenor guitar backing:

1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin (x2)
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

1) "Ringländer-Halling"

This is a folk dance tune from Norway, used to dance the Hallingdans, a rather acrobatic dance from the Valdres and Hallingdal districts of Norway. The music is a form of the schottis.

This particular tune was also recorded by Ale Möller on his 1991 album Härjedalspipan (Ale playing flute, not his mandola), but my own recording is based on a duo arrangement by Hidenori Omori (via hatao's site):


2) "A Swedish Tune"

This is a traditional Swedish folk tune in 3/4 time, but I don't know its name -- it's from a duet arrangement again by Hidenori Omori (via hatao's site), who simply calls it "A Swedish Tune":



Martin Jonas
Jul-06-2016, 6:12pm
Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus: "Födelsedagsvals till Mona" (Birthday Waltz for Mona)

This happy waltz was written by none other than ABBA's Björn and Benny -- it's originally from Benny Andersson's debut solo album "Klinga mina klockor" (1987) and there are many Youtube clips of Benny's live performances of this tune with his various bands since then.

My mandolin cover version is based on an arrangement for two fiddles by Hidenori Omori, which can be found at his site:

http://omorihidenori.com/Fiddler_Hidenori_Omori/Tunes/entori/2014/1/5_di16hui_quan_ri_benfokudansu_da_hui_suu~edenpato _files/JFDA60th.pdf

I have recorded it as a trio of two mandolins with tenor guitar accompaniment:

1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin (x2)
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


Dan Krhla
Jul-07-2016, 4:39am
Martin, these were great. Thanks for sharing!

Martin Jonas
Jul-08-2016, 6:20am
Thanks, Dan!

Here is another one from the same source:

Vals efter Verner Trondsson

This is a Swedish waltz which I've learned from the arrangement by Hidenori Omori, via hatao's site at:


The only other source I can find for this tune is an album by Göran Månsson (a Swedish musician with links to Japan), and I suspect he has written it -- if so, credit to him!

I have recorded this tune as a duet of two mandolins (a vintage Italian bowlback, double-tracked), with arpeggio tenor guitar backing. It's a delicate little tune and I've tried to play with a soft light touch.

1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin (x2)
Ozark tenor guitar

Artwork by Anders Zorn


JH Murray
Jul-08-2016, 10:26am
I never thought I would hear ABBA played on this site. Fun!

Martin Jonas
Jul-09-2016, 5:25am
Schottis från Haverö

This is one of the more popular Swedish dance tunes, also widely played as a session tune outside Sweden. My recording on two mandolins with tenor guitar backing is based on an arrangement by hatao:


1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin (x2)
Ozark tenor guitar


Martin Jonas
Jul-09-2016, 6:18pm
Schottis från Idre

This is another popular Swedish dance tune. My recording on two mandolins with tenor guitar backing is based on an arrangement by Hidenori Omori, via hatao:


Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
Ozark tenor guitar


Hillsdale Leroy
Jul-09-2016, 7:59pm
Very nicely done my friend. Thanks for sharing these.