Folk music course, five days in Byss-Calle's Älvkarleby, Uppland, Sweden

August 12-16, 2014

After four succesful years another Folk music course, five days in Älvkarleby, Uppland, Sweden, mainly for fiddles and nyckelharpas

  • Arrival Monday evening August the 11th.
  • The course starts with breakfast 08 - 09 Tuesday 12th, Through Saturday lunch Aug 16th
  • You can also take part in the Byss-Calle spelmansstamma Sunday the 17th and leave whenever you wish

Like the previous years the course will be held on Laxon (the Salmon Island), in Älvkarleby near the mouth of the river Dalalven, in a big house, youth hostel, where we sleep, eat and play.

You are recommended to arrive Monday evening as Tuesday morning will be busy.

The commuting train Upptaget takes you directly from the Stockholm-Arlanda airport via Uppsala to Älvkarleby.

Journey planner >

If you come from the north of Sweden, Upptaget starts in Gävle. The third stop is Älvkarleby.

To make our planning easier, please register soon or tell that you are interested.

Please also forward this information to other fiddlers and news letters. We only have 21 places. April 3rd twelve have registered.

The teaching

As with all my courses the mood will be allowing and joyful. The pedagogic standard will be high, among other things including holds, playing technique, feeling the rhythm in your feet and body, playing functional rhythm for dancing and walking, phrasing, singing, playing melodies and harmonies different ways, history and traditions around the music and other stuff depending on what you wish.

Teaching will mainly be provided in Swedish and English.

All teachers play the nyckelharpa and the fiddle: the Riksspelman (Swedish National Fiddlers) Edward Anderzon and Leif Alpsjo. Assistant teachers the Riksspelman Petrus Dillner and Marja Lindahl.

For lessons you may bring other instruments too if you already know how to handle them (after agreeing with Leif). For the evenings and the Byss-Calle stämma, please bring any instruments.

Lesson time is 9 AM to 5 PM (09 - 17) including fika (coffee & tea) breaks and lunch.

Thursday evening 17.30 to 19.45, included in the course, we all give a concert at the cafe next to our house. It has been great fun each time.

Together we may modifie the scedule if it benefits the course.

The tunes will be carefully choosen to serve your learning. We will rather be focusing on playing quality than a great number of tunes. We can always record many tunes on your recording devices for you to take with you home.

Teaching will be made by the ear. It is good for eye contact and for imitating the style and rhythm. We know how to carefully deal with learning by the ear and with some practis everyone can manage that. Some tunes might be shared in writing.

We strongly encurage you to bring all kinds of recording devices, especially video. Please make sure to bring charger, enough battery and recording capacity.

As much as time permits we will provide some short, extra private lessons. Included in the course is an excursion to fiddler´s places, one gourmet

surprise and a teachers house concert.

The rest of the evenings will not be planned by the staff but are free for singing, playing and dancing or whatever you come up with. There is lots of space in- and outdoors so you are welcome with initiatives.

For both nyckelharpas and fiddles a lesson of maintenance will be offered. Those who are interested might visit the master violin and nyckelharpa maker Harry Hedbom 20 minutes away by car. Not included in the course. Harry also is ready to help us with misfunctioning instruments.

Your instrument and bow may be examined and adjusted during the course. If you have certain needs of adjustments, renovation or rebuilding please help us to plan for that so you can get your instrument back before the course ends.

The teachers examinations, oral judgements and minor adjustments are for free. All other measurements will be agreed with and paid directly to the person behind the tools.

Leif will have a few fiddle and nyckelharpa sets to rent - not included in the fee. You may bring your own nyckelharpa bow.

Food and lodging

For three years we have stayed in one house but this year we have rented the next building. It has the same youth hostel quality. There are spacious rooms with four and eight beds. In the adjacent house there are also single and double bed rooms but not for the night Sat - Sunday.

You can also stay before and after the course for about SEK250- extra per person - night. Sheets and towels are included.

Please tell if you have allergies and we´ll see how we can help you. Pets and smoking will not be allowed in the houses and, if somebody is allergic, no flowers. Also please tell if you need diet food and we´ll ask our restaurant what they can do. If the restaurant cannot help us we can always buy whatever diet food you need for yourself to prepare in our kitchen.

As this house will be our home during the week everyone will be asked to take turns with cleaning and in the kitchen. We all clean the house before we leave Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise there will be an extra fee.

Camping and parking of caravan/mobile home is only possible at the fishing camp by the river 3 km away.

THE FEE is SEK 5850 including food, lodging, teaching, some evening activities and transportation from and to the Alvkarleby train station counted from Monday evening through Saturday lunch.

For those who arrive around 17 - 19 Monday we all go together to a restaurant
- not included. In the beginning of the course we will plan for food and lodging for those who stay till Sunday at the Byss-Calle stamma.

Accompanying spouses, children and friends, not attending the course, will get help with information to meaningful touristing. They are welcome to share our excursion and free time/evenings as well as lodging and all meals for SEK 2400 for the whole time. Deductions will be made if they stay a shorter time or do not participate in all meals.

Please make your registration as soon as possible or tell that you are interested. Later we will ask for a registrations fee.

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Which is your instrument?
  2. Which is your level 1 (beginner) - 5 (expert)
  3. Can you tune your instrument 1 (no) - 5 (easily)
  4. Which subjects would you like to focus at?
    E.g. holds, playing technique, playing functional rhythm, phrasing, singing, feeling the rhythm in your feet and body, playing melodies and harmonies different ways, history and traditions.
  5. What more would you like to know?
    Please help us to make this a good experience and memory. Thanks for your cooperation and keep swinging.


THE DAY AFTER THE COURSE, Sunday, is held the Byss-Calle spelmansstämma at the Älvkarleby homestead farm (Hembygdsgård). If you can play some of the tunes (Mungalåten, Andakten, Alfred Anderssons Polska, Kyrkmarsch av Olov Jansson, Byggnan, Hellstedts brudmarsch) you can join the group playing in the medieval church at 11AM. You are encouraged to play at the performances during the afternoon with tunes of your choice, solo or in groups. Those who play at least one Byss-Calle tune get a diploma. The course will focus on a couple of those tunes.

There will be food and fika for all fiddlers.

Edward, Petrus, Marja
and Leif, who translated and wrote.

Leif Alpsjö • Rångsta, VIKSTA • SE74030  BJÖRKLINGE, SWEDEN
tel: +46 706 38 33 53 •