We just quickly wanted to express our gratitude to Leif Woxlin, curator of a website that serves as an excellent introduction to 19th-century Swedish fiddle player Hultkläppen, for getting back to us so quickly regarding the status of tunes synonymous with Hultkläppen himself. If you remember, we were interested in whether Hultkläppen to some degree wrote or composed tunes – rather than popularised them.
Leif writes that Hultkläppen is not regarded as the composer as far as the most famous tunes of the ‘Polska efter Hultkläppen’ ilk go – but that there’s no knowing as to whether the man himself did compose tunes in some capacity. To quote Leif: ‘He did things with his violin that made his reputation. Of course his role as a musician on the weekend dances was important (weekend dances were very important in those days).’
Anyone enamoured by Saturday night ceilidhs might feel that weekend dances remain important (we’d certainly like to see more Saturday folk sessions full stop), but that is thanks to Hultkläppen and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tireless troubadors and musicians over the centuries (and the weekends within those centuries).
Thanks to Leif for getting the ball rolling on our Hultkläppen studies. Again, all input on this particular issue very welcome; in the meantime, here’s another Hultkläppen polska we found through the peerless FolkWiki Sverige website. It’s worth learning to read music simply to understand how musical elegance one might associate with the Baroque era can be condensed into such a terse – and priceless – folk format.