Nigvals från Ovansjö

  This Nigvals från Ovansjö has a special meaning to me because of how I learned it.

Ovansjö is a small district in the province of Gästrikland.   A nigvals is just a waltz that is played smoothly for a dance variation that encourages bending of the knees a little more than an ordinary waltz.

I learned this tune from Stig Sjödin, a fine fiddler from Storvik, a town belonging to the Ovansjö district.   He was a miller, running a water-powered mill that had been in his family for generations.

Stig’s grandfather played fiddle and nyckelharpa.   Stig himself played fiddle, taking up nyckelharpa in his 50’s when a bandsaw accident reduced the feeling in his left hand.   Eventually he was able to play fiddle again, but also continued to play Gästrikland tunes on the harpa.

  Among my American friends, we call this Stig’s Waltz.

  Here is a YouTube video of two fiddles and an accordion playing the tune.

To the left is a picture of Stig Sjödin and Barbro Pettersson playing in 1974.