Polska efter Byss-Kalle #32
This Polska efter Byss-Kalle is currently one of the most popular tunes from the repertoire of the great nyckelharpa player of 200 years ago. Byss-Kalle was born Carl Ersson Bössa in 1783, and died in 1847.
He lived his whole life in the area around the town of Älvkarleby, in the province of Uppland. His playing was inspiring, and many stories were told about his ability and perhaps his magical abilities with music.
In the mid-20th century Uppland’s fiddlers’ association published a collection of 57 tunes that Byss-Kalle played, and this particular tune was #32, hence its common name.
It is a 16th-note polska. The Uppland dance that was done to this kind of tune has been lost, but it is often played for the southern Swedish dance called Slängpolska. The slängpolska dance from northern Sweden is a bit different.
Here is a YouTube video of a nyckelharpa and fiddle playing this tune.
To the left is a photo of me and Per-Gustaf Jernberg playing at the Byss-Kalle monument in Älvkarleby.
On the left you can see a video of me playing the polska on the fiddle, and on the right I am playing it on the nyckelharpa.