Rapp-Kalles Vals is a favorite tune among Uppland fiddlers. It is really a must-know tune should you ever get into a jam session in Uppland.
Rapp-Kalle (Carl Johan Medén) was born in 1843, and died in 1906. He led a hard life, born fatherless, and having many financial troubles.
He began playing the fiddle when he met fiddlers in northern Hälsingland, where he lived for a while. Returning to Uppland, his playing for weddings and other events supplemented his otherwise meager income.
He never learned to read music, but others wrote out the tunes he was noted for playing.
This waltz is by far the best-known of his tunes. In three parts, the first reprise is 8 measures, the second 15, and the third 17.
Here is a YouTube recording of some Swedish musicians playing Rapp-Kalles Vals. Notice the little yell that someone makes at the beginning of the third reprise – this is often done when the energy of the tune is right!
To the left is a photo taken the day a memorial stone to Byss-Kalle was dedicated in the village of Västland, near Byss-Kalle’s home.