“I saw it on the telly” – The history and revival of the Meråker clarinet

Bjørn Aksdal

Sammendrag


One of the most popular TV-programmes in Norway over the last 40 years has been the weekly magazine “Norge Rundt” (Around Norway). Each half-hour programme contains reports from different parts of Norway, made locally by the regional offices of NRK, the Norwegian state broadcasting company. In 1981, a report was presented from the parish of Meråker in the county of Nord-Trøndelag, where a 69-year old local fiddler by the name of Harald Gilland (1912–1992), played a whistle or flute-like instrument, which he had made himself. He called the instrument a “fløit” (flute, whistle), but it sounded more like a kind of home-made clarinet. When the instrument was pictured in close-up, it was possible to see that a single reed was fastened to the blown end (mouth-piece). This made me curious, because there was no information about any other corresponding instrument in living tradition in Norway. Shortly afterwards, I contacted Harald Gilland, and we arranged that I should come to Meråker a few days later and pay him a visit.

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