Egil Storbekken's Tussefløyte Tunes
Updated 23 September 2020
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Egil Storbekken w/recorder

Dick on sopranino

I first encountered Egil Storbekken back around 1970, when I was helping to start the Folklore Village folklore center on a farm in Wisconsin. The center's director, Jane Farwell, had obtained somewhere a 1968 LP record called "Tussefløytelåter." The Norwegian musician, Egil Storbekken, played tunes he had composed on a decorated recorder he called a "tussefløyte" (troll flute). I later learned he had managed to have the recorder (presumably using his tunes) incorporated into the Norwegian school music curriculum; I gather some students weren't thrilled.

However, I loved his tunes, ranging from the playful to the eerily mystical. I eventually managed to obtain copies of his three books of tunes (1&2, 3). But it was the first book, which included tunes on that record, to which I became eternally attached. I remember one day waking up one morning in my second-floor bedroom in the farmhouse and hearing those tunes from down below. Looking out the window, I saw a friend of Folklore Village, highschool music teacher Doleta Chapru (normally a clarinetist), sitting under the farm's windmill, playing those tunes. It was unforgettable.

I eventually came to play them on a sopranino recorder (see left) for various outdoor weddings and funerals of friends and family, always hiding in nearby woods (Pan-like) or around corners or behind gravestones. The non-localizable effect has always pleased people, sometimes intensely. To set an ethereal atmosphere, I'd often start with a medley of Kveldstone, Avsjedstone, and Stemning fra Steigjela.

With apologies to the publishers, given that the books are not easy for Americans to obtain, I have included sixteen of my favorites from the first book on these pages. The sheet music is displayed as a PNG file, with a link to a printable PDF. These are only a fraction of the tunes in these books, and I encourage anyone interested in getting seriously involved with Storbekken's wonderful tunes to purchase the books at the links above. I have also included (where I could find them) compact MP3 sound files converted from "videos" on YouTube's Egil Storbekken channel.

tussefløytelåter album cover
Avskjedstone     Opptimisten
Danselåt Småfugl-låten
Dola-trall Spelmannsvalsen
Ekkolåten Stemning fra Steigjela
Fiskartrall Stemning
Fjelltrall Sumartrall
Kveldstone Ved Ø'vollen
Mai-leken Vetl-kutjønnlåten