Hummel The hummel is an old Swedish stringed instrument similar to an older type of zither and is related to the Norwegian langeleik. The name is thought to come from the German word hummel, meaning "bumblebee", referring to the droning sound created by the accompaniment strings.

The hummel is probably from the Middle Ages, when it was found all over Europe in slightly differing variants. The instrument was common in the Netherlands, Northern Germany and Denmark during the 18th century. The earliest evidence of the instrument in Swedish folk culture is from the 17th century, and it seems to have been most common in the southern parts of the country. During the 19th century, the hummel was considered to be a primitive peasant instrument and its popularity dwindled, but some enthusiasts have taken up playing it again since the folk revival of the 1970s.