Apparently that thing is called a nyckelharpa, and I think I want one:
"Its keys are attached to tangents which, when the key is depressed, serve as frets to change the pitch of the string."
I'd never heard of it before, but apparently the instrument is popular enough to be on the Swedish 50 Kroner bill (the money shot is at the bottom, underneath those other beautiful pictures). It looks a little awkward to play, but I'm still fascinated:
This is one step closer to the Ultimate Instrument. Sadly, the current contender is the flute, which has such a fascinating complexity of levers and gears that it fully embraces the analytic values that I cherish, and yet is also smooth, rounded, and made of precious (shiny!) metals, paying tribute to the ecstatic side of the equation. Aesthetically, the flute comes close to perfectly embodying the Dionysian / Apollonian principle that I've come to love. Unfortunately, it still sounds like a flute. What can you do?
If this thing were just a little more elegant, a little more shiny, it might just do it...