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hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?

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Alice 07 Jul 99 - 09:44 AM
catspaw49 07 Jul 99 - 10:31 AM
Mudjack 07 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM
Alice 07 Jul 99 - 10:47 AM
Jon W. 07 Jul 99 - 11:39 AM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 11:55 AM
Jon W. 07 Jul 99 - 12:40 PM
catspaw49 07 Jul 99 - 01:13 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 01:22 PM
catspaw49 07 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 01:37 PM
catspaw49 07 Jul 99 - 01:45 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 01:49 PM
Bert 07 Jul 99 - 02:26 PM
Sharon 07 Jul 99 - 04:07 PM
Sharon 07 Jul 99 - 04:11 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 04:23 PM
Alice 07 Jul 99 - 04:38 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 07 Jul 99 - 04:39 PM
DonMeixner 07 Jul 99 - 04:42 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 99 - 04:49 PM
catspaw49 07 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM
John Hindsill 07 Jul 99 - 08:54 PM
Sharon 07 Jul 99 - 10:08 PM
Charlie Baum 11 Jul 99 - 12:21 AM
thosp 11 Jul 99 - 12:51 AM
catspaw49 11 Jul 99 - 12:53 AM
Nogs 12 Jul 99 - 03:55 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 12 Jul 99 - 04:01 PM
Peter T. 12 Jul 99 - 05:00 PM
Lucius 13 Jul 99 - 09:43 AM
catspaw49 13 Jul 99 - 12:14 PM
Night Owl 13 Jul 99 - 12:51 PM
Lucius 15 Jul 99 - 08:49 AM
Peter T. 15 Jul 99 - 10:30 AM
catspaw49 15 Jul 99 - 01:09 PM
GUEST 07 Nov 08 - 11:57 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Nov 08 - 04:24 AM
The Villan 08 Nov 08 - 05:29 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Nov 08 - 06:05 AM
The Villan 08 Nov 08 - 06:08 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Nov 08 - 06:38 AM
The Villan 08 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Nov 08 - 07:52 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Nov 08 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Alice
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 09:44 AM

I am considering getting a hammered dulcimer. I have a couple of friends who play extremely well. I've never even tried it. Any advice?


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 10:31 AM

Considering your talents Alice, you should have no problem learning. HD's are much easier than they look to be. There are several excellent instructional tapes and books available if that's a way you learn, but the instrument is very basic and once familiar with the logic of the layout, you'll be hammerin' along in no time.

I personally enjoy the style and technique of Kendra Ward, but there are lots of other great players. That's Ward-Spence now, sorry. Wish I had one of mine finished, but there are 7 in the shop in various stages of completion and they're all going to have to wait awhile longer before I can get back to work on them.

Good Luck

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Mudjack
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM

Hi Alice,
I've never taken any lessons but we had one in the home for a while where I was hoping Mrs Mudjack would take an interest. I think because they're tuned in a way that no matter what you strike with the hammers, they make a nice sound. Without the benefit of taking lessons or getting an instruction book, it seemed that with some effort, I made some progress with it.If you know someone who has one and willing to allow you to use it or a decent misic store that will allow you to rent to own , then go for it. Otherwise they can be a little pricey.I/m sure this thread will serve up some serious players and they can throw you the real tech talk stuff.My little experience tells me I should have bought the one we had for a while. They're a lot of fun and make the nicest music.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Alice
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 10:47 AM

thanks. The reason I started thinking seriously about this instrument, is that our session seems to be disappearing. The hammered dulcimer player who would drive over from Helena is building an addition on his cabin, (too busy) and many of the other session regulars formed a band, so they no longer come to the Sunday night session. There have been a few times lately when the session has consisted of myself and a couple of other singers just chatting and singing. (that was fun for us, but not so much for those who showed up to hear a session like it used to be)
The hammered dulcimer has been a sound I have loved since the first time I heard it. The other hammered dulcimer player I know plays Old Timey tunes for dances and at the old time session on Tuesday nights. So, for the Irish session to continue, we need more musicians to show up regularly again. Some of the tin whistle and fiddle players have moved away... I almost started a thread asking, what do you do when your session starts to disappear?

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Jon W.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 11:39 AM

My wife keeps saying she's interested in learning HD. I'd love for her to play it. Catspaw, how much do you sell yours for? If this is too commercial, email me at jdwhitney@mmm.com please.

Alice, I can't speak from experience - all the attempts I've made at having sessions or putting together bands disappear before they get started. But it seems that you should try to recruit and train some fresh players. Wish I was closer.

Jon W.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 11:55 AM

For the sake of a lazy ignoramus, what is the difference between a dulcimer, a hammered dulcimer, and someone mentioned a mountain dulcimer. Elucidation? (or an intelligent web site somewhere). The only dulcimer I know is the one the damsel plays in Kublai Khan. A wasted life, what can I say....
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Jon W.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 12:40 PM

Hammered dulcimer is the forerunner of the piano. Very ancient (5000 years?), has a whole bunch of strings strung across a trapezoidal shaped body. You hit the strings with sticks to get the sound. Mountain dulcimer AKA Appalachian dulcimer AKA lap dulcimer is 200-300 years old, originated in Appalachian Mts (USA), has usually 4 strings. You hold it on your lap and strum across the strings. Two are drone, two are close together and are the melody strings. It has frets corresponding to the scale (not chromatic like a guitar). Body is usually hourglass shaped, sometimes teardrop shaped, sometimes other. No neck, just a peghead.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:13 PM

The Hammered Dulcimer has a history dating back about 1500 years or more and was probably the result of someone whacking their zither with a stick. It's been known in one variant or another in most cultures, including the far east (santir). It reached it's highest form in Europe as the cymbalom which had multiple pedals for dampening and volume much like a piano. It is indeed one of the forerunners of the piano and in the US, as pianos became smaller and more affordable, the HD damn near disappeared. It is trapezoidial shaped with varying numbers of string courses and is referred to by that number (12/11--12 treble,11 bass). The treble strings are played on both sides of the bridge rail and are a 5th apart. The bass strings are played on only one side. They are mainly diatonic, but chromatic and semi-chromatic versions are also available. The strings are struck with small mallets of various shapes, lengths, and materials which changes the sound characteristics.

The Lap, Mountain, or Appalachian dulcimer is a long zither of generally 3 or 4 strings with diatonic fretting and played laid across the lap. The melody is played on the first string, often doubled, and the other strings are drones. Tuning can be various modals for different songs/effects. It is most probably a version of the French epinette and why it's called a dulcimer is anyone's guess.

There's tons more info, but that's the basics. Zap over to Elderly to see a picture of each. See you Peter......

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:22 PM

Thanks gentlemen for your suffrance. Related stupid questions: are these little hammers played by some mechanism, like the piano, or are you whacking away with these things, like a vibraphone? Can you play chords, or is it just melody -- I assume you can play chords if you have multiple mallets in your hand, or have I got the picture wrong?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM

Hammers are held in each hand and YOU are the mechanism. Very few players do the multiple hammer thing (quite difficult), but two note chords are common.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:37 PM

Thanks catspaw for speedy response. Last stupid question (not ever, of course): can you vary the tone of the strings, so as to get microtones, by damping, etc., as with the cymbalon, or are the strings more or less fixed? I am interested partly because I have an interest in Japanese koto music and Indonesian gamelan (can't play either, don't get the wrong idea, I have just listened to a lot in my travels to those shores), and never thought about home-grown dulcimers.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:45 PM

The strings are fixed, but hand damping is used at times, but not in the way it's done in Eastern music. Sorry.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 01:49 PM

Thanks again catspaw. Nice to chat with an expert on a hot afternoon. Now I have to go and meet with a bunch of idiots who are trying to destroy a park! I would sure rather sit and learn how to play a dulcimer, but this will keep me going!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Bert
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 02:26 PM

The Middle Eastern "Santur" has an individual movable bridge for each course of strings. A Santur player will move some of these to get to the relevent quarter tones for the particular tune he is playing. The bridges of a Santur usually divide the strings into octaves, while in the Western Hammered dulcimer, the bridge divides the strings into fifths (I think, Is that right 'Spaw?)

I was hoping that someone would come up with an easy way to learn to play the darn thing. I have a Santur which I bought in Shiraz, Iran. I have tuned it Western style but still can't play it.

My Santur has four strings per course, Hammered dulcimers often have two or three.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Sharon
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:07 PM

By all means, get a hammered dulcimer. Anyone who can play a simple tune by ear on the piano can play a hammered dulcimer. By striking 2 strings at the same time, or course you get a 2 note chord. To get a 3 or 4 or even 5 note chord, you arpeggiate it. The 4 notes of a 5 note chord are in a parallelogram shape, or the notes of a 3 note chord in a triangle, so it is quite easy to learn. By the use of drone notes, one can add some additional old timey harmony. There are many dulcimer festivals around the country where one can attend workshops to help you learn to play. The largest of all hammered dulcimer festivals is coming up July 15-18 in Evart, MI. They expect around 8,000 in attendance, with over 200 workshops all day Thurs. through Sunday. If you're interested in details, I can get them to you.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Sharon
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:11 PM

I might add that the strings (notes) generally used in a specific key are located in certain box clusters on the instrument. Like the key of D, for example has in a cluster: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:23 PM

I'm back! Park parked for one more week maybe, stupid bastards (sorry). Can any of you dulcet dulcimerists (?), dulcimeroids (that sounds awful), dulcimerrians, dulcimermen or dulcimermaids recommend a good CD redolent with the sounds of said instrument, with maybe a little singing attached? I need it.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Alice
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:38 PM

Thanks, Sharon, I will be in Denver during that time. I play piano, and I've been told by dulcimer players that it would be 'no sweat' for me to pick up easily.
just need to get the $$ together.

alice


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:39 PM

The very first hammer dulcimer recording I ever heard way back in 1976, is still my favorite: Bill Spence's "the hammered dulcimer" with fennig's all-star string band. I'm almost certain I've seen it out on cd; it's a Front Hall and the record must have been an early one because it's FHR-01! It's a wonderful recording; maybe too it was hearing it in the car driving up the pass on the way from Denver to Leadville Colorado. But it was a great introduction to a wonderful instrument! I've had an old one lying around for 20 years and have finally taken it to be repaired so my daughter and I can give it a try!
Allison


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:42 PM

Peter T:

Anything by Fennig All-Stars. A John McCutcheon album, just about any will do, I like "Wry Straw", I'm not a fan of Lucille Reillys' but she has some tunes. Tony Elman has a couple good recordings, I like "Swinging on the Gate". Bob Wey has a nice disc out there. If you can find your way ro Rhe Cranberry Hammered Dulcimer Gathering" in Binghamton NY at the end of July you'd find no end of good stuff.

Don


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 04:49 PM

Thanks to all, I will rush right out -- I feel a strong need for a dulcimer fix coming on.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM

One of the best things about the HD is that it is logical and geometric in it's string (course) layout making it very simple if that's how your mind works. There are a lot of hammering techniques that bring out far more than just the melody playing ability. At times, the sustain of the harmonic overtones indeed force you NOT to get too fancy lest the sound becomes "muddy."

BTW---the "sound" that's best is very much in the ear of the beholder. Sandy sent me the "Golden Ring Reunion" Album when I was in the hospital and on one song there are 2 HD's which have entirely different sounds.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 08:54 PM

Observed a HD workshop at the Claremont Folk Festival. It is the true harp in heaven, I believe.---John


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Sharon
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 10:08 PM

If you want hammered dulcimer music and wonderful singing .......I play mine as I travel, I love to sing as I go........ get ANY of the CD's by Cathy Barton and Dave Para.....sometimes listed as Barton and Para. "Movin on Down the River" is, I think, their best. You'll love any of them.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 11 Jul 99 - 12:21 AM

Another hammer dulcimer player I admire is Walt Michael, who has several CDs out. He can make the hammer dulcimer sing as sweetly as a voice.

For mountain dulcimer playing, I'm fond of Jean Ritchie's traditional stuff. Her album "The Most Dulcimer" is the one that has the most dulcimer music on it. On the Green Hays label, probably distributed by Rounder.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: thosp
Date: 11 Jul 99 - 12:51 AM

i have been looking for "dorethy carter" dulcimer rrecordings for awhile ----with no luck---- any suggestions? (i think it weaves into this thread)


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jul 99 - 12:53 AM

As everyone knows, I'm a big fan of Jean Ritchie. There are a lot of very "exotic" App Dulc styles out there, but her traditional playing combined with that pure mountain voice is something to behold. Also, Sandy has her sister Edna Ritchie available on Custom Cassette (C-3) from hid Folk Legacy collection.

Lots of good HD players have been mentioned, but Kendra is hard to beat in style,taste,ability and pure musicality. She is one hell of a player.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Nogs
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 03:55 PM

Ed Tricket once joked in concert,"the hammer dulcimer, more than any other instrument, is played on a percentage basis". You have been warned.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 04:01 PM

How long does it take to tune a hammered dulcimer?



...Nobody knows......


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 05:00 PM

Just to report back that in three big chain stores (and not bad stores) in my big city I have been unable to find any of the people suggested except Jean Ritichie! It is perhaps time to go electric, dulcimerians (joke). But I thank you. I will have to shift to mailorder.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Lucius
Date: 13 Jul 99 - 09:43 AM

I have both an Appalachian and Hammer(ed?) Dulcimer gathering dust for the most part. When I'm ready to woodshed, the guitar and mandolin hold my attention more. I also have an accordian, fiddle and various pennywhistles. I'm years (if ever) from mastery of the latter instruments, but dulcimer, well.... I just play it. The learning curve is much less formitable.

I can appreciate, and even be briefly inspired by a great dulcimer player, but my natural approach is to "draw" music from a guitar rather than "beat" it from a dulcimer. I hope that you find more fulfillment with the dulcimer than I've been able to muster, and I hope that you report back on your progress.

Peace & Love Lucius


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Jul 99 - 12:14 PM

I gotta' disagree a bit because it all gets down to a personal preference. Maybe because I build HD's I've got a different take on the instrument. I agree that it's not to difficult to learn, but you can "draw" the music out. It is very controllable as to volume, sustain, etc., but I think that a players feel for the song and the instrument are important to the musical"product." I get tired of the "How Fast Can You Hammer" type stuff that often pleases a crowd but does not show the true capabilities and beauty of the HD. I do a Civil War medley of varied tune types that is always a bigger "hit" with listeners.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Night Owl
Date: 13 Jul 99 - 12:51 PM

Catspaw, are you actively making and selling HD's now? I have some learning to play tapes and the hammers,....just need the dulcimer!! Any currently for sale?? Any hints on what a beginning player should look for (number of strings, price ranges, buying used, etc.)???


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Lucius
Date: 15 Jul 99 - 08:49 AM

Catspaw Didn't mean to 'dis the dulcimer. What I was trying to get at is my difficulty in doubling on another instrument. I've tried for several years to become as proficent on any other instrument as I am on guitar. I've come close with mandolin and lute.

So my comment was more related to my lack of patience, rather than the capabilities of the dulcimer--and I heartily agree, it is a matter of "personal preference".

Lucius


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Jul 99 - 10:30 AM

I noticed last night while pawing through my "Classic Scots Ballads" CD that Peggy Seeger has an amusing, if somewhat snarky, 1997 afterword to that album where she says that if she were doing it now she would dump the guitars and banjos as accompaniment and use an Appalachian dulcimer instead.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jul 99 - 01:09 PM

Probably because it's a classic sound to accompany Scot's music Peter. The melody is played on the first string(s) and the others are drones, giving a bagpipe effect.

No offense taken BJ and I understand what you mean. My problem is I'm not to hot on anything!!!

Sorry I missed your post Owl...I'll send you a message.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:57 PM

Hds are about as simple as it can get in playing as far as interstments go. All the rest about music still applys such as timing, etc, and that dont change. Hds are basically a string drum and its suprising how much of the standard drum playing rolls and so on work on one.

While most are set up on diationic tuning they are actually almost fully chromatic across 3 or so octaves but the notes are NOT in a liner fashon. You will find all the notes used in any given key right together usally with the low 4 on the right and the high 4 on the left, box fashon staring at the bridge markers without going all over the place. On ocasion a peice of music may have a note not normally in the given key and thats where you have to go outside the 4 by 4 box. Most makers have a tuning chart on thier web site. A look at one of those will help.

The real beauty of one is in transposing a tune on the fly without even thinking about the actual note names. If you keep track of the movements to the notes relitave to the key marker, its EXACTLY the same if you start on a diferent key marker. Same pattern but different notes relitave to the new key marker. Chords are just as easy too. Same patterns everywhere unless you get cute and spread a chord out across 2 or 3 octaves.

Anyone and I mean ABYONE who can hear chord changes, knows what key a tune is in and what marker to start on can do chords on one in about 15 min WITHOUT EVEN knowing the actual chord note names. Its all in patterns and those dont change key to key.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:24 AM

I horrified the 'traditional players' - I found some tiny letters and applied them where needed!

BUT...

I was able after a VERY (relatively - but not very long!) short while, to read the sheet music on the fly, and find the right notes without consciously thinking, once I had become accustomed to the layout! As a pipe organ player, I was used to not looking at the instrument while I played it!


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Villan
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 05:29 AM

I have Maclaine Colsten & Saul Rose in Concert on Saturday March 21st 2009 at Faldingworth Live.

Maclaine Colsten is a brilliant hammer dulcimer player and Saul Rose is a brilliant melodeon player and I do like their singing. Have a listen (in particular Emily's Waltz for the dulicimer on its own)
Myspace Maclaine Colsten & Saul Rose


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 06:05 AM

It's always puzzled me why it is that some players upend the thing and play it vertically.
To go back several years to the request for recorded hammered dulcimer music plus some singing, I've never heard anything so sublime as Sue Harris's Pastorela released by Beautiful Jo several years ago.
Mac and Saul are fab. I'm so glad they're doing a lot of duo work again.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Villan
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 06:08 AM

>>Mac and Saul are fab. I'm so glad they're doing a lot of duo work again. <<

Phew. Glad we agree on that Diane :-)


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 06:38 AM

What is it with all these blokes I don't know scattered across the countryside calling me so familiarly by my first name?
Mac and Saul were in Kings Of Calicutt together, one of the best English bands of all time.

Anyway, to reiterate: who knows why many players stand the hammered dulcimer sideways?


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Villan
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 07:29 AM

Diane Easby, maybe you should change your signature from Diane Easby to Ms Easby, then people won't refer to you as Diane.
Mind you Ms Easby sounds very old fashioned, but whatever floats your boat.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM

That's a very long-winded way of avoiding saying that you don't know why some people turn the instrument through 90º to play it.
I find it very hard to visualise pseudonymic posters (which is quite possibly a Good Thing).


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 07:52 AM

"It's always puzzled me why it is that some players upend the thing and play it vertically."

Who does this? I've never seen it done, or a picture of it. I find it hard to imagine how you would support the instrument, let alone play it.


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM

Go to Google images and you'll see a million pics. When I've seen it played thus live, it's sitting on a table. Of course, many players use an ironing board (and play it logically). It's the only actually useful employment of said contraption I have ever witnessed. Good for Appalachian dulcimers too (as recommended by Pete Coe). And the kantele (ditto by Funi).


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Subject: RE: hammered dulcimer- how difficult to learn?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 12:54 PM

OK, well I've looked at Google images and admittedly I gave up well before the million, but most of the pictures where it is being held vertically are clearly where the musician is posing with the instrument. The only one I could see where he might be playing it vertically is this one. Even then, I'm not entirely convinced - he is clearly posing for a photo rather than playing seriously, and the waist strap might simply be to secure the instrument on his lap when playing sitting down. Standing up doesn't look a practical (or comfortable) position for playing, he'd be struggling to reach the higher notes.

Dulimers were sometimes fitted with straps so they could be played in marching bands, but so far as I am aware the instrument would be held out in front of the player - like a cinema usherette's ice-cream tray. My first dulcimer, an antique, had fittings on the top rail which might have been for this.


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Mudcat time: 18 July 4:13 PM EDT

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