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Looking for a bowed psaltery

shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Mike Billington 07 Jun 09 - 02:05 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 09 - 02:21 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jun 09 - 02:22 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jun 09 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Jun 09 - 02:35 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 09 - 02:36 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 09 - 02:38 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 02:45 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 02:49 PM
PHJim 07 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jun 09 - 02:56 PM
Stewart 07 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Russ 07 Jun 09 - 06:28 PM
LilyFestre 07 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 07:40 PM
katlaughing 07 Jun 09 - 07:41 PM
shoutjoy 07 Jun 09 - 07:51 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 09 - 08:23 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jun 09 - 08:28 PM
Jack Campin 07 Jun 09 - 08:47 PM
LilyFestre 07 Jun 09 - 08:58 PM
LilyFestre 07 Jun 09 - 09:01 PM
LilyFestre 07 Jun 09 - 09:03 PM
open mike 07 Jun 09 - 10:19 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 09 - 11:01 PM
katlaughing 07 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM
Gurney 08 Jun 09 - 01:21 AM
theleveller 08 Jun 09 - 03:47 AM
bubblyrat 08 Jun 09 - 04:28 AM
Jack Campin 08 Jun 09 - 06:15 AM
shoutjoy 08 Jun 09 - 06:25 AM
giles earle 08 Jun 09 - 10:17 AM
katlaughing 08 Jun 09 - 11:28 AM
wysiwyg 08 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM
shoutjoy 08 Jun 09 - 01:12 PM
wysiwyg 08 Jun 09 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea, at work, so no cookies 08 Jun 09 - 03:10 PM
Gurney 09 Jun 09 - 01:32 AM
Anglo 09 Jun 09 - 02:34 AM
wysiwyg 09 Jun 09 - 08:43 AM
Gurney 09 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM
wysiwyg 09 Jun 09 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,julia 03 Nov 17 - 10:53 AM
Gurney 03 Nov 17 - 06:00 PM
Gurney 03 Nov 17 - 06:04 PM
Jack Campin 03 Nov 17 - 07:34 PM
Jack Campin 03 Nov 17 - 07:41 PM
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Subject: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:01 PM

Hi all,

I had an opportunity to try a friend's bowed psaltery and found out that it doesn't require the left hand. My left hand is impaired. Anyway, I am heavy into celtic music and dance and thought MAYBE I could get one of these and use my music book for the whistle (can't play that). Now, I know the hammered dulcimer is another option but I would have to try it and see. I would LOVE to learn that as well. So, my question for you all is, am I being unrealistic here? I'd like to find a used instrument that is reasonably priced.   Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST,Mike Billington
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:05 PM

I have played a bowed psaltery for some 30 years or so and I have yet to play a nicer one. It was made by Hopf, a German firm. I think you can still buy them; they are very solidly made. I ran over mine in a mini van with no ill effects! The Early Music Shop in Bradford, who have recently resited to Salt's Mill down the road in Shipley, sell them. If you are too far away they do an approval system by post.
Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM

I am not too far. About an hour away. If they have a website I will check with them. Thanks!!

Are they hard to play? I mean, reels and jig type songs? I just played around with it.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:21 PM

They are not hard to play at all. The left hand just holds the thing steady and the bowing hand doesn't do much apart from strike the strings. The left hand strings are arranged in 2s, 3s, 2s, 3s etc and are the black notes, ie sharps and flats. The other side are the naturals or white piano notes. The technique is just to start off slowly and with practice the dexterity and building the speeed will come with time. I don't think they are used for playing fast dance music. Do you mean at sesions? You'd be looked on as a bit of a novelty I guess. They are generally used as an accompaniment to songs or sometimes to play slower tunes.
Yes, the EMS does have a web site. http://www.earlymusicshop.com/search.aspx/en-GB/?q=bowed+psaltery will show you the range they have. They range in price from just over £100 to just under £200. They do kits also which you have to make yourself but this may not be an option if you have an impairment.
Hope this is of help. Do let me know how you bet on. Mike.
m.billington90@btinternet.com


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:22 PM

Hi shoutjoy,

(I emailed you) Thanks for joining.

Hammered dulcimer is likely to be a challenge too. And an expensive "experiment," if cost is an issue.

I started with autoharp played in an adaptive way when I was dealing with some physical issues.

A plucked psaltery also can be played 1-1/2 handed. I have one that was restrung to turn it from a plinky child's toy into a real instrument with good tone. In fact I believe I still have two of them. (I could lend you one.) These are strung diatonically, and usually cover about 1-1/2 to 2 octaves. Some fiddle tunes take a little adapting to play within that narrow range, but I have played Carolan on it (poorly-- I never really pursued it). I have heard Amazing Grace played quite beautifully on one, by a member here who may also know bowed psaltery (katlaughing).

If you want to say more about how the left hand is impaired, there are a number of members here with experience adapting instruments and/or playing techniques, and/or using playing time as rehab to improve function both musically and otherwise. It might be that lap dulcimer could work for you, with a playing peg.

Do you play other instruments, or have you in the past?

As far as your whistle book-- what keys are most of the tunes in? If they are in the same keys psaltery is geared for, it should be adaptable.

If psaltery is in the same general keys as fiddle tunes, there are numerous free-print online resources you will be able to find via Mudcat posts.

Another instrument possibility for 1-1/2 handed paying is slide guitar, but that isn't exactly a Celtic classic. :~)

Regarding Mudcat site features-- look around. This site is much older than all the modern-day message boards with cute graphics-- it's a pioneer, still, and especially suited to music stuff. It has a lot of features they have, but a lot of other ones they lack. One is your personal page (look at the teal page banner links).

Send me a PM if you want to jam a little with my fiddling husband, try a plucked psaltery, see how I autoharp, etc. Altho we are an hour away, I do get over to your side of the mountain from time to time. Christ Church in Coudy has a strings program you might also want to explore, and there is a church out in Hawk Run with a celtic-harp player looking for jam-pals. Is it OK to forward your email to her?

~Susan


Welcome to Mudcat. "Yer among yer own kind, now."

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:23 PM

There is also Bradford, PA, but I think Mike's is in the UK.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:35 PM

Shoutjoy, have you really, really listened to the sound of the bowed psaltery or have you just been thinking about the tactile experience?

I listened to some bowed psaltery on YouTube, and to me it is perfectly awful. In fact, my hands flew to cover my ears from the pain. I have also heard it in concert, mercifully short. I suspect it of loosening my fillings.

I'm serious here - have you tried a harmonica?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:36 PM

Sorry guys; I was assuming shoutjoy is a UK resident which is very presumptuous of me. The Early Music Shop I refer to is indeed the shop near Bradford in West Yorkshite in England.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:38 PM

Leenia, like any instument the psaltery will only sound good in the right hands. An inept player will produce inept and appalling sounds!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:45 PM

My hand issue. I had a carpol tunnel surgery go bad. My two middle fingers are very over sensitive and painful. I do not have alot of mobility in my fingers thus issues with touch with those fingers drives me up a wall. So putting pressure on anything or having to move fast or make a fist is out of the question.

The autoharp is just pushing buttons and strumming right? I saw that a long time ago and seemed to be an instrument you would sing with (I don't sing lol). I used to play the keyboard and guitar some before surgery. Keyboard, now, is very slow and not too bad. Forget pushing on strings, Yikes!! Sad, though. Oh I would love to learn the violin too. Do they make left handed violins? That may be an option too.... hmmmm...Although I am right handed. Anyway, any help any of you can give me, I'd appreciate it.

I love celtic music and dance!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:49 PM

Yes, I can play simple songs on the harmonica. We have several. Hmmm, I don't see alot of folks playing celtic music on them but I guess you could. Do they make music books for that?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM

leeneia, I'm assuming that you've never heard Lorraine Duisit play the bowed psaltry. It has a very etherial quality in the right hands. Get your hands on some old Trapezoid records.

On the other hand, I've heard similar comments to yours about the bagpipes, accordion, banjo, ukulele, steel guitar and harmonica. To each his own.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:56 PM

The autoharp is just pushing buttons and strumming right?

Yes, tho you also can hammer-arpeggiate chords to accompany a fiddle tune, but I am not sure how fist-shaped the hammering hand has to be to hold and direct the hammer. On an autoharp the best hammer is a long-handled iced-tea spoon or a wooden cooking spoon. (Can't really hammer melody, but can have a good time in a Celtic mix.) The chord structures tend to vary very little, so it can get boring after a while.

But you might like the plucked psaltery. With a pickup added you'd get volume, and without, it would be so quiet that you could jam with folks without being loud enough to distract from the tune being played.

How you would do that is to pluck, first times thru the tune, just the accented notes in each measure. (Build a sort of skeleton for the tune.) As speed comes with these accented notes, you'd start to sound the intervening notes in the measure. When a tune gets really familiar, then, with practice or continued jamming, the next step would be to add ornamentation.

A lot of transcribed fiddle tunes are actually, mostly, one particular tune-player's ornamentations upon tunes which, themselves, are much, much simpler. You can see this if you look at a line of Carolan music and then hear it performed-- "Where did all THOSE notes come from???"

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Stewart
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 03:45 PM

David and Dari Michael are two talented musicians in Port Townsend, WA. David plays harp and his wife Dari plays the bowed psaltery. Here is a YouTube video of them playing together. I really like that combination. I have heard them play together in Port Townsend at the Wooden Boat Festival and enjoyed it very much. You can hear more of them on their CD Chantilly Mae.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 05:00 PM

That sounded pretty good. Yea it is slightly tinny. Well, love all this feedback. Susan, hmm, as long as I can use the tips of my fingers and my thumb to hold the hammers, I'd think it would work. I can hold some things. Let's talk

Thanks everyone, keep brainstorming for me.


P


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:28 PM

Check this out.

http://www.westmaninstruments.com/

The Westmans are friends of mine.
They make reasonably priced quality instruments.
Tish is a psaltery goddess.

Russ (Permanent GUEST who is not a psaltery player)


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: LilyFestre
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM

Hey ShoutJoy,

    Have you tried eBay?

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM

Quite a few accordion and melodeon players never use the bass buttons. If your left arm has anough power that might be an option. How about valved brass, or slide guitar?

Psalteries are next to impossible to play fast (logically the layout is like that of the low-end melodicas where black and white keys pivoted in opposite directions) and have an eerie sound. Like leeneia it gives me the creeps, however good the player. Do you look forward to having your teeth descaled? If so, that's the instrument for you. If not you might prefer something a bit more normal-sounding, like a theremin.

Some of them are laid out to be played with a bow in each hand. That gives you much more speed..


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:40 PM

I have had some bad luck with ebay and that would be my last resort.

Accordian, never tried one. Susan, you have one of those? Valved brass? You mean a horn? No, that doesn't interest me. Slide guitar, is that like the autoharp except you have a slide tool instead of buttons? I wish there was a music store near me that I could try stuff. THAT would help alot.

I will check out that website.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:41 PM

If you can hold things like a NOTER, you could play the mountain dulcimer which sits across your lap. They are very easy to play and sound beautiful. I don't use a noter, instead use my index finger, left hand, but I have a couple of noters made for me by Mudcatters and I do use them once in awhile. There are some reasonably priced good dulcimers available through Elderly Music (dot com)and elsewhere. You really can't go wrong with a lap/mountain/Appalachian dulcimer, esp. if you have Jean Ritchie's book! (She is a Mudcat member known as kytrad.)

Have fun, regardless!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:51 PM

Hi, yea I could probably hold those. I will check out the website.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:23 PM

There are many YouTubes of both slide guitar and mountain dulcimer - considering how similar their playing techniques are, they've ended up doing very different things.

You can retune a slide guitar to make it sound a bit like a mountain dulcimer. You can't do the opposite, so the slide guitar wins on flexibility. On the other hand the dulcimer has a deep, important and unique tradition in the US. I'm not even in the US, don't play the dulcimer or much American music, but Jean Ritchie did more to inspire me to get into folk music than any other performer.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:28 PM

Yale's, in Sayre. Long ride, but worth the trip. Try just about anything you can think of, there, with expert demo's.

Accordian, nope, not me.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:47 PM

I can play simple songs on the harmonica. We have several. Hmmm, I don't see alot of folks playing celtic music on them but I guess you could. Do they make music books for that?

Spare us the "celtic" schlock, but yes Scottish music like marches, strathspeys, jigs, reels and slow airs work very well on harmonicas. I play every week with a guy who's been doing that for 50 years.

There are no good books I know of, but check out Sam Hinton's YouTube videos (mostly American music but the techniques are exactly what you want for Scottish too).

first of 17 Sam Hinton videos


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: LilyFestre
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:58 PM

Regarding eBay....while I agree that sometimes that's not the best route but for a beginning instrument, I've found it's a great place to start. For me, I had wanted to start playing violin...not sure I would stick with it or really like it, I started out with a cheaper instrument. After a set amount of time, I was still playing and loving it so THEN I spent some cash on a decent instrument.

Again, just a suggestion.

Good luck to you in your search!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: LilyFestre
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 09:01 PM

Lark in the Morning offers bowed psalteries too.

www.larkinthemorning.com


Michelle


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: LilyFestre
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 09:03 PM

Hmm. The link doesn't seem to be working. Sorry about that.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: open mike
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 10:19 PM

http://www.phantasypsalteries.com/phantasy.htm

try this...(need to put http in)

http://larkinthemorning.com/


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 11:01 PM

The idea of a bowed psaltery intrigued me, but the only one I've heard sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM

Jack, thanks for the Sam Hinton link! Priceless stuff!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 01:21 AM

I've built a couple of Bowed Psalteries in the distant past, although I never learned to play them much. They are usually tuned like a piano, with the 'white' notes to the right, 'black' to the left, over the top. If you can hold something weighing three pounds in the palm of your hand, thumb and little finger gripping, you will have no trouble. I did try playing one with a violin bow, but the 'usual' home-made bow was easier for me.
I'd describe the tone as eerie and ethereal, but it does go sour if you try to play loudly.

Hmmm. I still have a mould somewhere that I made to build a fibreglass one, a couple of bridges too.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 03:47 AM

I think you should be able to get one from Hobgoblin. I bought a kit from them some years ago and made one, although I've never been able to tune it properly so it hardly ever gets played.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: bubblyrat
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 04:28 AM

One member of English group "The Yetties" (can't remember which one) is particularly adept at playing the bowed psaltery,and I remember him playing,at the theatre where I worked,one December, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"----Stunning !!
          If you want to hear Irish / Scottish (Celtic) music played on harmonica,find Brendan Power on You-Tube, and be amazed !! I can even play some myself,although I am playing mostly "Morris" tunes at the moment (with any side who'll put up with me !!).


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 06:15 AM

Another instrument that uses the left hand but not the left-hand fingers: the hurdy-gurdy. But they're very expensive and you need to have somebody to teach you how to look after it.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 06:25 AM

You all are amazing! You have given me food for thought. Thanks. I will let you know what I decide. I am going to a Celtic Festival this weekend in Leesburg, VA. I will ask questions there also.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: giles earle
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 10:17 AM

If you visit the Early Music Shop at some stage, might their small portative organs might also be worth looking at? The right hand plays the keyboard, whilst the left hand operates the bellows. Needs a bit of pressure from the hand to play evenly, but not that much: 'weight' rather than 'pushing'. The EMS's smallest version (1-foot diatonic) has a nifty left-thumb-strap, which I find reduces the amount of work needed from the hand when inflating the bellows.

A gorgeous instrument although, alas, a good one can be expensive and the small EMS model needs significant retuning if you mean to play it seriously.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 11:28 AM

If you are handy with tools, etc. you can make your own hurdy-gurdy for under $20, just click here.:-)


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM

This whole thread is a great example of Mudcat helpfulness, the impossibility and anti-necessity of defining "what is folk," the circularity of musical styles (celtic influences are everywhere), and WOTTA MUDCAT! I'm also reassured to see that even as the BS threads are currently quite reactive, a music thread with a really specific title is still attracting such a wide geographic and stylistic array of posts.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: shoutjoy
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 01:12 PM

haha! I looked at the diagrahm to build a hurdy-gurdy and had to laugh. That is totally beyond me when I have no idea what it is. Sounds very interesting. The link at the top to hear it is broken however. Golly, what am I going to do with all these great suggestions!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 01:32 PM

Oh, that part is easy. Get thee to a jam-- any kind, anywhere-- and ask each of the people there if they'd be willing to let you try their instrument. In a break, quietly, just to see if your hand can deal with it. Concerts, music stores, same thing. Anytime you are near an instrument, ask that question if you possibly can. No matter how "pro" the player holding it. Because there IS an instrument out there that is meant to be YOURS, and the sooner you find it, the better. Attics are littered with the "great idea" instruments that never became anyone's "my" instrument. Sad, really, not to mention the expense! :~)

THEN you can see which type of music (and which type of playing within it) will inspire you to dig in deep. THEN the music will be inspiring what the hand-impairment now seems to be limiting.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST,CupOfTea, at work, so no cookies
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 03:10 PM

I've played the bowed psaltery for a couple decades, and have a soprano range one made by Two Sisters (now out of the instrument making business) and an alto one I built from a kit. I love this instrument, but it certainly is NOT to the taste of everyone & bad playing is intensified by the way it tends to carry a distance (and the very high range). I second the suggestion of listening older Trapezoid recordings with Lorraine Duisit playing the bowed psaltery. *

With pain in one hand an issue, how you hold the psaltery and how much it weighs may be an issue. My soprano one is quite light, while the alto is built like a tank, and needs a stand to be played easily. Since my first bow was shaped like a bow & arrows type bow, rather than a fiddle bow, I taught myself to play it with the bow held in the middle, making either side of the instrument equally accessible. It's a good instrument for slower tunes - you can only get so far so fast. It CAN be played at jig speed, BUT, the only folks I've seen do this do it with the psaltery on a stand, and use two very short bows, one in each hand. There you have the orchestration problem of not having the bows knock into each other in going up and down the instrument and side to side. I've only seen one guy, from the northwest coast of the US do a bang up job of reel & jig speed music on the bowed psaltery. I can play simpler waltzes and English Country Dance tunes on it. Folks joke about it being a "fiddle for autoharp players" and I fit that- though the psaltery came 5 years before the autoharp for me. For autoharp, it does help to have both hands fully functional. There's a difference between you CAN play an autoharp with the limitations and what will feel like FULLY playing an instrument to you.

Harmonica sounds just fine for dance music - our contradance band does lots of Irish and Scottish dance tunes, and harmonica players do well with them, with harmonicas in the various keys we use.

Another instrument you might be able to play that would make you more welcome than the bowed psaltery is a small harp. There is a style called a "Gypsy harp" that is small, and made to be held in one hand, and played with the other while walking. It LOOKS rather like a "lap harp," (and may be sold that way) but the front piece of the harp will have a protrusion a bit above midway to make it easier to hold. Playing just the melody on a harp, you can get the feel of all sorts of Celtic music, accompany yourself, LOOK like an impressive musician and not have strangers ready scream at the mere sight of your instrument.

I've a gypsy harp I've been thinking of selling on to someone who'd play it since I became so besotted with my concertina, and it never gets played anymore. PM me (CupOfTea) if you want to talk about this further. My own problems with carpal tunnel have me empathizing with both your limitations and your urge to play SOMETHING. Psaltery, harmonica or harp can all sound complete with one hand, as can playing the bones, if rhythm is in your blood.

Joanne in Cleveland

* Trapezoid's NOW AND THEN album has bowed psaltery on "Devra's Delight " & "Silverplume Waltz" John McCutcheon's WINTER SOLSTICE album has it on a few tracks - "Down in yon Forest" is the only one that comes to mind right now


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 01:32 AM

There are several artists on YouTube playng BSs, both ways facing, (wouldn't it be easier to play in D, E, and A point in?) one lass with two bows, and several on stands, including one guy whose stand is a species of harp which he uses for a Bass. There is one extra long one that looks to be approaching three octaves. Impressive.

Fortunately, bows are easy to make, as you can see by examining them.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Anglo
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:34 AM

With all due respect, Jack Campin, the standard hurdy gurdy uses the left hand to play the keyboard and the right hand to turn the wheel. (So a simple left-handed hurdy gurdy might do, though even then the left hand would have to turn the wheel in an even, regular manner). But in a "proper" h-g, the hand turning the wheel has the complicated job of providing the rhythm, via a hand that regularly gives an extra push to the wheel and a sympathetic vibrating bridge on one of the strings that translates that into a rattling, buzzing sound. That is the fancy stuff that needs the really delicate touch on the wheel. (I know what I'm talking about, but I haven't been practicing enough).

Not something I would recommend in this instance.

A one-handed keyboard can still be polyphonic and presents lots of possibilities. Especially if you used to play one.

Good luck with whatever you try, shoutjoy.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 08:43 AM

Gurney, THANK you. For YEARS people have debated what the BS section of Mudcat is REALLY all about. Now I know! :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM

Thank you Susan. I'll take a bow.(~:
I was being serious, though, and used the abbreviation to mean OTHER than 'bullshitters.' I had to read your post several times before I realised. Funny how you can't see your own mistakes.   


I was thinking of making various sizes of (musical) bows, B.S's (Is that better?) for the playing of. I think, as someone above mentioned, that double-handed bowers use smaller bows. Probably get four of them out of a standard hank of horsehair.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 07:45 PM

BS it is, and BS it shall be. Too good to change it now-- national- consciousness-sort of thing.

:~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 10:53 AM

I have an Hopf bowed psaltery for sale. It has 26 strings, a bow and a case. Also some rosin.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 06:00 PM

If the original poster is still here (from approaching 8 years ago) then s/he could play a Duet Concertina. I've seen a guy missing a hand play one competently.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 06:04 PM

Oh, and my B.S.s were strung with O-gauge piano wire.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 07:34 PM

A sound I find rather more appealing but the same general idea:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajaeng

The difference is that the curved soundboard means you can bow an ajaeng in the middle of the string, not just near the peg.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a bowed psaltery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 17 - 07:41 PM

And a nice demo video on the ajaeng:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gljqxmT-YDY

The bow is clever. I now have a use for the cuttings off the forsythias that go berserk in my garden.


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Mudcat time: 19 September 4:34 PM EDT

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