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Dulcimer 6 1/2 history

GUEST,Rockaday Johnny 22 Jun 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Carl Bernhardt 22 Jun 19 - 05:19 PM
Susan of DT 23 Jun 19 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Revels Music UK 23 Jun 19 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: Dulcimer 6 1/2 history
From: GUEST,Rockaday Johnny
Date: 22 Jun 19 - 01:29 PM

Does anyone know who and when the first 6 1/2 fret was added to the dulcimer. I read that Rick Turner put one in for Richard Farina in the summer of 1965, but I also heard that Howie Mitchell was responsible--How far back does the 6 1/2 fret go? Any one know??

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Subject: RE: Dulcimer 6 1/2 history
From: GUEST,Carl Bernhardt
Date: 22 Jun 19 - 05:19 PM

Allen Smith’s Book “ A Catalogue of PreRevival Appalachian Dulcimers” shows a Dulcimer from Ohio with what appears to be both 1 1/2 and 6 1/2 frets. Maker and date is unknown. Given the fret pattern, it would have more likely tuned similar to the DAD tuning. While the date is unknown, this one example would suggest that the idea to make the Dulcimer more chromatic predates the modern revival.

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Subject: RE: Dulcimer 6 1/2 history
From: Susan of DT
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 05:46 AM

My Edd Presnell dulcimer from 1969 has the 6 1/2 fret. He was more traditional than new fangled. As the above posting indicates Appalachian traditional dulcimers may have had that fret for a while.

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Subject: RE: Dulcimer 6 1/2 history
From: GUEST,Revels Music UK
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 05:57 AM

I have an epinette from Coupleux (on the borders of France and Belgium) dating from around 1900 - there's a dated catalogue with an identical instrument in it. It also has a 6+ fret. So no-one "invented" the 6+ fret in the 1960s or 1970s in America, anymore than the Americans invented the dulcimer. It just makes sense with simple diatonic fretted instruments where the melody string starts on the tonic to add an extra note to give access to the most common major modes.

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