Forum Activity for @peter-w

Peter W.
@peter-w
12/30/15 02:08:53PM
47 posts

Free Tabs: "Der Heiland ist geboren" - An Austrian & German Christmas Carol


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Thank your comments, glad you like it!

@Rob: I use TablEdit for my dulcimer tabs.

Peter W.
@peter-w
12/30/15 04:10:06AM
47 posts

Free Tabs: "Der Heiland ist geboren" - An Austrian & German Christmas Carol


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I just tabbed my arrangement of this old Austrian Christmas Carol that has become popular in Germany also.
You may use these tabs freely for personal, non-commercial use. Enjoy!

You can find the video recording of this song here on FOTMD:

EDIT:

German text:
Der Heiland ist geboren,
Freu dich, o Christenheit!
Sonst wär’n wir gar verloren
In alle Ewigkeit!
Freut euch von Herzen, ihr Christen all!
Kommt her zum Kindlein in dem Stall!

Translation:
The Savio(u)r is born,
rejoice, Christianity!
If not, we'd all be forlorn
to all eternity.
Rejoice with all your heart, all you Christians!
Come here to the child in the stable!


DerHeilandIstGeboren.pdf - 55KB

updated by @peter-w: 12/30/15 04:58:04AM
Peter W.
@peter-w
08/27/15 05:34:20PM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hello Michael,

thank you for your nice feedback.

As this is an older entry, I just updated the links in the first post of this thread and I have just uploaded the last revisions of the two books (I still find little mistakes from time to time). You can use these links on your website or pass them on to your customers. Thank you for your interest,

Michael, I guess you have seen that I have mentioned your website in the method book from the very first edition (now on page 18). Your kantele instruction videos have been very important for me when I just started to play the kantele. Thank you again! Since then I have tried to find out more about techniques and good songs for five string kanteles. I'd like to add more information on melody playing and on harmonics - but I didn't find time for that yet. In case you have customers from Germany, I'd be happy if you give them the link of my kantele blog: finnischekantele.blogspot.de
It's in German, but there are many pictures, so it may even be interesting for others (with Google or Bing Translator you'll get most of what I have written there).

I also offer one-day workshops for five string kanteles at my home. More about that on www.kantele.info

By the way - for chord playing I prefer the 10 string kantele rather than the 11 resp. 15 string model. Because for the chords, the high C# of the 11 string kantele has to be muted with most chords. That's a lot easier on the 10 string.

For melody playing of course, an 11 or 15 string kantele is perfect.

Your instruments are beautiful - great that you also build 5 string kanteles again! :)

 


updated by @peter-w: 08/27/15 05:36:42PM
Peter W.
@peter-w
05/31/15 03:51:30PM
47 posts



You could modify some of the classical musician jokes, like...

Q: What do you call a dulcimer player without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

Q: What's the difference between a dulcimer player and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family.

Q: What do a mountain dulcimer and a lawsuit have in common?
A: Everyone is relieved when the case is closed.

Q: How do you make a mountain dulcimer sound beautiful?
A: Sell it and buy a violin.

Q: What is the difference between a dulcimer and a fish?
A: You can tune a dulcimer but you can't tuna fish.

Marriage is like playing the dulcimer. It looks easy until you try it.

Q: What does a dulcimer and a baseball have in common?
A: People cheer when you hit them with a bat.

...

Peter W.
@peter-w
04/02/15 11:20:30AM
47 posts

Celtic Tunes Commonly Played on the Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

... I always thought of it as English rather than Irish since it mentions Liverpool. Now that I think about it, though, it was always sung by those Irish groups like the Clancy Brothers, the Pogues, and Tommy Makem, wasn't it?

In several sources (like here in German: http://www.grapeviners.de/Main/Lyrics/Leaving%20of%20Liverpool.html ) I read that Irish emigrants went to Liverpool first to escape from unemployment. From there the big ships to America departed, and many of them decided to give it a try. So there's at least a chance that the song's roots are Irish... But I can't proof. It is a beautiful song anyway...

Please keep your list online - I guess I'll like to try out some of them during the summer...

Peter W.
@peter-w
04/02/15 04:20:33AM
47 posts

Celtic Tunes Commonly Played on the Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You're list is perfect, Dusty!

Just to make it a little more perfect , you could add

... Down by the Sall[e]y Gardens

(one of the first dulcimer pieces I ever played; I recorded this just a few weeks after I started to play the MD)

and perhaps...

... Leaving of Liverpool

Peter W.
@peter-w
08/29/14 05:38:17AM
47 posts

Free tab: Oravan Pesä (The Squirrel Nest)


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Hi Dusty,

thank you for your reply.

1.) In fact, when I first found this song in the internet, it was written in 3/8 time. Now I have also found the song in a song-book in 6/8 time. I don't know how Hannikainen wrote it. But both measures make sense, because the stress should be on the first eighth note of a group of three. 3/8|oo|oo|oo|oo|... resp. 6/8|oo oo|oo oo|...

If I'd put the 6 eighth notes into a 3/4 measure, I'd get 3 quarter notes resp. 3 groups of 2 eighth notes rather than 2 groups of 3 eight notes. 3/4|OO|OO|... resp. 3/4|o oo oo|o oo oo|

So I think, a 3/8 or 6/8 does make sense and gives the song the touch of a dance...

2.) Not at all - you are welcome to use it! Thank you for asking... Enjoy!

Peter W.
@peter-w
08/24/14 03:54:58PM
47 posts

Free tab: Oravan Pesä (The Squirrel Nest)


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs


After focussing on the Finnish kantele for some time, I decided to tab a dulcimer version of a Finnish song today. The song is about a squirrel nest (drey) in the trees and about the baby squirrels' life while growing up in summer and winter, protected by their comfortable nest.

The music was written by Pekka Juhani Hannikainen (1854-1924), so according to European laws it is in the public domain (author died more than 70 years ago).

As some notes of the melody are on the second string (A) in DAdd tuning, I recommend to play it in flat picking or fingerpicking style.

Enjoy. :)

I'll try to record it by the end of this week.

EDIT: So here's the recording:

https://fotmd.com/peter-w/youtube/1317/oravan-pes-the-squirrel-nest


updated by @peter-w: 06/11/15 07:41:51AM
Peter W.
@peter-w
01/09/15 11:49:44AM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you, Lisa.

Life has been very kind to me during 50 years lifetime up to now. I am grateful for that.

So I just try to give something back and share things (or ideas) from time to time.
I am happy if the book is useful for someone.

Peter W.
@peter-w
01/08/15 10:14:13AM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hi Cynthia,

thank you for your feedback. Glad you like it.

Yes! You're right! I should avoid exclamation points! Definitely!

Sorry, only joking... I was not aware of that, Cynthia, but you are perfectly right with your observation. I'll change that when I go over it again. It was not my intention to shout at the reader - I guess, exclamation points are more common in German punctuation than in English.

In the meantime, several different kanteles have found the way to our home. For chord playing, I'd rather recommend a 10-string kantele (which misses the c# in the higher octave). If your intention is melody playing, an 11- or even 15-string kantele will be perfect.

If you're interested in some more pictures of my kanteles, you may like to look at my little kantele blog (in German):

http://finnischekantele.blogspot.de

In the US, you can contact www.kantele.com . There's lots of information on Gerry Henkel's site - and he builds 5- and 10-string kanteles.

If you like to order decent instruments at a reasonable price from Finland, I can recommend Melodia Soitin and Lovikka. The most famous maker in Finland is Koistinen, but I don't own one of theirs (yet...).

In the UK, there's also Michael J. King who builds custom kanteles.

Peter W.
@peter-w
08/28/14 10:44:41AM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you all for your replies! )

And thank you for for the tab of "Suomi", Steve. I'll try that - seems to be a cheerful song! :)

Peter W.
@peter-w
08/23/14 02:06:38PM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

After a holiday in Finnland during the first two weeks of August, I have now added some Finnish songs. I've already modified the links in the first entry of this threat - so if you download the files from there, you'll have the latest version.

Enjoy!

Peter W.
@peter-w
07/28/14 02:54:40PM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Yes, it is fun, Phil! :)

And as both instruments are diatonic and usually tuned to "D", they go together well, as you can see here:

Peter W.
@peter-w
07/22/14 04:37:27AM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I don't know how to thank you for the time and effort you put into the revision of my kantele book, Dusty!

Thank you, Dusty!

Your corrections have been very, very useful and made it easy for me to understand all proposed modifications. Especially the prepositions are always a challenge for me when writing in English! :)

At the moment, the only thing I can do to compensate your work is mention your website in the epilogue of the book.
If you ever need help with German, I'd be happy to give back something to you!

@All kantele players: I already replaced the pdf-file on my webspace, so if you download from the link given in the first post of this topic, you'll get the revised version.

I also added some songs to the spirituals song book: now there are 25 songs in D-major and 5 in D-minor.

Enjoy!

Peter W.
@peter-w
07/01/14 01:36:38PM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I've started to record 11 of the 29 songs (if you have downloaded the songbook when I started the discussion, make sure you already have the version with 29 songs).

I put the videos on a new Youtube channel and made a playlist of the Spirituals / Gospels. I'll add some more recordings as soon as I find the time to do so.

All recordings are straightforward, just my voice and five string kantele accompaniment. It is not high art, there are some small mistakes and so on... I just wanted to show that it's easy to play chords with the small kantele - and it's fun!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwtxl27mBeeCX9jz_nJIUfsyeKtQ...

NB: I still also play my MD, for example last Saturday at my brother's 50th birthday party...

Peter W.
@peter-w
06/16/14 02:52:50PM
47 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I had some days off and spent them on completing a project I have had in mind for several months. Sorry to say that again it is not related to MD, but to the five string kantele. Anyway - I know you all are open-minded. :)

Today I finished a free course / method for the five string kantele as an accompaniment instrument (that is: playing chords). This is the little kantele I designed. It appears from time to time in the book next to the exercises...

In addition, I have made a free songbook of Spirituals and Gospels . I have arranged all songs in D major (and four of them in D minor). Like the MD, the kantele is a diatonic instrument often tuned to D major nowadays. Maybe it is also useful for some Dulcimerplayers... :)

Now I know there are some kantele players around here. I'd be very happy and grateful to receive some feedback! As English is a foreign language to me, please let me know when you find typos or peculiar expressions or grammatical errors!

Here is the download source (directly from my own webspace):

http://www.finnischekantele.de/Be_different_Play_Kantele.pdf (ca. 3 MB)

http://www.finnischekantele.de/Spirituals_Kantele_Revised_2015.pdf (ca. 10 MB!)

Thanks for taking the time to look it over!


updated by @peter-w: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
Peter W.
@peter-w
03/22/14 01:51:06PM
47 posts

The Onion Flute - mother of the kazoo


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Ah - sorry I didn't get that, John... blame it on the fact that English is a foreign language to me.

Thanks for the additional info on the crumhorn.

Peter W.
@peter-w
03/22/14 06:05:23AM
47 posts

The Onion Flute - mother of the kazoo


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thanks for the reply, John!

Actually, I am not familiar with the background of medieval instruments, so I can't answer your crumhorn question (in German: Krummhorn"). To play the onion flute (or kazoo) at least half-decent, you should have some singing skills - otherwise an instrument would still be the better alternative. I think the onion flute has never been an instrument that has been taken too seriously.

Yes, I have played MD and kazoo together (by using a harmonica holder and one of my selfmade wooden kazoos):

http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/photo/kazoonica-harmonikazoo

Here's something with kazoo and MD I recorded a few months ago...

http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/video/st-louis-blues-kazoo-and-box...

Peter W.
@peter-w
03/22/14 05:33:17AM
47 posts

The Onion Flute - mother of the kazoo


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you, Phil.

for you and all others who are interested: here is a sound sample, a solo in the first part and accompanied by mountain dulcimer in the second part. Enjoy.

Peter W.
@peter-w
03/21/14 01:12:45PM
47 posts

The Onion Flute - mother of the kazoo


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you, Frank.

Yes, it is beautiful - and it's a joy to hold it in one's hands...

Maybe I can make a recording this weekend.

Peter W.
@peter-w
03/20/14 12:19:18PM
47 posts

The Onion Flute - mother of the kazoo


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I always liked the kazoo as a "melody instrument" that allows you to have your hands free for playing guitar, ukulele - or MD or Kantele at the same time. As I did some research during the last time I found some information about the history of the instrument.

(One of) the oldest printed descriptions seems to be on p. 229f of the book "L'Harmonie universelle" by Marin Mersenne from 1637. In a row of 5 "chalumeaus" the 4th instrument is an "onion flute". It is mentioned and described on the next page:

Source: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k54710466/f432.image

There also appears the name Eunuque (Eunuch flute), but it seems that "Eunuch flute" has up to then never been the name for the instrument. It is more likely that this was a misinterpretation of a word Mersenne wasn't able to read in a hand written description of the instrument he had received in a letter about 1633.

The principle of the instrument is described correctly by Mersenne - it is really a kazoo. At that time the membrane must have been of organic material, e.g. onion skin (is that word right in English?).

In the 18th century the name "Mirliton" was used for the instrument, that was often just made of a tube, like bamboo kazoo is still today.

And then I found that there are still makers who build that "mother of the kazoo"! Mine is mady by Thomas Rezanka, a teacher and bagpipe builder from Austria. I just like to share some photos with you. I don't have a sound sample yet - it sounds like you expect to sound a kazoo. Rezanka uses Bamboo skin as a membran (so that's very close to onion skin) - but of course if it breaks you can also use a piece of a (PE) sandwich bag etc.

Ah - one thing: you need one hand to hold the onion flute. But you could still strum your MD as a drone instrument with the right hand and hold the onion flute with the other and play both instruments together.

Just a joke: "onion flute" - literally...

Onion flute - removed membrane cover:

t Onion flute by Thomas Rezanka and Mersenne's illustration:


updated by @peter-w: 06/11/15 07:40:28AM
Peter W.
@peter-w
02/01/14 04:53:46PM
47 posts



Thanks for quoting that picture here, Lisa! :)

This is just a traditional felt hat (like any European farmer in the last centuries could have had one), a simple linnen shirt and linen trousers from an online shop specialized on clothes for Medieval reenactment and a pair of wooden clogs (like any European farmer in the last centuries could have had some). The clogs are made and sold by a family here in Germany, and many people actuallylike to wear them as garden shoes. They are a bit smaller than the typical "Klompen" of the Netherlands.

That's all, the outfit is very comfortable, my feet were warm even without socks - and it is "authentic" andsuits almost all events / eras from the medieval until the early 20th century.

EDIT: Just noticed that the original question was about outfit for women, so I guess, this is a little "off topic". Anyway - I think a simple outfit is always perfect with the dulcimer! :)

Peter W.
@peter-w
11/05/13 09:44:17AM
47 posts

How Many


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I am aware of the fact, that confessing you have more than one dulcimer may easily be taken as a "showing off" behaviour (as most people can only play one at a time...).

So please consider the photo of my current collection just as a proof of how badly hurt by DAD I am...

And as an excuse I have to say, that two of these instruments are on a "Dulcify the world!" mission at the moment; I have lent the Hora to a friend, and the McSpadden Sycamore to my sister-in-law. I was able to infect them with the Mountain Dulcimer Virus some months ago...

And I am a bit proud of myself, that I have more self-made instruments by now than ready-made ones! That's not only cool, it also saves a lot of money in the long run...

Peter W.
@peter-w
09/14/13 07:16:39AM
47 posts

Free tabs: Molly Malone - Cockles and Mussels


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

That's how I play it - I just learned it from friends who sang it, so I am not sure about the melody here and there.

Here's a recording of it - but watch out: I am also trying to sing it in this video!


updated by @peter-w: 06/11/15 07:38:24AM
Peter W.
@peter-w
08/29/13 11:24:14AM
47 posts

Free tabs: Rosin the Bow


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs


Thanks Carrie!

Next week my holidays are definitvely over. So I took the chance to record it today...

Here's the video corresponding to this tablature:

https://fotmd.com/peter-w/youtube/972/old-rosin-the-bow-mountain-dulcimer-in-dad

Peter W.
@peter-w
08/29/13 07:45:46AM
47 posts

Free tabs: Rosin the Bow


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

As there are so many different versions of "Rosin the Bow" (I tend to believe that "Bow" is older than "Beau" and "rosin" not to be a name, but the verb describing the preparation of fiddle strings), I searched for a really "old" source for the tune.

I made a find here (turn to the second page of the document):

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.music.sm1852.191620/pageturner.html

This is a print of 1852 - I didn't find the earliest print of 1838. Don't ask me why it is in a collection of "Ethiopian melodies!"

So I took that melody, transposed it from "G" to "D" and wrote an easy arrangement for it.

Here it is, hope someone likes it. Enjoy!


updated by @peter-w: 04/13/18 05:34:37PM
Peter W.
@peter-w
05/12/13 01:16:01PM
47 posts

Free tabs: More German folk songs


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Thank you all. Glad you like it.

@Ken: To be honest: "Morgenrot" is not among the German folk songs I usually sing - I had to look it up. But my wife remembered the tune when I played it.

I tabbed it today in DAD and in DAA (but I don't have a DAA-tuned dulcimer and didn't want to retune my DAD dulcimer. So I tried it on my Raffele which is tuned in DAA and I hope it works on a regular DAA-dulcimer as well!)

The author of the lyrics lived (more or less) in the area I grew up. Interesting that it was sung during the Civil War as well.
I'll join the group dealing with the Civil War era and upload the files there.
I hope it is the song you meant!

Peter W.
@peter-w
05/11/13 05:54:38PM
47 posts

Free tabs: More German folk songs


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Thanks, Garey and Robin!

@Garey - I have added a short summary about the meaning of the songs. I want to add the German lyrics, but I'll have to type them first.
Yes, I have seen some tabs where only the melody is in the music notes line. But I also like to have a visible idea of the chords I use, and I think the musical notes help. Best of all is if all know it by heart at the end! Some days ago I have uploaded two of the songs at everythingdulcimer.com. But I do not read there very often.

@Robin: Yes, I think some of them can be played noter-drone. Great to know, that some of the old folks are "international". For a long time I thought, the song "Lang, lang ist's her" was a German folk song. When I wanted to tab it, I learned that the composer was British ("Long, long ago")...
Ah, and Elvis actually learned to know "Muss i denn" when he served for the US Army and was based in Bad Nauheim, Germany for some time...

Peter W.
@peter-w
05/10/13 04:59:14PM
47 posts

Free tabs: More German folk songs


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

UPDATE: Added three more songs - and reduced size file!

@Carrie: I have profited a lot by all the information given in boards like this one (including Youtube videos and some tabs I found on the internet, especially those of Steve Smith. Although I haven't used tabs very often, I understand that they help a lot especially for learning new songs), so I am glad if anyone is interested and I can give back something to the community.

I hesitated to give them away into the public domain though. I thought about writing a short introduction into playing MD in German, so I decided to "claim" that little retention (hope that's the right word... ) and declared it to be under CC licence 3.0 - just in case I'd possibly need to proof that I arranged and tabbed these sheets some day. You never know nowadays...

Peter W.
@peter-w
05/10/13 10:29:29AM
47 posts

Free tabs: More German folk songs


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Glad you like it, Martha.

I have tabbed some more, so maybe I'll replace the single tab sheets with a collection of about 10 easy arrangements of German folk songs this weekend.

Peter W.
@peter-w
05/09/13 08:01:38AM
47 posts

Free tabs: More German folk songs


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

UPDATE: As I am still discovering TablEdit, I modified the file in the following way

- The melody is now shown in the right octave (it was printed out "8va" - an octave higher - before

- All notes above middle C show "stem up" now. So the melody can be seen easier for someone who joins in with a melody instrument. Restriction: TablEdit also shows notes from the middle and bass string stem up when they are higher than middle C.

- Added 2 more songs (see list below)

EDIT: In the last days I have tabbed 10 (UPDATE: 13) easy arrangements of German folk songs for mountain dulcimer in DAD.

I went over the arrangements again and tried to give them a pleasant appearance. If there are any mistakes, please let me know.

At the moment, the collection contains the following songs:

Alles neu macht der Mai
Alle Vgel sind schon da
Am Neckar, am Neckar
An der Saale hellem Strande
Bald gras' ich am Neckar
Der Kuckuck und der Esel
Freut euch des Lebens!
Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen
Horch, was kommt von drauen rein
Lustig ist das Zigeunerleben
Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken
Muss i denn
Nun ade, du mein lieb Heimatland
Sah ein Knab' ein Rslein stehn
Wem Gott will rechte Gunst erweisen

All songs go back to the 19th century or even earlier, so they are in the public domain. You may use these tabs for non-commercial, personal use, in workshops etc. Please do not upload this file to other platforms without getting in touch with me before. Thank you!

All of them are easy-playing arrangements, with the tune all on the melody strings

Maybe I'll add some files from time to time. If so, I'll replace the existing file with the new one and announce it in this thread.

Have fun!


updated by @peter-w: 02/26/19 06:15:04AM
Peter W.
@peter-w
05/21/13 04:35:00AM
47 posts

Are There More Than Ever?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I sign that, Dusty. Tabs helped me to learn some new (to me) "typical" or "authentic" songs for dulcimer - but on the other hand, I want to get rid of them as soon as possible!

Peter W.
@peter-w
10/20/12 08:46:51AM
47 posts

He, she or it?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Nice to see that my question still brings joy to some people even more than two weeks after I had started this thread...

As to my grammer problem: despite the standard "Duden" dictionary says "die Dulcimer" (fem.), most of the mountain dulcimer players I am in contact with here in Germany (and some standard musicology books on instruments) seem to say "der Dulcimer" (masc.), so I am in good company when I stick with that as well. Wilfried Ulrich is of course an important authority as well.

Thanks to all who contributed their thoughts to this (maybe peculiar but hopefully not annoying) discussion...

Peter W.
@peter-w
10/07/12 02:33:26AM
47 posts

He, she or it?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ah, thank you Rob - that is a really strong argument for using the masculine article! I've visited his website before and the instruments he makes look beautiful. And there's also a picture comparing a woman's shape with that of an hourglass dulcimer!

Just to increase confusion a bit: the grammatical genus and the name I give to my items because of the emotion I have for them, don't necessarily need to correspond. So - if I wanted to do so - I could say: "Mein Dulcimer [masculine] heit Mary-Ann!" (My dulcimer is called Mary-Ann" or also "Meine Posaune [feminine] heit Karl-Theodor!" (My trombone is called Charles Theodor).
That might provoke some head-shaking among the people I talk to - but still, that would be grammatically correct...
Peter W.
@peter-w
10/05/12 11:21:44AM
47 posts

He, she or it?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Dana and Dusty Turtle - I think my imagination is sufficent to fancy that without needing a picture.
Thanks to all of you for contributing your thoughts and tales!

I'm satisfied with the answers you gave - nevertheless, feel free to add your ideas on a problem that doesn't seem to be one in the English language!

So I can take my dulcimer now and play a little bit of sweet music on... mmh, her.

(Did I already mention that I like the choice of smileys around here? )

Peter W.
@peter-w
10/05/12 01:59:37AM
47 posts

He, she or it?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for all your answers and different opinions! I appreciate all of them and some really made me laugh! It was a serious question but one should not take that too seriously!

If you look at it from a statistical point of view, it is true that in the German language many musical instruments are regarded as being feminine (trumpet, trombone, violin [BUT: a cello is neuter!], organ, guitar, zither but also flute / recorder, so maybe Freud could have been mistaken at that point) or neuter (piano, accordion, bugle / cornet, cello, saxophone, banjo [even though it has a guitar-like neck!]), glockenspiel, Scheitholt etc.). Compared to that, I have found only very few examples for musical instruments that are regarded as being masculine in the German language. Most of them are compound words, and the genus is given by the last word component for example "Der Dudelsack" (bagpipe), because "Sack" is masculine.

Interesting: in German grammar, the word "chalumeau" is defined as being neuter. The corresponding word "Schalmei", which has come into the German language some centuries earlier, is defined as being feminine. So that example shows that words can change their genus over the years.

Now to make things even more complicated, the word "dulcimer" seems to be derivated from a mixed expression "dulce" (Latin) and "melos" (Greek). "melos" / "" in Greek is an irregular word (because it is neuter, but doesn't have the "typical" ending for neutral words ("-on"), but "-os", which in most cases is the ending for masculine words in Greek). Mmmh, that doesn't make things easier...

The problem is: there are "logical" arguments for all three alternatives.

Grammaticaly, I have been tending to use the masculine article so far.

But on the other hand, I can't deny that my hourglass dulcimer in fact has appealing curves and I think these emotions could persuade me to look at my dulcimer as being a "she" from now on

On the other hand again I am expecting to receive two McSpadden dulcimers in a few weeks. One of them is a "Ginger" model. Now I wonder: should I name the other one (a standard model) "Fred"? Questions upon questions

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