What Rojo said and elegant.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
No need to apologize, . There are lots of nooks and crannies here at FOTMD and it might not be obvious which is the best one. The overall goal is for our conversations to be usable and searchable months and years from now. So you might imagine someone joining in a year with a question such as yours. Where would they look for information?
, you might want to pose these kinds of questions in the Dulcimer Making Group , where builders discuss their work. Here in this more general forum there are lots of folks like me for whom instrument construction is no more familiar than ancient Greek. Make sure you "join" the group first so you can see all the conversations already there, but then feel free to start a conversation specific to your question.
Good job with the photo this time Crazie! I really like your unusual sound hole shapes. The ducks are particularly innovative. And being the occasional "knife assembler" I like that shape a lot too. I am currently hilting a custom seax blade forged for me with maple burl and walnut.
Not sure if the photo is here but...The first one i made had knife shaped sound holes because that was during my knife making days. The one i just finished had duck shaped holes to go with the duck head on the first one. I couldn't decide on traditional f holes or duck holes so i combined the 2.
, Ken is correct- when you are in the window where you select an image to embed in your post, on the left side there should be a drop down box where you can choose the size- the default is set to 800 xxxl or something... if you change it to the XL instead, the image will not be so huge. Try it again with one image here, and I'll adjust or delete it afterwards if needed. :) Maybe I'll change the default size to one level smaller as well.
Another way is to go ahead and post the embedded image as is, and then click the EDIT gear icon on you post to edit it, and in that window you can click the corner of the image and DRAG it smaller. Sometimes you'd need to drag it smaller several times to get it to the size that looks reasonable. Then save your edited post by clicking the "update post" button. That's what I did just now to make your last embedded image smaller, btw.
If you are doing all this from a phone's tiny screen, then it might be trickier to see or access all these options and menus... just sayin'.
Your Attached image -- with the file name opens up just fine. It's when you try to Embed the image that things go wrong.
When you click on the Embed Image button above what numbers do you see?
This image of my recent NC Holly Leaf Pattern shows as 1200x378px , but with a Display Size of 256-Large selected
This is the same 1200x387 image but I've changed the Display Size to 384px-Xtra Large selected.
Another factor might be the file type which you are importing. I notice yours is a .PNG where my images are always .JPG.
When I've seen Celtic knots, they are more often rosettes that are set into a large sound hole rather than carved right out of the soundboard itself.
I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to tech. I'm using a old iPad but I'm sure you are right. I'll get one of the grandkids to teach me.
anyway I've attached the back and am going to take your advice about hole position. A Celtic knot would be appropriate but too complicated
for me. So round holes it'll be.
No problemo, I just couldn't see! Thanx Lisa.
I would say YES you need more sound hole area to get good volume. I would center the knotholes on the length of the instrument, and add 4 more round sound holes about the same size, half way between the knotholes and the ends of the instrument. Generally speaking you want at least as much sound hole area as 4 US quarters -- about 2-3 square inches.
Well I don't see any knotholes in the pictures as you posted them. The photos are far too large. Try reposting them smaller so we can see the entire picture.
All I see is a portion of woven basket, the butt ends of two planks that appear to be walnut, and one end of what appears to be a glue up of walnut and something else troughly trimmed to a dulcimer head or tail shape.|
15, 8 and 6mm drills as I have those. I my get more adventurous in future projects.
I ran across Vander Woude" dulcimers & they have the very same sound hole as my trailing/weeping/bleeding heart, what a surprise. His site directs one to Hewoud Music. Vander Woude decided to retire & his granddaughter, Victoria has taken over the business. I wrote her & she sent back this reply below. It was very sweet for Victoria to take the time to do this research - much like what has already been posted.
I hear their dulcimers are 'beautiful' & the sound 'unique'
"The meaning, origins, and history of the Trailing/Weeping/Bleeding Heart soundhole design are completely shrouded in mystery. Mountain Dulcimer lovers have been debating over it for years, but there appears to be no single concrete answers available. There are numerous theories, some of which I have included here: -Bleeding or Weeping Heart shapes are traditionally used to represent sadness or loss. For those who enjoyed playing sad love songs or wished to commemorate a lost loved one, bleeding heart soundholes would add a sentimental touch to their instrument and music. -A common theory is that they are not “bleeding” hearts but rather a depiction of “Trailing Hearts”, a flowering vine with heart-shaped leaves, also known as the Rosary Vine. Some Mountain Dulcimer builders specifically state that their design is a heart-shaped leaf and vine. -The geometrical heart shape was originally used to represent leaves (not sentiment), especially of the Linden tree. Legend says that any couple who sits under the branches of “the tree of lovers” would be in love forever. -The Pennsylvania Dutch frequently used hearts in their décor to represent love of God, family, friends, and country. The tips of the trailing hearts point heavenwards as a reminder that true love comes from God. The Mountain Dulcimer was partially based on a German folk instrument (the zither) and was commonly used as a church instrument, so this heart design is a reflection of the instrument’s roots. -The simplest theory is that the ornamental heart was born from builders experimenting with how to make heart soundholes more elegant. No symbolism was meant beyond those conveyed in standard hearts. As you can see, symbolism is mainly left open to interpretation now. Some people don't relish the thought of having "bleeding" hearts on their instrument and prefer the floral explanations. Others feel the historical meanings are more substantial. Legends and theories aside, the Trailing/Weeping/Bleeding Heart soundhole has become one of the most common and beloved Mountain Dulcimer soundhole designs. Most builders seem to use it as a soundhole design option. Its graceful ornamental shape adds a nice touch of whimsy to this beautiful folk instrument, it allows greater resonance than most soundhole designs, and the mysteries behind its origins reflect the mysteries of the Mountain Dulcimer’s true roots"
The Germans (Penn. Dutch) used the heart to represent 4 ideas concerning love.......love of God, love of family, love of friends and love of country at least that is what I recall from years ago. In the old German Lutheran Liturgy which I grew up with, like the Roman liturgy the Sursum Corda is offered by the celebrant who intones........."Lift up your hearts" and the congregants reply........."We lift them up unto the Lord." That intonation goes back to the third or fourth century according to those old dusty books I have. The upward pointed heart may be a reference to doing that......looking to heaven the source of all true love. (see those years of seminary have provided me with all sorts of information that would be great if I ever get on Jeopardy). When the German settlers put hearts on all sorts of things they usually referred to love of family or community and faith. Some have said that upward pointing hearts meant the instrument was to be used for hymnody and celebration and the regular heart for the love of one human being for all of creation including family and friends. Then again, maybe this is just all speculation......but it is fun to think about.
( Linden leaf - a source of magical power ... "bleeding heart" - too sentimental or liberal )
Both of those meanings sound better than maybe 'sad'
I am not even sure the design in question is usually considered a "bleeding" or "weeping" heart, both of which imply loss and sadness. What about a "trailing" heart? I have definitely heard that term used. I think Ron Ewing refers to trailing hearts as a soundhole option for his dulcimers. It might even be a reference to a rosary vine, which is sometimes called a string of hearts or trailing hearts plant.
Of course, it is very likely that there is no one stable meaning to a single image, but that different luthiers think it means different things or even nothing at all but just looks cool.
Ike and Izzy........the last two Carolina Parakeets before the species went extinct. These sound holes were done By Kerry Coates and this is one of the last dulcimers she built. A genuine lady and true artist.
Bleeding or Weeping Hearts are also found on many tomahawk blades, as well as Pennsylvania/Kentucky longrifles. As someone said there are as many folk tales about what that means as there are tomahawks and long rifles. A "bleeding heart" is, of course, someone who is considered too sentimental or liberal in dealing with social situations.
There is some indication that prior to the 14th century the heart as a geometric shape represented not the heart of sentimentality, but rather the shape of the Linden leaf, which was held by Germanic/Scandinavian mythology to be a source of magical power, or any number of other plant references. Only in the 15th century does the heart geometric shape begin to represent love, sentimentality, and other Christian ideals.
Bob, your dulcimers are indeed beautiful. I like that heart inlay in the end block. And I've always been in awe of the delicate work evidenced in nice rosette. How pretty!
Your dulcimer you are working on is beautiful. Since you mention ( Weeping Heart motifs ) in this site, I was wondering if you knew what the meaning could be for them.
Yes, this is a nice discussion & I am so glad it has started back up. I have several dulcimers with different sound holes but my latest is a San Carrell '84 'fiddleside' with the weeping heart, or crying heart. At the moment I have it tuned to DAAA & is a bit sadder than maybe DAdd would be. I understand Carrell returned to Fla to help his ill parents in '84 & maybe only made a few dulcimers after that, could the weeping Hearts be because he was leaving TN?
Its always so interesting to see the many creative designs and elements used for dulcimer sound-holes. There are some true beauties on display on this thread that sparked my design interests with the creativity and artistry of these unique elements.
I always have liked the traditional Heart and Weeping Heart motifs and used them on the few dulcimers I have made, including my recent March's Dulcimer. Also beautiful are the various Rosettes that are on many dulcimers. I have used them in my April and May Dulcimer (as well as soon completed June's Dulcimer), tinting some with a splash of color for a nice effect.
This is a wonderful discussion!!
This is a cool discussion topic in which I participated back when I was a newbie, could barely play a few tunes, and only had one dulcimer. Ah, those simple days of yore! I still have that first dulcimer, by the way.
My most recent purchase is a McCafferty dulcimer. The inlay on the fretboard centers on the fifth fret with a wolf silhouetted against a full moon. And then for position markers (on frets 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12) there are little stars positioned in such a way as to appear random but still mark the appropriate frets. The four soundholes are quarter moons, with one little star, as you see in this picture. My daughter insists that only one name is appropriate for this dulcimer: Luna. So be it.
My computer skills don't allow me to send a picture but I had a caller inquiring about my dulcimers the other day that asked me if I had any with butterfly sound holes. I didn't but a few days later discovered my wife had some butterfly magnets on the fridge. They were just the right size for the large holes and my wife found a greeting card with a smaller one for the other hole. I have them cut for a dulcimer in progress and like them very much. I probably will use them again.
Mark Jones said:
Check out more Mark Blair Dulcimers online at www.markblairdulcimers.com and also see the Facebook page forMark Blair Dulcimers. My name is Mark, I was named after Mark Blair, he was my Uncle. I hadn't tracked down #290 yet!
Dave shattuck said: