International Appalachian Dulcimer Day
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
Indeed, the last Saturday is 30 March and Easter is the following day. Perhaps some may wish to celebrate the Appalachian dulcimer on IADD with a hymn or two.
I think repertoire and whether or not one plays alone make big differences in what is "good enough".
For me, I use a Peterson tuner and Mark and I both try to be very much in tune with one another or we'll make our tunes even worse. When I'm playing by myself, I like to be in tune with myself or it can drive me a little crazy.
My experience is I play the mountain dulcimer with the sound I want to fit the repertoire(s) I want to play. Also, my experience is there is no Holy Grail. Depending on style of play and repertoire, one instrument may suit over another.
Bob Stephens is a member here at FOTMD and you can find his page by searching members. Here is a video of Aaron O'Rourke playing a prototype (so, an early model) of one of Bob's wonderful-sounding dulcimers:
Colloquially, although my newer Jean Ritchie model Blue Lion has "extra" frets, I'll still call it a mountain dulcimer.
Happy strumming, y'all!
Beautiful! The sound hits my ears like it's a lute being played.
If you'd like to hear Jean talking a bit about her life and her approach to playing, I recommend these:
Also, search Jean on YouTube and you'll discover many wonderful recordings.
A couple cool links:
It is to be noted the traditional tune Blackberry Blossom is foundational to the piece.
I'm glad you enjoyed seeing it, friends.
How I see it is the mountain dulcimer has several traditions depending on where you are on the planet. Here in the U.S., Jean Ritchie is one person whose family story and travels spread awareness there was such a thing as a mountain dulcimer in the central/southern Appalachians. On Jean's album The Most Dulcimer , several different styles of music are represented and it is, perhaps, my favorite record of all the music we have in the house. To me, this album offers a great point of departure for exploring various traditions related to the Appalachian dulcimer.
Grant, the cd arrived today and my husband and I enjoyed listening in our favorite place to listen to music-- the car! Well done! My personal favorite cut is Classical Gas.
Just ordered the cd and look forward to listening!
Sending all good wishes from my little corner of SE OH!
Many thanks for sharing the interview, Steve!
A lovely dulcimer and a lovely development! Enjoy that beautiful instrument, Randal!
Though we didn't get to record outdoors, we did make a little recording for worldwide Play Music On The Porch Day
I saw where Ken Bloom's sister's ukulele group already made their video and will post it on PMOTPD. So, that's an option. Mark & I may make our recording ahead of time due to family health woes and post it on PMOTPD to mark the day.
I only play with a noter and it is challenging to me to get the exact sound I want when sliding to a lower fret. It is a balance of noter pressure with speed (I'm talking getting a nice "falling away" sound on a slower tune) to get the sound I want. I don't do it well consistently-- it's hit and miss for me.