International Appalachian Dulcimer Day
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
Just finished playing dulcimer at our local antique store. Introduced the dulcimer to people wha have never met her…😊
Should there be a group or team of people to plan and write the news releases for The International Appalachian Dulcimer Day? Making sure that we cross a few T’s and at least dot an “i” or two. Otherwise, we might of just of had a nice discussion but we could easily just forget to follow through. That is if you all feel strong enough about this.
Just checked and we cannot register a national day by designating a “last weekend.” It has to be a date for it to be a “day.” So we can skip the formal recognition if you all like and just promote the weekend ourselves. But we could see someone down the road establish a date as “Mountain Dulcimer Day” or something similar. But if we do a really good job of promoting our day we can diminish the possibility of that happening. The more we circulate this among all dulcimer circles, the better. What would you say as to the criteria for the weekend? Would we go with the beginning of the festival season?
A vernal equinox is a cool idea but cannot be set up as an official calendar date. It will be hard to get it recognized as “a special day.” I think folks in the dulcimer world might prefer to say, “We celebrate International Appalachian Dulcimer Day on March 20th!” As opposed to “ We celebrate International Appalachian Dulcimer Day on the Vernal Equinox!” Really? Just when will that be next year? Crickets…
I do like Dusty’s idea of a Spring date, but I also agree with Richard on a set day. But think of this…Aaron Copeland’s great masterpiece Appalachian Spring was based on the Shaker tune Simple Gifts..played by many dulcimer players around the world. To me it speaks to what the Appalachian dulcimer is all about. The dulcimer is a simple gift, easy to play and yet whether you play traditional noter drone or fancy finger picking with chords..the instrument just sounds wonderful! I never thought of it but our beloved dulcimer is just that, a gift.
Good thoughts Stumelia! I think myself Appalachian refers best to the region of its development and initial usage. Though most have moved away from this name to Mountain dulcimer. But if we want to give a nod to its history International Appalachian Dulcimer Day might worth considering.
Ok Stumelia suggested a poll to get some sort of consensus. If we can agree on a date and a title for the day: National (Mountain, American, etc.,) Day, I can register it and will take care of the fees, if any, and we can begin promotional press releases. I have looked and no such day exists in the archives so we can get this done. I’m not rushing this just letting you know the processs.
Just a comment on my comment: I don't want to complicate things by introducing yet another name for 'our' dulcimer! Maybe it's a separate topic...? As I said, I'm fine with 'mountain dulcimer.' My main point was to specify which dulcimer it is... IF any hammered dulcimer players are disgruntled over not being included, we would point to the fact the mtn dulcimer is one of only two instruments unique to the US, that it's an American dulcimer.
Good point Leo! I think the instruments are from such different origins that most will understand. But certainly, we need to clarify which dulcimer we mean.
You can learn to edit images for Wikipedia, but you must register to do so and learn their basic tools for editing. For images they must be free to upload, most images are not, but certainly one could easily create a free image of an American Dulcimore to use.
Here is a site for establishing a National Day. It requires an application from an organization and you have options if you want them to promote it. I don’t know how solid they are but will check them out..
Here are suggestions (I looked this up) for creating a National day:
Anyone can create a special day. The tough job, is to gain recognition. Here are some tips for getting your special day created and recognized:
Create the name for your special day.
If you are going to make a "National" day, see National Days Definition below.
Define what the day is all about, why it is created, and what people should do to observe the day.
Assign a date that it is to be celebrated. It could be a fixed date, or vary. If it varies, make sure it is well defined.
Identify the creator(s) and the date it was created. The date created is sometimes different than from the dated celebrated.
Using all of the information and definitions from the above steps, create a website for your special day.
The URL should be the title of the day, if possible.
Add relevant pictures to the website.
Now comes the hard part... getting your new special day and the website recognized.
We recommend SEO work.
Also, email existing holiday calendar websites, announcing your special day, and provide the link to your website.
Of particular note is the growth of "National Days". The word "National" is being added to an overwhelmingly large number of proposed and recently created days. The word "National" has even been added by some holiday calendar websites for special days that were not created as a "National" day! This causes confusion as to the whether or not, a special days is in actuality a national day.
Interesting link listing national instruments of each country, the United States is listed with two entries the Appalachian dulcimer and the banjo.
I appreciate all that has been said, but if too much emphasis is put on Jean and the Kentucky dulcimer we may, unintentionally, leave out the Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio players and their respective historical collections. Virginia has the oldest dulcimers and possibly is the place of origin for the dulcimer as we know it. Not to mention players in other regions. I feel that if it’s going to be a Dulcimer Day it should be about the Dulcimer. I still think Jean Ritchie needs and deserves her own day and there is no reason that there cannot be both a day to celebrate her and her legacy and a day that celebrates our beloved instrument.
I love the idea of Jean’s birthday, but my concern is that puts the day in the midst of the holiday season and it might get lost in all the events going on at that time. If we wanted to schedule a big event for that day it might be challenging with everyone’s holiday plans. But, I agree that Jean is certainly the most influential leader of the dulcimer world. I still play her records every week and sing her songs.
here is another thought, Jean died on June 1, 2015, that would put the celebration in the midst of dulcimer festival season…might be easier for events…just thinking out loud…
Of course we could consider the earliest authenticated dulcimer with a date of….drum roll please…John Scales, Jr. August 28, 1832 which could also coincide with play your dulcimer on front porch day…which that dulcimer will be 190 years old this summer. In ten years it will be two hundred years old..big celebration..
Steve, I recall everyone saying the same kind of thing about 'locals' being preferred at the contests in Mt Airy and Clifftop as well. One could often hear little negative murmurings somewhere in the crowd whenever some band or musician from California, New York, or Vermont etc came to the stage. Just the way it was, and likely still is.
I don't recall Galax as having any preference towards progressive playing- if anything I'd always heard that traditional players had the advantage.
after re-reading my post, it dawns on me that it’s a little confusing. David was entering the Galax contest and that is where someone said the judges preferred local players (from the area and Galax style). David’s comment was in regards to a 1976, if I remember correctly, contest at Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio. Sorry for the confusion. Also, David said he was fine with third place. He loved the Galax style and Bonnie Russell was one of his greatest inspirations.
Just finished reading this, as the old Scotsman would say “Kiver ta kiver!”
What a great read! Not only a history of David, but a history of the dulcimer revival as well! An interesting note for me was David talking about entering the Galax, Virginia dulcimer contest and others telling him that the judges preferred local players. He said, “Yep, one year I finished third behind some old man who couldn’t finish ‘Red River Valley!’” That was the contest I was in that I mentioned below. It was a very controversial win as Ron Ewing remembers. It was supposed to be about progressive new styles of playing. But, Doug Berch came in second and I don’t how, but David came in third. The man who won played noter style.
I almost did fall off my chair back then. Lol
I was in an early dulcimer contest in Roscoe Village, Coshocton, Ohio in the 70’s. Doug Berch went first, David Schnaufer second and guess who followed David? Yep, me. I was nervous wreck after listening to those two play.