Cool! Happy bowing!
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
FOUND IT AND GOT IT!
I found an octave violin bowed dulcimer by Ken Bloom and someone willing to sell it to me!
All this happened more quickly than I could possibly imagine, and my head is still spinning with glee.
After I get it, I plan to open a bottle of champagne every time one of you plays any note on any dulcimer. My friends are coming over armed with paper straws.
Strumelia, the model I wanted is not Ken's bass bowed dulcimer, but his octave violin bowed dulcimer that, like octave mandolins, are tuned one octave lower than the standard instrument. I was tempted by Ken's Bass BD, but I really needed slightly higher tones.
Now all I need to do is learn how to play the thing. Elegant and beautiful as it is, it is also a bit like the dodo bird of string instruments: has the note placement of a mandolin, is fingered like a cello, and plays violin tunes. AND there is not yet a "Bowed Dulcimer for Beginners" book.
All the same, I am very happy with how all this turned out.
I did drop Ken Bloom an email about signing up for one of his bowed darlings. I think I've settled on the octave bd because I like low, grumbly tones. I'm basically looking for a miniature cello with frets.
The octave bd is set one octave below a violin and sounds very much like a cello without much reediness. If you go to YouTube and search for Bowed Dulcimer Octave Ken Bloom, you can find a very nice lady playing one.
is saw the one on eBay, but its scroll is cracked and was glued together by who knows whom, so I don't trust the rest of the instrument.
I know getting a used Ken Bloom is an off chance, especially when I'm looking for a specific model, but you never know. If I put out the word, the worst I can do is not find one, and I'm there already! My birthday is coming up and it's one of those that ends in a 0, so I'm looking for something special for myself to celebrate having made it this long.
Ken Bloom shares his prices athttp://www.boweddulcimer.org/site-map. His prices are not bad, considering all the work he puts into them and the sound that comes out of them. Used ones do come up. They are usually priced around $700 and usually include extras like a good bag and bow and sometimes books.
Ken Bloom makes what he calls his "Bass" bowed dulcimer, which is intended to be tuned an octave lower than his regular bowed dulcimer. It's still the same 25" VSL as the standard, however. I imagine Tutaine is referring to Bloom's 'Bass' bowed dulcimer.
BTW when people talk about 'octave mandolins', it means the mando is tuned an octave lower than standard.
Well, the simple thing to do is send a Question to the Seller. He certainly seems to be well informed, and owns at least two other Ken Bloom masterpieces. If by "octave" dulcimer you mean it is set up "higher in pitch than an regular Bowed Dulcimer", I doubt it very much.
The other option is to drop Ken himself a note. I'm pretty sure he knows each instrument that he's built like mother's know their children...
Yes I saw that. Looks like a nice one. Ken's bowed dulcimers do come up for sale once in a great while. Beautiful instruments!