Naming Our "Babies"?

Rev. Wayne McAllister
Rev. Wayne McAllister
@rev-wayne-mcallister
3 years ago
17 posts

BTW --- my wife plays autoharp (sounds great with dulcimer) BUT she refuses to name her autoharps - even though she loves my names. Go Figure.

Rev. Wayne McAllister
Rev. Wayne McAllister
@rev-wayne-mcallister
3 years ago
17 posts

I suppose I'm one of the "Strange Ones" that names their dulcimers. I have "5" with names (4 of them are named after my wife's grandmothers and mine). Louise, Lola, Gertrude & Mary Francis. My Tennessee Flat Box is "Jesse James" - named after my father (Jesse) and my wife's father (James). We never had a son to name J.J.   --- 3 daughters instead and Holly, Krista or Bethany just don't sound like dulcimer names.

Diesel
Diesel
@diesel
3 years ago
5 posts

I like it!  Very musical.  And I like the connection to your grandmother.  Thats what makes our instruments special to us.

notsothoreau
@notsothoreau
3 years ago
37 posts

I don't normally name things like this (and I don't really name my treadle sewing machines either, except that I have too many Singers to just call them Singer.) When I got this dulcimer, I decided to call it Alta Bell. That was my maternal grandmother's name. She wasn't particularly musical but it seemed like a good name for an instrument.

Diesel
Diesel
@diesel
3 years ago
5 posts

As we all are eventually.

Susie
Susie
@susie
3 years ago
445 posts

I lead a non-creative life....mine are all referred to by the builder. wasntme


updated by @susie: 07/24/18 02:29:20PM
hugssandi
@hugssandi
3 years ago
254 posts

I did not name my first dulcimer (pictured <<<), but I did name my Feather Dulcimer Teagan.  It means "little poet".  OH how I love that thing!  Teagan has a gender identity crisis though, because at first I thought boy, now I think girl, and that could change again....  surprised

David Bennett
David Bennett
@david-bennett
3 years ago
78 posts
I also just refer to my dulcimers by the maker/builder
Diesel
Diesel
@diesel
3 years ago
5 posts

Different strokes for different dulcimer folks.  I just think of my instruments as having a soul of sorts; released as they get played in and attuned to me.  Names personalize that feeling for me.  And just for the record, I name my tools also.  My screwdriver is named Lucille and I call my hammer Trigger; with apologies to B.B. King and Willie Nelson.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 years ago
812 posts

I don't name any of my instruments. Most of them are just called by the name of the builder; e.g., the Folkcraft, the Blue Lion, the Thomas, the Prichard, Number 1 (the first one I built), etc. The same goes for my banjos and guitars. They are tools to help me make music. I don't name my screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, chisels, or other tools either. It doesn't mean that I do not care for or cherish them.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Diesel
Diesel
@diesel
3 years ago
5 posts

I have always named my instruments for the simple reason that, as space in the house is limited and accidents will happen, they live in their cases in thee olde musick closet unless I take them out for a stroll.  All black cases.  All black, identical cases...  So I write their names on paper luggage tags and attach them to the handles of their respective cases.  Makes it a lot easier to find the one I am looking for.  As for names, the last in was the circa 1890-1910 home-made baby I posted about a week or so back.  When it arrived I took a long look at it and thought 'Ohio' for provenance, but no good name came to me - though I considered 'Buckeye'.  But then we were watching an old Andy Griffith rerun Friday night in which Andy had a scene with the old codger named in this episode Jubal, Jud in others, and I thought "thats it!"  I looked up Jubal on the internet and found that he was a descendant of Cain and is credited as being the "father of all who play the harp and flute".  As I am also learning to play the fife, I knew I hit this one on the head.  Serendipity strikes!

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
1,227 posts
Leah, I own several dulcimers and each has its own sound. I hew to the idea if it sounds good to me, it is good.

Leah Crosley said:

I daughter's think my dulcimer's sound is reminicent to a harpsicord. Is that good?

phil said:

my newest dulcimer is called Ol' Hickory it's made from 99% reclaimed Indiana hickory. has a high sweet voice.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
7 years ago
1,859 posts

"I daughter's think my dulcimer's sound is reminicent to a harpsicord. Is that good?"

If you or she like that sound it certainly is good. Narrower, thinner dulcimers (smaller interior volume) tend to have a "high silvery sound" deeper, wider dulcimers tend to have a more "mellow" or "bass/baritone" or "guitar-like" sound. Which you prefer is up to you. I had "mellow" instruments, but as a traditional N&D stylist, I came to love the high silvery sound of the more traditional instruments, and that's all I have today.

As far as naming them -- no. Except in the sense "my Thomas replica" or "my Virginia Hogfiddle"

phil
@phil
7 years ago
129 posts

my newest dulcimer is called Ol' Hickory it's made from 99% reclaimed Indiana hickory. has a high sweet voice.

Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
7 years ago
67 posts
Well, everyone has been more inventive than me. Jennyanydots and Wahkeena are cool. Two of mine have place names. Tex has been joined by Portland. The one that my father made me when I was a kid ended up with his middle name, Merle. (Like Ken, I didn't feel comfortable using his first name for some reason.) And the TK O'Brien got abbreviated to Teek. I swear, the next one is going to end up with something flowery and wonderful from Tolkein.
Jennifer Wren
Jennifer Wren
@jennifer-wren
7 years ago
17 posts

So I named my second girl Wahkeena which is a Yakima word meaning "most beautiful". She really is, and is named after a favorite waterfall of mine in the area.

Please do explain Alliefair!

Jennifer Wren
Jennifer Wren
@jennifer-wren
7 years ago
17 posts

My first dulcimer is named Dulcina. My second one is awaiting her official name, and for now I just call her 'girl'. I don't think she minds too much.

Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
7 years ago
67 posts

The little Craigslist dulcimer that I bought over the weekend was made in the early 1970s in Texas. So naturally, I'm calling her "Tex". Haven't named the other two I have yet though... Will have to wait until something strikes me. Tex sounds better than "that Craigslist dulcimer".

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
7 years ago
276 posts

I assume dulcimers to be female -- especially the hourglass dulcimers, for obvious reasons.Smile.gif

Mr. B. B. King named his guitar "Lucille", so why not name our dulcimers girl's names?

Anyway, there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rule about it.

One could argue the case for Galax dulcimers being male by observing their pot-bellied appearance.

Guglielmo
Guglielmo
@guglielmo
7 years ago
1 posts

I've never given a name to a musical instrument of mine...maybe I could start with my dulcimer :)

Yeah.

But how could I know the sex? Where are the panties?

Please let me know

Grin.gif

Ken Backer
Ken Backer
@ken-backer
7 years ago
31 posts

I have a habit of naming inanimate objects myself. For example, my two-tooth partial plate is called "Chip and Dale"43.gif

My android device is called "Rufus". But I have never named any instrument I have owned - funny. My "Uncle Eddie" is just called the Thomas, and imagine my new ones will be called The Homer (Ledford)and The Warren (May).

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
7 years ago
276 posts

Yes, it does! Almost like Liza Jane!

"Oh, little Li-za, little Liza Jane, Oh, little Li-za, little Liza Jane..."

(imagine Bonnie Russell twangin' her Galax dulcimer tothis).

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
7 years ago
56 posts

Ha -- my dulcimer is my girl --the other one in the flesh is named Sarah Jane which actually sounds like a great dulcimer name!

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
7 years ago
276 posts

OK, that's your girl's name... 106.gif What's your DULCIMER'S name?

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
7 years ago
56 posts

Decision made: My girl's name is Lorelei.

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
7 years ago
56 posts

I have been thinking of renaming mine (she is a Barbara Allen from Ron Gibson) but have not picked out a name yet - it was easier to pick out my daughter's name!

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
7 years ago
276 posts

Kitty,

I've been naming my dulcimers for a couple years now. I think I first read of the idea from Clare Chu.

My dulcimers have names derived from the Bible (KJV), and are usually from the Psalms. I think of an appropriate word to use from a verse, then I cite the entire verse on an inside label. For example, my wormy chestnut dulcimer is named "Heritage" from the verse in Psalm 16:6: "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage." And I wanted the name to have a historic sound, since the chestnut wood I used to make it was over 100 years old, and the dulcimer design was, too.

phil
@phil
7 years ago
129 posts

i have never named mine, my first one came with a name George the lady i got him from gave him that name i just kept it. Ok My mandolin kind of has a name for some reason I call it Jr.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
1,227 posts
I've seen where some folks name their dulcimers, Kitty. Mine all answer to "Hey, you!" :DAlliefair is a nice name; I'm guessing it's tied to Jean Ritchie some way?
Kitty L.
Kitty L.
@kitty-l
7 years ago
3 posts

Okay, so I was just wondering, is it normal for people to name their dulcimers?

I'd like to name mine and I have a name picked out for her (at least I'm pretty sure mine's a girl). I just don't know if I should go ahead and take the plunge.

If I do name her, I'd like to name her Alliefair.

Do y'all think that's a nice name?*

There's a reason behind it.

*Bonus points if ya know how I got it. And yes it is vaguely dulcimer related.


updated by @kitty-l: 03/02/19 02:11:42PM