It Came today.

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

Changed the string out. Noticed it wasn't a .014. looked closer to .008 or so was really fine. Now have the A3 on the middle. Checked the Octaves. Everything now where it should be.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,840 posts

Nathina:

So the middle string will be below the melody strings. I will have to lower the middle string back to A3.

It's a miracle you even were able to tune your middle string up to a high A4 without it breaking. What gauge string is it??  I'm wondering if you are sure about what octave it's currently tuned to... maybe it is currently in A3. That's a real easy mistake to make.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

Thanks

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,840 posts

Yes the middle string is usually a lower tone than the melody strings, --or the same tone, as in DAA tuning. 




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

So the middle string will be below the melody strings. I will have to lower the middle string back to A3.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,840 posts

Nathina:

Now I am really confused? Anyways the bass will be D3, the Middle A4, the two melody strings D4.  using C4 as middle C.



Sorry, i corrected my typo. krazyhair  The bass is D3, the middle A is A3, and the high melody d is D4.


Thus, a dulcimer tuning of DAA is (D3 A3 A3) on the piano. The common tuning DAd is (D3 A3 D4) on the piano. To play lonesome Aeolian mode tunes you might try tuning to DAc (D3 A3 C4).


Here's a decent chart.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 11/08/20 01:18:32AM
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

Now I am really confused? Anyways the bass will be D3, the Middle A4, the two melody strings D4.  using C4 as middle C.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,840 posts

Ken Hulme:

Lastly, the capital D is more or less reserved for D4 -- one note higher than middle C.  The lower case d indicates that that string is one octave higher in pitch than the D.

 

I believe the capital D that is commonly used to indicate the bass string is D3, the D below middle C on a piano.  The lower case d that is commonly used to indicate the higher octave d of the melody string(s) is D4... the next higher note after middle C. (middle C is most often counted as C4)

Yes when writing DAd or DAdd tuning of dulcimers, the first upper case D is the low bass string (D3) and the last lower case d or dd are the higher octave D4 on a piano. The middle string A is upper case because it's still a note in the "3" octave: below middle C.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 11/08/20 01:04:51AM
Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

So in all I got two well made dulcimers in new condition, teardrop and hourglass, for less than the price of one. I got lucky.Now I have to find some interesting music to play.

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

Looks Like a got the listing backwards. it will Be Bass to Melody DAdd. Right? Thanks

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,344 posts

It looks like quite an elegant dulcimer, Nathina.  Congratulations!

Don't think of your initial tuning as a commitment.  Earlier today I joined an online dulcimer gathering and we used three different tunings (DAd, DAA, DAC) without changing strings at all.  And I regularly tune down to C or up to E with the same set of strings.

Ken is correct about the order in which we list the strings. You can still find older books and tab that list strings from melody to bass, but sometime (mid-late 70s?) the nonexistent Council on Dulcimer Standards decreed that we should list strings from bass to melody.  Honestly it makes no difference at all, but it is nice when we all refer to things the same way.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 weeks ago
1,769 posts

Congrats on your new friend.  FWIW, who signs a McSpadden dulcimer has nothing to do with who built it.  Maybe back in the 60s when Lynn was just getting started, but every instrument since then is a group construction effort.

Little bit of terminology for you.  When you say you're going to tune dADD, do you mean it has two melody strings?  Or two bass strings? 

These days we almost always describe a tuning from the bass string to the melody.  That is DAA or DAd -- the bass string is D, the middle drone is A.  Also, if you have doubled melody strings, we mostly don't write two letters -- DAdd -- unless the two strings a different notes like DAdA.  Lastly, the capital D is more or less reserved for D4 -- one note higher than middle C.  The lower case d indicates that that string is one octave higher in pitch than the D.  So, we mostly write DAd or perhaps DAdd meaning the bass string is D the middle drone is A five notes higher, and the melody string(s) are d, an octave higher than D.

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

Already fixed thanks. He was using spring washers, which after 40 years, lost their tension. I suspect it was stored for 40 years wound tight. 4 split washers and everything is great. What is impressive is that the wood is as new as when it was made. Nothing to indicate age except maybe darkening. I was thinking of changing them to 1:14 gear type but decided to keep the esthetics. The tuner ends are mahogany.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
3 weeks ago
229 posts

Wonderful!  Wonderful!  It all worked out!  

McSpadden makes a lovely dulcimer.  If you like, you can replace those tuners with the same thing, or something similar.  There are many options from which to choose.

Nathina
Nathina
@nathina
3 weeks ago
111 posts

The McSpadden arrived. Not a mark on it, and was never used. The case is new no scuffing again. Will post pics tomorrow. It is signed by Larry. I spent the evening fixing it, thought the price was too low, as the keys wouldn't hold and it was strung wrong. Restrung it, and 4 lock washers and as good as new. Will Tune it to dADD, and try to find out more information from McSpadden on its history. The washers in the keys were suppose to be spring type, but I guess the age and storage caused them to loose their tension. Replaced with lock washers and good to go. Restringing properly tonight. It is a Model M8-W signed by Larry.

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