The Positive Thread...

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

Here in our old coal mining village life moves pretty slow.  And being a bit of an old-fashioned girl (now old lady), I love the idea of tying the event to the vernal equinox! flower  

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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.

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
10 months ago
198 posts

Dusty Turtle:


So it's agreed then: International Hog Fiddle Day will be celebrated the second Saturday after the first Monday after the first full moon after the summer solstice.


Robin Thompson: @dusty-turtle is who got this conversation on a designated dulcimer day started. I'm curious about what are his thoughts now? sun


Seriously, I love how much enthusiasm this topic has generated.  It was just a thought I had when I read about National Guitar Day, but clearly the idea resonates with a lot of us.


Some of what we are debating I don't believe to be too important.  Why is Black History Month in February?  Well, it used to be Black History Week and it was dated to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  But choosing the date based on those two individuals did not somehow rob the designation of the ability to celebrate Ida B. Wells or Martin Luther King.  Similarly, were we to choose Jean Ritchie's 100th birthday as the first Dulcimer Day, it would not rob us of our ability to celebrate Uncle Ed Thomas or Loraine Wyman on that day.


Nonetheless, in the interests of not alienating any of the fine members here, I have another suggestion for the day: How about the first Saturday after the spring equinox?  It would mark the beginning of the dulcimer festival season but would not be tied to any specific date or any specific individual.  Any thoughts?


When Pritchard marketed his "American dulcimer" he was clearly trying to take advantage of the nationalist fever that dominated the golden age of folklore (1870 or thereabouts to 1914).  But I agree with those who think that name strips away the regional roots of the instrument.  "Mountain dulcimer" does indeed seem to be the most commonly used term for our beloved instrument, but I would be OK with either "Mountain" or "Appalachian" dulcimer.  The Wikipedia entry uses "Appalachian" dulcimer, and that alone might be a reason to choose that term.


So my new proposal: International Appalachian Dulcimer Day, the first Saturday after the spring equinox.



Great discussion with lots of interest. This sounds great. But would it be simpler for old minds like mine to remember if it were 3rd Saturday in March (for instance) rather than tying it to a date that varies from year to year?


Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

@dusty-turtle I asked.  And think what you've presented is splendid! dulcimer  


updated by @robin-thompson: 02/16/22 06:51:53AM
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
10 months ago
1,619 posts

So it's agreed then: International Hog Fiddle Day will be celebrated the second Saturday after the first Monday after the first full moon after the summer solstice.


Robin Thompson: @dusty-turtle is who got this conversation on a designated dulcimer day started. I'm curious about what are his thoughts now? sun


Seriously, I love how much enthusiasm this topic has generated.  It was just a thought I had when I read about National Guitar Day, but clearly the idea resonates with a lot of us.


Some of what we are debating I don't believe to be too important.  Why is Black History Month in February?  Well, it used to be Black History Week and it was dated to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  But choosing the date based on those two individuals did not somehow rob the designation of the ability to celebrate Ida B. Wells or Martin Luther King.  Similarly, were we to choose Jean Ritchie's 100th birthday as the first Dulcimer Day, it would not rob us of our ability to celebrate Uncle Ed Thomas or Loraine Wyman on that day.


Nonetheless, in the interests of not alienating any of the fine members here, I have another suggestion for the day: How about the first Saturday after the spring equinox?  It would mark the beginning of the dulcimer festival season but would not be tied to any specific date or any specific individual.  Any thoughts?


When Pritchard marketed his "American dulcimer" he was clearly trying to take advantage of the nationalist fever that dominated the golden age of folklore (1870 or thereabouts to 1914).  But I agree with those who think that name strips away the regional roots of the instrument.  "Mountain dulcimer" does indeed seem to be the most commonly used term for our beloved instrument, but I would be OK with either "Mountain" or "Appalachian" dulcimer.  The Wikipedia entry uses "Appalachian" dulcimer, and that alone might be a reason to choose that term.


So my new proposal: International Appalachian Dulcimer Day, the first Saturday after the spring equinox.




--
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

updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/16/22 02:16:06AM
Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

This could whole thing could result into some really interesting posts.

"I'm going to a Dulcimer Fest on ADD [Appalachian Dulcimer Day]. I'm taking a class from a instructor who wants everyone to bring a CAD [Chromatic Appalachian Dulcimer]. He says he uses a LD [Lap Dulcimer] with all the frets. I'm going to bring my  matching MD [CMD] and a friend is going take their AD and tape on some toothpicks".duck  


updated by @skip: 02/15/22 08:23:26PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

I never hear people saying "MD" or "HD" when they are talking. Only when they're writing. Because in written discussions it's a pain to type it all out over and over in every other sentence. It's way faster to SAY those names than it is to type them.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

When I was introdued to the instrument, it was 'Mountain Dulcimer'. I still think of it that way [or MD]. The other names came later, in some cases, much later. Bill will always be be Bill, not William.

I kind of feel there is too much overthinking going on. Much of the time it is called an MD, or Dulcime[o]r on this site. On the old ED, MD, or Mountain Dulcimer vs HD, or Hammered Dulcimer. I think most general references in news articles, Mountain Dulcimer is most commonly used [probably wrong, butwhistle ].

If we commonly refer to it as a MD or Mountain Dulcimer internally [ FOTMD], why use a different name for a special day in it's honor?


updated by @skip: 02/15/22 05:33:26PM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

I, too, after careful consideration of all arguments (including my own) feel that we should use the name "Appalachian dulcimer" and realize that we will continue the ongoing controversy of how "Appalachian" should be pronounced. For the past forty years I have lived in area of Pennsylvania that is part of Appalachia and here we pronounce it differently from my friends in the southern part of the region.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

Though I wasn't born in Appalachia, I have spent most of my adult life in Appalachia.  So, I may have an unconscious bias. oma  

An International Appalachian Dulcimer Day acknowledges both the origin and type of instrument and celebrates its appeal to folks around the globe.  

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
10 months ago
198 posts

 A most interesting discussion indeed with thoughtful input. How exciting.

Whatever date, I like the idea of International Appalachian Dulcimer Day.

A recognition day will give us all an opportunity to promote the dulcimer in many different ways, whether its origins, its history, its music and on and on we could go. There are enough topics that we could celebrate more than 10 years before repeating a point of emphasis if we chose to do so.

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

Jean Ritchie wrote the Forward for L.Allen Smith's 1983 book A Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers.

Here is what she said concerning the name of our beloved instrument, and the part she herself played in the evolution of that name starting from the 1940s:

IMG_0266.JPG

Consider that it was not until at least the middle of the 20th century that there were any mountain dulcimers brought to the entire western half of the US (more than a century after the dedicated work of early Appalachian dulcimer makers such as Thomas, Singleton, Prichard, etc), and consider also that there are many other other countries in south and central America, not to mention all of Canada.

But my main point is that i would be sad to see the reference to the region of origin where our instrument was first created stripped away from its name, replaced by a broader label based on our whole nation rather than a region. It would feel to me like removing a connection to the unique culture specific to that region. That's why I am fond of the names 'mountain dulcimer', Appalachian dulcimer', or even 'lap dulcimer' or 'dulcimore'... those names still connect with and honor the region and culture that created the instrument. Just my two cents.




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

Robin, We can make it International Mountain Dulcimer Day.  By doing this we can give a shout out in the news releases to its European ancestors.


updated by @steve-c: 02/15/22 11:55:51AM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

My greatest interest is in worldwide participation in the day from as many Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer as possible.  

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

@dusty-turtle is who got this conversation on a designated dulcimer day started.  I'm curious about what are his thoughts now? sun

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
10 months ago
185 posts

I'm with you on that one Ken.  After working through all the posts, re-reading Ralph L. Smith and the history of Scotch Irish Music there are so many contributors that it really boggles the mind, let alone giving consideration to different types of Mountain dulcimer fret patterns, and unique tunings popular in different parts of the country.  The idea of setting aside a day to honor all the musicians and the instruments they played is great and will certainly not  take away from Jean, who I believe was the most important of many players. She pretty much kept the mountain ballads in the forefront.  I especially remember her songs mourning the devastation of the mountain tops and the beauty that was lost to some types of mining.  So I think that a day to honor the "American Dulcimer" and as she might have put it, "The Sweet Sound in the Wind"  could be all encompassing.  Heaven knows we don't want to get into all that stuff about Noter and drone vs. Chording or whatever....amplified or electronically modified etc., it's all part of the instruments history and there is place for it all.


updated by @salt-springs: 02/14/22 10:43:21PM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

Charles N. Prichard marketed his instruments as "The American Dulcimer." Just look at the label he used. I call the presentation I do on dulcimer history "The History of the American Dulcimer." So, I'm fine with Leo's suggestion. As to the use of American as an identifier for the day, I think we were talking about a national dulcimer day and the United States of American is usually shorted to just America. I'm enjoying this conversation.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

It's good to clarify to which instrument we are referring!  As far as using geography to specify which instrument we mean, America alone isn't, to my mind, specific.  There's North America, Central America, South America-- the Americas.  

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

Leo Kretzner:

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.

Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner
10 months ago
27 posts

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.

Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner
10 months ago
27 posts

Wow, what a compelling topic, and many good arguments for various dates!! 

I want to raise the point (if it hasn't been already) that whatever the date, to call it just 'National Dulcimer Day' would imply that it's for both types of dulcimer. If that's the case, then input from HD people would be appropriate, but I fear that would really complicate things.

If it is to be strictly for the fretted/ lap/ mountain/ Appalachian dulcimer, then one of those specifiers needs to be in the title! Eg, National Mountain Dulcimer Day.  (I usually say 'mountain' if only because of the imagery, and it also nods to the Appalachians.)

Further, since it is one of only two instruments unique to the US, I think we ought to start calling it The American Dulcimer, and try to dispense with the over-abundance of alternate names! Not to discount the historical role of people living in the Appalachians, but to emphasize that what used to be an almost-unheard-of regional instrument is now found all over the country and even the world. 

Visions of a mountain dulcimer power trio or quartet singing Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band" leap to mind!

As to actual dates, December 8 is appealing, but I feel totally flexible about this; one of the summer dates would also be okay.

In any case, the pictures used by Wikipedia obviously need to be changed. That's a separate issue...

Overall, this is a great idea!!  

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

Loraine Wyman's story is a compelling one!  One of the glories of an International/Worldwide/National/whatever Mountain/Appalachian Dulcimer Day is we will never run short of compelling stories to share. flower

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
10 months ago
185 posts

Let's not forget Loraine Wyman who is considered by some to be the first one to start the Urban Folk music revival after collecting Kentucky and vicinity mountain music.  There is a photo on Wiki showing her on the cover of Vogue Magazine holding a Thomas Dulcimer in 1917.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loraine_Wyman

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10 months ago
326 posts

Amen, sisters!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

@irene - I too find it highly annoying that wikipedia has accepted photos of BOTH the 'American' instruments that show instruments made in other countries instead. The dulcimer pictured is a Roosebec (made in the middle east) and the banjo pictured is a very cheap 1960s pot metal tenor banjo made in Germany. How utterly lame is this?? The irony is astounding, considering it is the very point of the whole list.  




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

We have members from around the globe here at FOTMD so my thinking goes to an international/worldwide day.  And maybe it's because of where I live, my thinking went to a less formal way of establishing a day to celebrate mountain dulcimer-- we pick a date to highlight the Appalachian dulcimer and its spread and the celebration itself makes it 'official'.  We can do just like many do with worldwide Play Music on the Porch Day-- folks post videos of the various ways they celebrate the day.  Some celebrations are individual, some are group.    

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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..

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/register-a-national-day/

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

By the way..SEO is Search Engine Optimization work.  There are specialist who can make your site come up when ever anyone searches for dulcimer.

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

Here are suggestions (I looked this up) for creating a National day:

How to Create a Special 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.  


National Days Definition:

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. 

IRENE
IRENE
@irene
10 months ago
168 posts

FABULOUS POSITIVE THREAD THIS ONE.  I loved the list of instruments of countries and surely not all countries are listed.   I do wish someone would have gotten an AMERICAN made instrument for the picture not one made in another country though. aloha, irene

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

Interesting link listing national instruments of each country, the United States is listed with two entries the Appalachian dulcimer and the banjo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_instruments_(music)

Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

Although it would probably be nicer to have it sometime during the late spring to early fall.whistle

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

I offer my birthday as a good day-- I love mountain dulcimer. heart   grphug  

Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

No on the tunings, yep on random, just pick any day, the 3rd friday of any month, 2nd blue moon, or any other random day. Don't bother trying to make some kind of association with the dulcimer, that's not relevant.


updated by @skip: 02/12/22 08:00:56PM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

I like that idea Skip. Perhaps the 155th day for 1 - 5 - 5 tuning or the 158th for 1 - 5 - 8 tuning. Or we could choose another tuning; DAC, DAG, etc. Another could the number of letters in Appalachian dulcimer or mountain dulcimer either side by side or added together. And to go really random, put number 1 - 365 in your hat and draw one. That's really what you suggested.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

I feel associating  a particular date with a primary purpose of celabrating the overall appreciation of the MD is kind of restrictive. Almost all of the posts refer to subsets of the main subject, the MD. Just picking a random date  [the 164 day of the year] and calling it 'Dulcimer Appreciation Day' or something makes more overall sense. Then all of the things expressed are valid subjects for inclusion.


updated by @skip: 02/12/22 07:39:26PM
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

Ah, yes, thank you for that correction. I forgot all about the confusion over Uncle Ed's birthday.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dan
Dan
@dan
10 months ago
168 posts

Ken Longfield:

Not to detract from Jean's fame as a popularizer of the dulcimer, I suggest March 19 as that is the birthdate of James Edward (Uncle Ed) Thomas who built the early hourglass style mountain dulcimer. Didn't Jean's father play one of Thomas's dulcimers?

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

I agree wholeheartedly, but "our" James Edward Thomas wasn't born on March 19, his cousin was......the only documentation is the 1900 census that has it in April. Now if we could figure out what day......

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

It seems using Jean Ritchie's birthdate is, simply, a way to choose a date for a broader celebration of the Appalachian dulcimer.  To me, the idea being to begin with Jean as a point of departure by which to explore the instrument which took root in the mountains long before she was born, continues to the present, and is played in many countries around the world.       


updated by @robin-thompson: 02/12/22 07:07:11PM
steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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.  


updated by @steve-c: 02/12/22 05:46:37PM
Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

'Jean Ritchie Day'.


updated by @skip: 02/12/22 03:52:59PM
Lisa Golladay
Lisa Golladay
@lisa-golladay
10 months ago
108 posts

If the purpose of Dulcimer Day is to introduce more people to the dulcimer, I vote for December 8 to commemorate Jean Ritchie's birthday. Here's why:

It's true December is a busy time that doesn't need more holidays. However, the dulcimer fits nicely into a lot of existing events that involve music and history. It's easy to get the general public interested in an evening of Christmas carols and folk music at this time of year.  December 8 is early enough that most schools, clubs, community centers and park districts are still open, while special holiday events are always looking for music.

Jean Ritchie's life story connects us to the entire history of the dulcimer. From her family's musical roots in the 19th Century... to the folk revival... to the many people she inspired who make music today. She has gifted us with a story that explains the dulcimer in a way that is far more compelling than reciting the history of wooden boxes with strings. You could mention her in a few brief sentences or build the entire presentation around her, but either way you have a great starting point.

Jean is not well-known to the general public, but folk musicians know her. This could open the doors to music venues that otherwise don't often (or ever) feature dulcimers.

Let's face it, it's hard for a modern audience to feel a connection to anyone who died 100 years ago and didn't leave behind any video or audio recordings. The history can come later, but first we have to get people to listen. I don't want to make Dulcimer Day primarily about Kentucky, or the 19th Century, or our Scots-Irish ancestors way up in the hollows. That excludes so many people! Jean's music came from those roots, and then she brought the dulcimer to New York City and gave it to everybody. We can honor her roots and her courage to welcome all people, everywhere, to the music she loved. 

Thinking of school presentations, Jean was a kind mentor and humanitarian who makes a wonderful role model. I would close by leading the kids in singing Jean's Peace Round. What could be better?

Or else, you know, talk me into something else :-)

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

@lisa-golladay sun

Lisa Golladay
Lisa Golladay
@lisa-golladay
10 months ago
108 posts

Let me put on my marketing consultant hat (ow! ow! I thought I retired from this!) You can take this with as many grains of salt as you want but here goes:

1. You can declare any date a "holiday" on social media. The date does not need any significance. However, having a reason why this date was chosen makes a convenient hook for starting the conversation and getting peoples' attention.

2. You can almost certainly convince a member of Congress to introduce a resolution declaring anything an official national holiday, and it will be approved as routine. A representative from Kentucky would be an obvious person to ask.

3. Pick a date that works for your objectives. Are you looking for a good date to hold a festival (summer or early fall)? A date for scholars to argue about (the first documented dulcimer build)? Do you want to trigger an immediate deep dive into history (Ed Thomas)? Or introduce dulcimers to schoolchildren and community groups in a way that's not too intimidating and feels relevant?

4. Birthdays make people feel good. Nobody celebrates the day somebody died unless it's the Wicked Witch of the East. Whom nobody remembers.

5. Piggybacking an established related event, like Music on The Porch Day, will gain you no visibility. Somebody playing dulcimer on a day when lots of people are playing lots of other instruments will not make the dulcimer stand out.

6. Stepping into a season crowded with other holidays will gain you no visibility -- unless you can incorporate your event into other events that would otherwise not have dulcimers. This is leveraging our synergies -- or synergizing our leverage, depending on the preferred buzzword of the moment. Like I said, marketing.

That's my consulting advice, since consultants never tell you what to do, they only spout generalities and ask questions!  Now returning to my preferred persona as a civilian member of FOTMD, I will write a post about why December 8 is a perfect date for Dulcimer Day.

Skip
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@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

Why tie it to some specific dulcimer event which could be the name anyway? Like 'Jean Ritchie Day' or 'Kentucky Dulcimer Day', etc.

The 'why' the day was selected is irrevelant, just as long as a day is identified and observed consistently.

I suggest the same day as 'play music on the front porch day'. 


updated by @skip: 02/12/22 12:57:22PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

so, what if next year they find another old dulcimer with an authentic earlier date?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Skip
Skip
@skip
10 months ago
354 posts

Aug 1 is 'Uncommon instrument Awarement Day'. dulcimer


updated by @skip: 02/12/22 12:39:19PM
Ballad Gal
Ballad Gal
@ballad-gal
10 months ago
33 posts

I'll go with the 1st authenticated build date of August 28th.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

Another possible date would be June 21, the date the mountain dulcimer became the official state instrument of Kentucky.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

I would rather see August 28 as National Dulcimer Day especially because I would rather see December 8 as Jean's birthday and not overshadowing or overshadowed by another celebration. Although Jean exposed many people to the mountain dulcimer she was so much more than that. She was a promoter of the Ritchie family and southern Appalachian songs as well.  I really think we would do a disservice to her by tying her memory only to the dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

If Jean's birthday were chosen, her beautiful Wintergrace and the wonderful Ritchie family Christmas movie Dave Garraway introduces could be part of the highlights.  I also submit that it could be an International/Worldwide Appalachian Dulcimer Day we celebrate-- acknowledging both the spread of the instrument's popularity and the region from which it sprang.  Just a couple thoughts.      


updated by @robin-thompson: 02/12/22 08:41:17AM
steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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…


updated by @steve-c: 02/12/22 08:09:48AM
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
10 months ago
1,619 posts

Folks, if we decided on Jean's birthday, the first National Mountain Dulcimer Day would fall exactly on the 100th anniversary of her birth.  That's too cool a coincidence to ignore.




--
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
10 months ago
2,010 posts

Another vote here for Dec 8.  I understand the significance of the earliest dulcemore, and Uncle Ed; but IMHO Jean did so much for the dulcimer across the country and across the world...  

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

Well, if you want a poll, then please gather here the suggested dates and reasons for them- once i create the poll I can't change the items or add to them. Discuss this for a bit if you would and somebody make a post to organize the options... then in a day or two I can create/activate the poll from those various choices. Now's the time to make suggestions to add to the choices.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
10 months ago
188 posts

Perfect!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,105 posts

If you guys wanted, I could create a Poll here on fotmd to see the number of votes for each suggested date...?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
10 months ago
1,329 posts

I get the reasons behind the March and the August suggestions.  For me, though, Jean Ritchie's birthday is THE day.  She did so much to introduce the mountain dulcimer to populations of people wholly unfamiliar with the instrument.  

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

I like Steve's idea even better. Since it is two days from our wedding anniversary I might remember it. So, Dusty, are you volunteering to set up the Wikipedia entry"

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

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..


updated by @steve-c: 02/11/22 05:37:41PM
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
10 months ago
1,619 posts

I wasn't trying to start a debate about dates. Every day is dulcimer day in my life. jive

I do wonder how those "national" days get formalized.  I bet if we just decided on a day and then created a Wikipedia entry on National Dulcimer Day, it would become a thing.  We could encourage instructors and luthiers to offer discounts.  Maybe Quarantune could organize a concert on that day. Who knows?




--
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
robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
10 months ago
254 posts

Either date sounds good to me. Actually sounds as good as a dulcimer...Robert 

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10 months ago
326 posts

I agree with Ken.  I like Thomas' birthday of March 19 (1850).

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10 months ago
921 posts

Not to detract from Jean's fame as a popularizer of the dulcimer, I suggest March 19 as that is the birthdate of James Edward (Uncle Ed) Thomas who built the early hourglass style mountain dulcimer. Didn't Jean's father play one of Thomas's dulcimers?

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
10 months ago
1,619 posts

That's exactly what I was thinking, @steve-c




--
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

updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/11/22 10:37:12AM
steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
10 months ago
57 posts

Dusty Turtle:

February 11 is National Guitar Day. When is National Dulcimer Day?  I vote for December 8. Anyone know why?

Jean Ritchie was born on December 8, 1922….is a possibility. Is that what you were thinking?

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
10 months ago
1,619 posts

February 11 is National Guitar Day. When is National Dulcimer Day?  I vote for December 8. Anyone know why?




--
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
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
1,619 posts

This red fox positively loves clawhammer banjo music:




--
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
steve c.
steve c.
@steve-c
last year
57 posts

Hope you all had a happy thanksgiving!  

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
last year
1,329 posts

Thank you, FOTMD folks, for the music and your friendship!  

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
1,619 posts

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am so grateful that I have mountain dulcimers, mountain dulcimer music, and friends of the mountain dulcimer in my life. grphug




--
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
 
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