Robin Clark


Location: Tywyn, Gwynedd, Wales
Country: GB

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Gwahoddiad - ID Stamper dulcimer

Gwahoddiad - ID Stamper dulcimer

style or instrument:

musician/member name: Robin

streams: 119


I've been playing around tonight with the ID Stamper dulcimer I refurbished in the autumn. It has a massive 36" VSL! So I've had to string it with piano wire to get the string length needed. Here is Gwahoddiad played noter drone with guitar backing. The instrument is tuned to Bb (although the music I have is in Ab). It was recorded in my kitchen tonight on a Zoom H5 and mixed in Audacity.
01/17/19 08:41:20PM @irene:

Robin, with your brilliance,  you'll figure how to do it in artificial light.  Or, we all can wait until summer when you'll have A LOT MORE DAYLIGHT then you'll know what to do with, eh?  How about a friend video taping you?   No matter, keep doing all that you're doing, we all learn from you.   thanks so very much.  aloha, irene

John C. Knopf
01/17/19 08:22:54AM @john-c-knopf:

Beautifully played, Robin!  That's the tune of the old hymn "I Hear Thy Welcome Voice".  I have sung it occasionally in church.  It's a very pretty melody, and that dulcimer has such a mellow sound.

Robin Clark
01/17/19 04:27:51AM @robin-clark:

Thanks everyone for your comments smile

Irene - I do want to produce some more videos but I have to say I find them logistically very difficult to do.  This time of year we only have a few hours of daylight, and I'm often working on other stuff during that time.  I haven't really got a system set up for recording videos in doors in artificial light and, when I have made clips, they can pretty much take a day's work to complete, edit and upload.  Whereas I can sound record in my kitchen and edit and upload a piece in about 2 hours or less and at any time of day or season.

01/16/19 10:04:32PM @irene:

WOW, loved that sound!!  I'd love to SEE you playing this instrument.  I looked at all the photos twice and you've done a lovely job of restoring it.  I also love to restore the old ones...I loan 'em out to folks that want to learn dulcimer and that way I have others to play dulcimer with.  I always learn from your posts, thank you so much.  aloha, irene

01/13/19 11:30:57AM @ariane:

Sooo beautiful, Robin!

01/12/19 12:47:52PM @dan:


Robin Clark
01/12/19 10:31:13AM @robin-clark:








Richard Streib
01/12/19 08:46:18AM @richard-streib:

Very beautifully played. That is a mighty fine sounding dulcimer.

Robin Thompson
01/11/19 08:01:22PM @robin-thompson:

The dulcimer sounds really good, Robin!  The tune reminds me of a hymn we used to sing in church when I was a child, Jesus Paid It All.  

Dusty Turtle
01/11/19 07:08:07PM @dusty-turtle:

Robin Clark:listening to it played on dulcimer I think you can hear its American Gospel roots. 

I was thinking that very thought, Robin.  Nice job restoring the dulcimer and playing such moving music with it.

Robin Clark
01/11/19 06:45:01PM @robin-clark:

Gwahoddiad is a traditional Welsh anthem - except that its not !!!!  The tune was written in 1872 by Lewis Hartsough during a Gospel meeting in Iowa.  I'm used to hearing it sung 'big' by Welsh MVCs but listening to it played on dulcimer I think you can hear its American Gospel roots. 

01/11/19 06:31:35PM @dan:

I drove by that house a hundred times in high school, never knew who I.D. was. My older brothers worked at the hospital when he was still there, they said he also went by "Dan". They had no idea of what he was up to back then, his dulcimore career started after he retired......

What city did you acquire it from?

Robin Clark
01/11/19 06:15:52PM @robin-clark:

I'll take some photos in the daylight tomorrow and post them here.

Robin Clark
01/11/19 06:14:22PM @robin-clark:

Hi Ken,

The instrument was like a banana and completely unplayable when I got it.  It was from a house clearance and I think must have been stored outside on in a very damp attic as it had water marks on it.  I left it for a good few months to dry and stabilise then thought the safest thing to do was to take out the frets, skim a couple of mm off up-curved ends the fretboard and then replace the frets (in the same positions).  I also replaced the pegs (Ike had used commercial viola pegs not of his own making) as the fit wasn't great.  I cut a new walnut bridge to the same design as the original but set for the new fretboard height.  And re-waxed the body.  The instrument is made out of ply wood.  I remember in the Sourwood Mountain film Ike saying that his dulcimers had a 'secret' inside that made them sound good - well it's a sound post if anyone is interested!  The nut and bridge were slotted for a double melody pair on the close side of the fretboard and the drones were also set quite close together on the far side of the fretboard.  It is a narrow fretboard and that space between the melody pair and the drones make noter playing easier.  I've attached a shot of the label.

I D Stamper label.jpg
I D Stamper label.jpg  •  191KB

Glenda  Hubbard
01/11/19 06:11:05PM @glenda-hubbard:

 Beautiful! Love the Bb tuning. I would like to see pictures of the dulcimer sometime. 

01/11/19 06:01:34PM @bob:

Wonderful, Robin! Can you share some photos of your amazing instrument?

01/11/19 06:00:34PM @dan:

I.D. used long neck banjo strings on his. Spot on Robin!!!!!!

Ken Longfield
01/11/19 05:48:22PM @ken-longfield:

What a great sound, Robin. What did you need to do in refurbishing it? The b flat gives the tune a nice bass. Thanks for sharing this.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."