Sam Edelston


Location: Cos Cob, CT
Country: US

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Pomp and Circumstance and Dulcimer

musician/member name: Music
Duration: 00:02:28
It's a ubiquitous graduation march. No, it's a Girl Scout song. No, it's a dulcimer song, by golly! Here's the well-known theme from Pomp and Circumstance March #1 by Sir Edward Elgar, performed on mountain dulcimer by Sam Edelston.

Many people know words to this, beginning with, ""My Reindeer Flies Sideways." So far, I haven't found any attribution beyond "Girl Scout song."

Elgar's full piece begins with a theme that sounds nothing like this. You experience two minutes of uncertainty before the familiar melody commences. There are a total of six Pomp and Circumstance Marches, composed in the early 1900s.

Dulcimers are a natural instrument for all kinds of music, even though they're usually associated with folk music. (In general, you're more likely to find me playing rock on one.) They're much easier to learn and play (and afford) than guitars. I believe that dulcimers belong in mainstream music, and I make these videos to show that to the world.

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The piece is performed here on my Bear Meadow baritone dulcimer, tuned AEA. Beginning in G major and modulating to D major. The basic arrangement could be played on a dulcimer with 1+There/8+ frets, but I included a couple of non-critical notes on the 4+ fret. The dulcimer is plugged into a Headrush Pedalboard with some EQ, chorus, amp model, reverb, and delay.

Special thanks to my friends, Kathy Haynie and Wendy Keilin, who challenged me to arrange this song yesterday. 😀
Sam Edelston
12/29/22 09:47:26AM @sam-edelston:

Thanks, @Dusty-Turtle . I'll admit that playing with an echo pedal (technically, this was a delay effect) encourages one to stay at the right tempo.

Dusty Turtle:Well now we know what version of this music should be played at the commencement ceremonies for Dulcimer U.

Now, that would be a fun thought. 😀

Dusty Turtle
12/28/22 01:02:52PM @dusty:

Well now we know what version of this music should be played at the commencement ceremonies for Dulcimer U.

If you really want to get graduation gigs, you need either a looper or to play that for a few hours straight. 

Nice arrangement, Sam, and very patient playing.

Sam Edelston
12/27/22 01:48:37AM @sam-edelston:

Thanks, @Cindy-Stammich - I appreciate that. Arranging this piece wasn't as hard as you might think: It's a very familiar, linear, and well-behaved melody, and the chords are fairly straightforward. It was important to recognize that it works better in C position and G position than in D position, and that I should play it on a baritone rather than a standard. The two things that took most of the time were (A) finding a combination of pedals that I liked and (B) practicing it enough to play it cleanly.

Cindy Stammich
12/26/22 10:43:05PM @cindy-stammich:

This was sure beautiful!  Best version I have ever heard 😀

The introduction was fun too!  Thank you to your friends for challenging you…

yesterday???   Only yesterday?  I am impressed!

Sam Edelston
12/26/22 12:15:23PM @sam-edelston:

Thank you, Cynthia! Have a beautiful remainder of the Holiday season. 😀

Cynthia Wigington
12/26/22 06:22:48AM @cynthia-wigington:

Nice to tie up this season with this song. Just what I needed with 12º dark morning to lift my spirits. Thank you Sam.

Sam Edelston
12/25/22 10:23:28PM @sam-edelston:

@John C. Knopf  Posting the singalong accompaniment for "My Reindeer Flies Sideways" for Christmas? Totally timely, IMHO. 

Plus, if I'm going to get any dulcimer graduation gigs this spring, I'd better give the world some time. 😉

John C. Knopf
12/25/22 10:05:39PM @john-c-knopf:

Very nice, Sam!  This posting seems anachronistic, however.  Maybe you're trying to hurry-up Spring in this frigid weather?  Thank you for a fine performance, as usual.  Merry Christmas!