Dulcimer Sessions®
A Mel Bay Publications, Inc. Webzine

April 2010 · Bimonthly

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Lois Hornbostel, Editor

Welcome to the April 2010 Issue of Dulcimer Sessions®!

Dulcimer Festival Season is here! This year I have begun a new mountain dulcimer week called Dulcimerville, June 7-12 in Black Mountain, NC. Currently it focuses on the many facets of the mountain dulcimer. The Swannanoa Gathering Dulcimer Week, in August has outstanding classes in both hammered and mountain dulcimers and has done so for 16 years. Maryland's Common Ground on the Hill, in July has two Traditions Weeks with excellent classes in both instruments. There are other dulcimer festivals around the country. Attend a dulcimer event if you can - learn, become musically inspired, and meet good people.

While hammered and mountain dulcimers are different instruments with different playing techniques, they have a lot of music in common, and many people play both. To make mountain dulcimer music accessible to hammered dulcimer players we usually include with mountain dulcimer tablature the accompaniment chord letters and either notation or sound files. Be sure to check our 40 "Back Issues" that start with 2003 articles on the rudiments of playing both instruments. You'll find 118 free articles in all - courtesy of Mel Bay Publications.

The Mel Bay Publications is the largest publisher of books for hammered and mountain dulcimers. You'll find outstanding resources for playing techniques colorful music styles by visiting www.melbayxpress.com. Click on "Dulcimer" in the left margin. Click on "Hammered Dulcimer" or "Mountain Dulcimer" or just cruise down the page for a delightful browse of books for both.

This issue of DulcimerSessions.com contains the following articles:

  1. The Dulcijo, by its inventor, Michael Fox. In our last issue we presented an article on another mountain dulcimer hybrid, the Bowed Dulcimer. The Dulcijo is an excellent blending of the mountain dulcimer and the clawhammer banjo. Mountain dulcimer players can easily transfer their music onto the Dulcijo's diatonic fingerboard, and its tuning and high string provide an authentic banjo sound. This article includes a video link, Michael Fox's tablature arrangement of the fiddle tune "Ebenezer," a sound file, and Dulcijo photos.
  2. "A Man of Constant Sorrow" arranged by Jeanne Page from her Mel Bay book Bluegrass on Hammered Dulcimer. Enjoy playing this traditional American folk song that was featured in the movie, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"
  3. "Buffalo Gals" arranged for mountain dulcimer by Lois Hornbostel from Mel Bay's Dulcimer Fiddle Tunes. Return to the days of Annie Oakley and the Wild West and enjoy this traditional tune!
  4. "Over the Sea to Skye" arranged by Peggy Carter from her Mel Bay book Hammered Dulcimer Arrangements for Special Occasions. This is one of the loveliest of Scottish melodies.

I invite dulcimer players to submit articles to me for possible inclusion in future issues of Dulcimer Sessions. We offer a small honorarium for those articles use. Requests for articles on new subjects are also welcomed.

Enjoy! See you in our June 2010 issue.

Lois Hornbostel, Editor
Dulcimer Sessions
Website: www.LoisHornbostel.com
View Lois Hornbostel's Biography

Celtic Songs and Slow Airs for the Mountain Dulcimer
by Neal Hellman

In folk tradition, stories of love lost, betrayal, jealousy, conflict, emigration, and the supernatural are often immortalized in songs of many traditions, demonstrating that singing has been a universal vehicle for the human condition. The criteria for ...

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