Ugh! I have reached a point of what I would call "dullness"...I have not played any of my psalteries in over a month Between gardening/canning, work, weddings, work, funerals and family reunions I cannot seem to ever find the time. I NEED to play…Continue
When starting a tune or a new phrase in a tune its better to start with a PULL. "Twinkle Twinkle little star" works out as: PULL PUSH, PULL PUSH, PULL PUSH, PULL. Right here you have to take your last pull's momentum around in a small a circle…Continue
While I build a bunch of different types of instruments (www.marrsguitars.com) I've got the urge to build a psaltery or two. Love the sound, especially in the baritone range. Plus, I'm a bit burned out after…Continue
I have a Unicorn Strings 30 string psaltery built in 1992 that I would like to sell. It signed inside by Gene and Jessica Jaeger founders of Unicorn Strings. Has bow, book, cassette tape, wrench. $160.00 includes shipping. Excellent condition. If…Continue
I've started work on PS Music Book Vol. 2 and was wondering what songs you might like to see in Volume 2.Please post your suggestions here, I'd love to hear from you. Remember, songs must be in the Public Domain. If you're not sure, I'll double…Continue
I'm in a discussion with a customer that is ordering two custom psalteries. One of his requests is for me to change the notes that I mark with dots. I have always marked the C's on the chromatic psalteries with a single dot. I recently started…Continue
The music for June is an old Welsh lullaby called Suo Gan.I first heard Suo Gan when I saw the movie Empire in the Sun. It was a theme song for the movie and hauntingly beautiful sung by a boy's choir. The song was played during the most emotional…Continue
If you try to play with a brand new bow with brand new horse hair on a brand new string nothing will happen. No sound whatsoever. Often a luthier will when the hair has been properly a fixed to the bow use prepowdered rosin and work it in thoroughly coating every hair, as besides supplying traction where it meets the string it also acts as weather proofing and preservative, it was part of the mummification process used by the Egyptians. For a normal getting ready to play rosining hold the…Continue
The new (to me) psaltery arrived yesterday so I had the pleasure of opening up the box and finally seeing it in the flesh (err... wood?) I was immediately struck by how beautiful it is, finely made. The low resolution photos on the Goodwill auction site do not do it justice. The soundhole design is more delicate than I expected. I could see a label inside but it was difficult to read through the soundhole's fretwork. The label appeared to be printed in a cursive font - I could make out…Continue
I have a psaltery on its way. It should arrive this Wednesday. I've bought it online, second-hand via Goodwill auction. A gamble, but I think it will be fine. Fingers crossed!
I've never played a bowed instrument so I know the bowing technique will not be easy but I'm patient. I do read music and understand how you're meant to play the psaltery - what the strings mean. This is a 2-octave, and I think it's right handed. Now I'm a left handed person - but play other…Continue
According to Victorian age musicologist W.F.Flood in his book "History of Irish Music" "The Timpan was, in reality, a small stringed instrument, having from three to eight strings and was played with a bow or plectrum, being also called a Benn Crot,or peaked harp, by an ancient Irish writer. Recent research has almost conclusively proven thay the Nabla or Psalterium-a favorite Celtic instrument from the seventh to eleventh century was generally of eight strings, and hence called the…Continue
Flavius Josephus was one of the most amazingly successful personalities of his time period, (at least he thought so), His incredible life story, A.D. 37 to 100, is available on wikipedia etc. Among the many volumes of books he wrote to explain Jewish traditions, theology,and history to the Roman world, he states in Book #7 Chapter 12 paragraph 3 of "Antiquities of the Jews": "And now David being free from wars and dangers and enjoying for the future a profound peace, composed of songs and…Continue
it s strange, ive not played my B s for some time, the other day I herd a track by my favourite west country group, the yetties, Lawn sunset. Played on the Bs. I just had to have a go and have a go at it. I sat on the end of the bed and lost myself in music for half hour. I'd forgotten how relaxing the B s could be.
I like to put my Bowed Psaltery on top of my shoulder point straight up with my ear against the back, rotate my body position so that I expose the strings to any breeze or wind blowing by, pick a location on the side of a hill with a nice view and let the wind play my psaltery! Different winds produce resonances that can build in intensity and then fade into soft wispy swirling. If the breeze allows bring your psaltery down to were you can bow along. A word of caution, prolonged exposure to…Continue
Some of us have attended Kentucky Music Week and enjoyed bowed psaltery lessons. So you might wish to know Nancy Barker's sister Gloria J. Lewis died a few days ago. "Miss Gloria" was a well known pianist in Louisville, KY and beyond.If you know Nancy you surely respect her including instruments beyond the dulcimer so that many of us have a gathering place to learn and jam and make new musical buddies.Those Johnson girls have helped a lot us grow.