Does anyone in upstate NY (Adirondack Mtns.) play the psaltery?

I live in Mayfield, NY in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains near the Great Sacandaga Lake and would like to get in touch with someone in my area that plays the bowed psaltery.  I have 2 that need re-stringing (I'm hoping to learn how) so I  haven't gotten to try them out yet but I'm very anxious to be able to experience their sound.  I'd also be interested in some lessons.  If anyone has a contact in this area, could you please let me know?  Thank you and have a great night!

Linda Ferenz

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Hi Linda,  I wish you luck in finding some help with the strings of your psalteries in your area.  I first saw your question on the Yahoo Bowed Psaltery group, and you mentioned they were Unicorn Strings psalteries.  I just wanted to mention that they have an instructional video that shows step by step instruction on replacing strings on their psalteries.  Here's a link to that page -       

You might be able to find one on Ebay or Amazon at a discount.

I have replaced a few strings on one of them in the past.  I remember it being a fairly simple process.  I had to slowly remove the broken pieces of string to figure out how they had them attached at the hitch pins.  I seem to remember that they were wrapped around the tuning pin so you had to turn the wrench counter clockwise to raise the pitch.  That may have only been the one was I working on, or they may all be like that.  Other Unicorn owners can tell us that.  I'm pretty sure they were .010 in size, as Tish had mentioned on the other site.

By the way, welcome to the group.

Hi Rick,

Thank you for the info. and the link.  I'll take a look at it first thing in the morning.  I'm really getting anxious to try it out.  I couldn't believe I had such a hard time with this.  The problem is at the hitch pin - the string is wrapped around it in a different way.  I'll try again this weekend.  Thanks again!



Hello from Alaska!  Actually I live in the Adirondacks (Vermontville,NY) and have been building Psalteries for a few months now.

I noticed your message regarding stringing a bowed psaltery and was curious if you resolved your issues.  I built my first instrument this spring and have completed 8 more in recent months.  I'm not what you would call an accomplished player but am learning my way around the instrument fairly well.  As you can guess, I've had a fair amount of experience installing strings so if I can help, let me know.


I'm hoping to sell a few of my psalteries in the local area later this fall after I return from Alaska and before the Christmas season.  It would be nice if we had a group of players in the park that could get together from time to time to play and promote this unique instrument.


Charlie Marshall

Loon Song Psalteries 



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Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

Spring Creek Psalteries - Sharon & Terry Kirby


From the Wood - Wayne Gaydos


to see his work visit

Waynie Psaltery - Wayne Simms


Prairie Psaltery - Richard Celata


Loon Song Psalteries-Charlie Marshall


New Tradition Dulcimers- Dan Daniels


Psalteries by Dave- Dave Lucas


Jon Williams Psalteries
(386) 853-0944

Westman Instruments - Tish & Greg Westman

Ringing Strings - Rick Long

Michael J King Instrumetns - Diatonic Psalteries

Inspired Instruments – Carol and Joe Esch

James Jones Instruments

Omega Strings – Richard Spencer

Master Works Bowed Psalteries - Russell Cook

Members that teach Bowed Psaltery

Paul G.Sykes - MS  

Located in Hattiesburg
Contact Paul at

or call him at



Gregg Schneeman - California
Contact Gregg here on Psaltery Strings


Peter Tommerup - California
San Francisco Bay Area
Bowed Psaltery and other Instruments


Celeste Howard Ray
Bowed Psaltery lessons via Skype
Skype name celesteray88


Maureen Barnes - Illinois
Bowed Psaltery lessons in Bloomington, IL


Dona Benkert -

Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
& Folk-Lore Center, Warrenville, IL
Phone: 630.393.1247

Tish Westman - West Virginia
Lessons at Tamarack, Beckley, WV. Wednesday workshops also available for individual classes and to teach at festivals.
Sunday "Jam" 3:30 to 6:00. All instruments welcome, play mostly Old Time, Celtic & Gospel Music, not opposed to trying any tune called, once did a rap on Bowed Psalteries.

Rick Long - Tennessee
Lessons at Rick's home/workshop in Clinton, 30 mins N of Knoxville
(865) 660-4026

Karla Armstrong - Pennsylvania
Karla plays a variety of instruments and does workshops as well. Please visit her web site for additional information or contact her via the web site or the information below.
(717) 632-8099

Carol Esch - Kentucky
Lessons in Carol's home/workshop south of Lexington.

Honey Smith Walls - Florida
e-mail Honey for more info
Melbourne, FL

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

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Tish's list is a valuable resource when searching for other players.

If you are already on Tish's list, why don't you stop in and update your info? While your there take a look to see if there are new players in your area. Who knows, you might get together and make a recording.

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