I love telling folks about the bowed psaltery. Lots of people are unfamiliar with it. I had a great time introducing mine in a hammered dulcimer jam last weekend!
My experience unfortunately has been that most people do not like it at all!
Janet, I'm so confused. You mean they don't like the bowed psaltery?
Yes, a lot of people don't care for it at all. I recently brought my new baritone psaltery to autoharp camp, and they did like that because of its lower tone.
It must be a matter of taste. I've had encouraging reactions most of the time. My cousin asked me to play tune after tune when we were at the cottage together. Church folks received me very nicely, too. I love it so much myself, that I audaciously took my Cabin Creek alto to a Parkinsons' support group and a hospice house at Christmas time. No one threw me out! I do like the baritone sound, but my "all purpose" is now a tenor Rick Long.
I think that bowed psaltery is an instrument you love or "dislike intensely" . At least that's been my experience.
That opinion can be changed though. Exposure and variety in music played can go a long way to changing opinions. As with any instrument, the song choice, the skill of the musician, the circumstances in which it's heard all factor in to how it is received. I have a musical friend who refers to the BP as "the dreaded bowed psaltery". She thinks it's funny but it makes me feel sad every time she says that.
I used to dislike the banjo and the bagpipes, now I love them. Just keep playing, keep working at improving, don't force feed it, people will come around or they won't. Some folks prefer the lower tones and the wound strings, some prefer the clarity of the plain strings. Even amoung the folks who love the bowed psaltery there are a variety of opinions. In the end, who cares....if you love it you have a community of like minded folks here at Psaltery Strings and out there yet to be discovered!
What a nice reply, Donna! I agree with everything you said, I myself did not care for the soprano, but when I discovered the tenor I fell in love. Now I also have a baritone. And since I have heard some very skilled soprano playing I love those, too.