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What determines the key signature on a psaltery?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Celine Read Jan 11, 2014. 4 Replies

While I've had my psaltery for a while, I've only spent a few weeks in "real time" playing with it. I favor lower tones and got to wondering what determines the key signature (or key range) on a…Continue

Tags: signature, range, key

Need help tuning Sharps

Started this discussion. Last reply by glen scratchley Apr 29, 2012. 9 Replies

I can't seem to tune the A Sharp on my BP. I am using a Korg tuner and can get a B flat but no A sharp. Help 

What to look for in a gig bag or traveling case

Started this discussion. Last reply by NaloMeli Apr 23, 2012. 4 Replies

Hi,My psaltery will be coming without a case or bag. I've done some searching on the web and have seen a whole range of styles and prices. That prompted me to wonder what to look for in a gig (soft)…Continue

Tags: cases, bags


NaloMeli's Page

Profile Information

Do you own a bowed psaltery?
How did you discover the bowed psaltery?
Scarborough Faire in Texas
Who built your bowed psaltery?
Schoenhut J224N and soon I'll have a baritone from Robert Schuler
How long have you played the bowed psaltery?
Some months now, though I wouldn't exactly call it playing
Do you perform with the bowed psaltery?
Oh, heck no
Do you build bowed psalteries for sale?
Do you teach the bowed psaltery?
How did you find out about our Psaltery Strings network?

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Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 5:16pm on June 20, 2016, Brenda Mangan said…

Hi, NaloMeli. I don't want to miss a message from you again. If you ever want to meet at the CU Botanical Gardens to play/learn/compare/hangout/goof around together with our bowed psalteries, email me at

It would be fun to get together.

At 6:46pm on May 17, 2016, Brenda Mangan said…

Hi NaloMeli, I feel terrible, I don't know how I missed your reply, but I only just now saw it. 

It would be great to get together. 

Maybe meet at the CU Botanical Gardens one evening, not too late, some day in the this next week...

~Brenda Mangan 

At 3:31pm on February 8, 2016, Brenda Mangan said…

Hello NaloMeli. I have just noticed where you live. I live in Walhalla. We should try to get together sometime.  ~Brenda Mangan

At 10:04am on February 3, 2016, Charlie Marshall said…

If you're willing to try violin styles of bows, I found that the 1/16 sized violin bows work well for me using double bowing.  There are many sources on the internet that sell inexpensive bows that are acceptable in quality.  I found a few sources that have better than average quality bows in the $20 range.  

Rick long's traditional style bows are some of the best but after trying out about 8 types of bows from various makers, I came back to the violin bows in the 18 inch size.

I considered making bows to sell along with my psalteries but the time and effort would take away from my instrument building.

At 10:27am on February 2, 2016, Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey said…

Rick Long is a very good builder and exponent of the shorter bows.

At 9:18pm on April 24, 2012, Fred Burmer said…

I just hope that you atr not one to give up easily becausae it did not come natural on the first attempt.  That very first time was a battle for me and I wanted to quit.  I do not read or understand the written music as I should, but I manage to get by well enough for self satisfaction, and fortunately for me, the others that I play with do not seem to mind my mistakes.  I did copy the free sheet music that was offered on this site, and I do believe I should be able to follow the notes.  Let me know how you make out when your BP arrives and you go for the GUSTO.  HAVE A HAPPY

At 9:16pm on April 24, 2012, NaloMeli said…
It's here!! And please tell me tuning gets easier!
At 2:56pm on April 23, 2012, Fred Burmer said…

I hope to be able to learn enough to incorporate the Psaltery with my fellow band members and the other instruments, ast least for some of the Gospel music for starters.  Wish me luck.  Perhaps we may be able to help each other up and over any rough spots we encounter along the way.  Tell me more about yourself amd what you do with your music.

At 6:54pm on April 21, 2012, NaloMeli said…
The chromatic tuner & cord thingy are on order. I also ordered a DVD on how to play and downloaded an ebooking. Watching  my mailbox like a hawk!
At 7:30pm on April 20, 2012, Bonnie Blue Crouse said…



Featured Video

Amplified Psaltery with Cello Strings built by Rick Long

This video is a personal favorite because it shows a unique type of bowed psaltery with a gorgeous sound. When I heard it I broke out in goose bumps!

Featured Song

Click on the title for the current
featured sheet music!

Clergy's Lamentation




What is Psaltery Strings worth to you?
A dollar a month?
Your help to offset the cost of keeping our Community alive is appreciated.

Thank you.



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

Please sign up on the bowed psaltery players list

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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