All Blog Posts (111)

Sheet music for "A Walk beside the Placid Waters"

The sheet music for my original composition "A Walk beside the Placid Waters" is available here:

It is for soprano psaltery, baritone psaltery, guitar, and bass

Added by Ron Zuckerman on August 12, 2017 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

The Magic of Evart

Just seven dollars for one day's admission and an excuse to spend a couple nights up north. What would keep me away from the Original Dulcimer Players Club's annual Funfest? Uh, I just got home from it.

This is the third time I've gone. The first time, I dropped by for twenty minutes, the second time I spent most of the day, and this year I spent the entire day, including supper, and the start of the…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on July 16, 2017 at 9:15pm — No Comments

Cleaning soundboard

I've been away from my psaltery for awhile and I'm wondering

Added by Meridee Kramb on April 17, 2017 at 1:33pm — No Comments

Grab a psaltery (which one?) and go!!

Well, don't I feel like a musician! Lugging my gear all over town today! This morning I played my new baritone (Thanks Terry Butler and Rick Long). I was playing for our church's music leader to see if he had a place for me on the Christmas program. Oh, yes, he was quite enthusiastic. Then, he let me sit in on the music group and fudge a few songs. Getting better at thinking on my feet and not losing my way.

These sorta-skills were put to the test as I played with the hammer dulcimer…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on November 27, 2016 at 8:32pm — No Comments

Organizing a new players group

I'm in the planning stages of attempting to organize a small players group here in the local area.  I currently play with one other psaltery player on a monthly basis which is fine but I would like to improve on that and invite beginners to join in.  I have built up an inventory of instruments, some new and some gently used, that I would be willing share with new players to get them started.

In addition to the instruments, I plan on providing free instruction at a level which will…


Added by Charlie Marshall on September 10, 2016 at 3:53pm — 1 Comment

I'm still playing

I've been missing from here for some time. But some times life seems so busy. I'm off down to dorset on my hols shortly. I'm taking my Bs. I've had this daft idea about playing on the top of Cerne abbas. Also pay my respects to the last resting place of Pete shutler. The man who made fall in love with the BS.

sadly missed.  

Added by bob pryor on September 6, 2016 at 1:10pm — 2 Comments

I have so many Questions

If was to buy sheet music what would I get Violin. I would like to play some modern songs like the Beatles, Kansas, maybe Led Zepplin. You know shake the world up. I know someone  who plays Rock n roll on his accordion. I have really  only been seriously playing the psaltery for a few days and have learned all the xmas songs that my grandbaby and I plan on playing at her school and church this season. I have already purchased  2 other psalteries a xylophone and a autoharp to see…


Added by David Hamilton on August 28, 2016 at 12:04am — 8 Comments

Looking for B.Psaltery players

I live in Michigan's thumb area, and I am looking for B.P.Players in my area to get together to jam and practice. I will travel 30 to 50 miles, if need be, to get together. Anyone out there interested ?

Added by Joyce Hibbard on August 9, 2016 at 7:54am — 1 Comment


A year ago I ventured into the Hammered Dulcimer festival at Evart, Michigan.

This was the beginning of me-as-a bowed-psalterist.

I’m staggered by how much I’ve been able to play and learn this year.  I’ve accumulated reams of sheet music, but also picked out tune after tune by ear. I’ve memorized a couple pieces. I’ve participated in both a workshop and a festival with Tish Westman, and had gratis…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on July 19, 2016 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

My Waynie Bowed Psaltery

I received my new absolutely beautiful Waynie Ultimate Bowed Psaltery yesterday 26 Feb. 2016. The workmanship and attention to detail is nothing short of marvelous !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I chose Purpleheart wood and Wayne combined it with Curly  or Flame Maple. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!! My baby is one class act Psaltery !!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven't checked out wayniepsaltery please do so !!!! You will not regret it !!!!!!!!!!

Linda Rodgers

Oklahoma City, OK 

Added by Linda Rodgers on February 27, 2016 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: The Bladder Fiddle

  Please see this YouTube video of traditional Baltic instruments being played...   Established authoritarian Musicologists have long held that "There were no bowed musical instruments in Europe before Byzantine versions were introduced in the 10th century AD."! The Bladder Fiddle Family sometimes called Basse de Flandre, Bumbass, and Poispil represents a long tradition of playing a bowed bass instrument of usually only…


Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on January 28, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

high on bowed psaltery!!

When I bought my psalteries this summer, I imagined I would enjoy playing, and at some point might be competent enough to play at church or maybe a farmers' market. I had no idea how quickly doors would open for me to share the pleasure it has brought me. Almost immediately, I was able to contribute music to a family event.  My relations were superlative in their praise of my few tunes-- Amazing Grace, and I can't remember what else. I got plenty of practice trying to explain the instrument…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on December 26, 2015 at 8:42pm — No Comments

Continuing my journey with bowed psalteries

I obtained my Baritone Roosebeck Psaltery on Aug 8, 2015, and my Cabin Creek Alto on October 19, 2015. I realize this is adding family members rather rapidly, but I'm guessing there's folks out there that understand this! I love the low tones of the baritone, and the fact that I never "run out" of notes. It seems that 37 strings is quite a luxury. On the other hand, the little cherry Cabin Creek is easier to play and to carry around. While exploring options, the friendly attention from the…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on November 8, 2015 at 1:57pm — 4 Comments

Bowed Psaltery Relative: The Dan Bau

 The Bowed Psaltery consists of a scale of individual strings each tuned to a specific pitch and arranged to be played upon one at a time by a bow. Each individual string is a musical instrument in its self called a Monochord. Monochords are the earliest stringed instruments with all other stringed instruments progressing from that first development. Many different Monochords were developed by many cultures through out history. One of these, the Vietnamese Dan Bau, sometimes described as a…


Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on August 21, 2015 at 7:30pm — No Comments

My bowed psaltery debut, plus I'm all set up!

Ten days after acquiring my bowed psaltery (baritone), I was able to play some tunes as my cousins scattered ashes--both of their parents had died last year. The service was brief, informal, but beautiful, on the banks of the Sauble River.The guitar player and I each found a seat on moss covered tree limbs. I was told my music was very significant. Amazing Grace, Simple Gifts, Come by the Hills, and a little noodling. In other news, my James Jones platform came yesterday and I'm all set up…


Added by SUE C WHEELER on August 21, 2015 at 6:54am — No Comments

Your Bowed Psaltery Adventures: Things People Say!

  When you bravely take your Bowed Psaltery out in public you have to be prepared to say, "It's a Bowed Psaltery" while playing and explain about it little, so many people are amazed they have never seen one before and need to know "What is that?" RIGHT NOW! "Do you ever play the strings in the middle?" Is a pretty common question. You get all possible reactions ranging from complete indifference to absolute "Stop that and go away or I will hurt you." But you will find many people are…


Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 17, 2015 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

The Passing of Jean Ritchie  If you look at one of the photos with this article about Jean Ritchie's life you might notice a Bowed Psaltery in the back ground. Jean and I crossed paths at different folk events often enough that she remembered my name and encouraged my Bowed…


Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on June 4, 2015 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Favorite bows.

I've tried quite a few kinds of bows including violin bows. My favorites are the light weight ones that Rick Long makes and I must have 5 or six sets including 2 double connected bows. Synthetic is OK but can be rather worthless in high humidity.  Was playing outside on a rainy day under a trailer awning and couldn't get any sound with those!  Like no rosin at all no sound.  Dark horsehair seems to grab the strings best in situations like that.  Tend to prefer the horsehair now since then.…


Added by Terry Butler on April 30, 2015 at 9:34pm — 4 Comments

problem with wound strings Greg you're sort of right but if you use flatwound strings it does work on a pasaltery.I have used them on a psaltery.The only trouble is you have to drill out the hole in …

problem with wound strings
Greg you're sort of right but if you use flatwound strings it does work on a pasaltery.I have used them on a psaltery.The only trouble is you have to drill out the hole in the zipper to get the string through the hole if you're wanting a deep bass on a bowed psaltery like Alto flatwound is the way to go you'll feel it through the ran shivers down me it was so beautiful of a sound. Continue

Added by Mouth Bow on April 8, 2015 at 3:24pm — No Comments

Problems Using Wound String On A Bowed Psaltery

  First my disclaimer: I have never built any Bowed Psalteries, I am just an avid BP player and sometimes a luthier groupie! I have however adjusted the pins, strung, and restrung hundreds of Bowed Psalteries new and old. I see older BP's that had wound strings put on them. Often the wound on wire has worn to breaking and unraveling where it goes over the top of the rail pin. If you look at an AutoHarp you will see they have the wrapping stop before the core sting goes over the bridges to…


Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on March 24, 2015 at 9:55pm — 4 Comments

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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