All Blog Posts (111)

Psalteries welcome at our folk music jam on 4th Tuesdays in So, Cal. U.S.A.

Hello Everyone!  

I'm just dropping a line to invite you to our 4th Tuesday of the month folk music jam in Downey, CA, U.S.A.  You can find details at www.Celticana.net.  Hope we can make music together!

Bea

Added by Bea Romano on March 3, 2015 at 3:39pm — No Comments

health

Had a needle biopsy yesterday which indicates that I do not have cancer! Am celebrating today!!!!

Added by K.Keller on December 5, 2014 at 11:10am — 3 Comments

The Passing of Pete Shutler of the Yetties

 It is with a feeling of great loss I call the attention of the world wide Bowed Psaltery community to the passing of Pete Shutler of the English folk group the Yetties, September 23,2014. Pete was a multi-instrumentalist and singer but also the most famous Bowed Psaltery player of the 20th century. On the Yetties' albums he played "King of the Fairies",a medley of "Parson"s Farewell and Hundson House he called "Beau Psaltery", "Coventry Carol", and other tunes on the Bowed Psaltery. One…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on September 30, 2014 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

What I'm working on at the moment

Well this year is going fast! But I've been finding some time here and there to practice BP. I play mountain dulcimer with friends as a sort of ad hoc string band on a weekly basis. A few weeks ago I took the BP in to show it off. It was universally liked as a "cool" interesting instrument with an interesting sound. The double bass player naturally laughed his head off at my tiny little bow.

So the BP has been enlisted to accompany a contemporary christian hymn called Revelation Song.…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on September 18, 2014 at 12:57pm — 3 Comments

Rosining Your Bow

 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…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 24, 2014 at 10:30pm — 5 Comments

It's here! Gamble paid off

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…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on July 24, 2014 at 8:40am — 2 Comments

First Post. Waiting for the Post.

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…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on July 21, 2014 at 9:10pm — 3 Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: W.F.Flood

  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 that the Nabla or Psalterium-a favorite Celtic instrument from the seventh to eleventh century was generally of eight strings, and hence called the…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 21, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: Flavius Josephus

  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…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 15, 2014 at 11:30am — 8 Comments

It never leaves you

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. 

Added by bob pryor on June 13, 2014 at 2:19am — No Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: Aeolian Harps

 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…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on April 2, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments

care of psaltery

I am interested to know how to clean the strings and peg of my psaltery. I know to use a soft brush (either paint or makeup) for the instrument.

Added by Irene Gendron on March 21, 2014 at 5:37pm — 3 Comments

Nancy Barker's sister died

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.

Added by K.Keller on March 15, 2014 at 8:50pm — No Comments

Return to the psaltery

I'm so excited to return to my psaltery after a long absence. I have a beautiful Rick Long tenor that I am reacquainting myself with. I finally figured out how to start the DVD player and have reviewed the instructional DVD. Can't seem to get a clear sound out of my low G or A. I will keep working on it.

Added by Sue K on February 7, 2014 at 9:46am — No Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued The Trumscheit

 The much profaned Tromba Marina was originally a bowed single monochord used for both sacred and profane music. Classical paintings show a wide range of sizes being played with the bow on top with finger stopping the string from below,sometimes outfitted with a "floating bridge" meant to create special effects, one or two drone strings and later internal sympathetic strings were installed to increase resonance. In the late 1700's a version called the Trumscheit was developed by German folk…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on January 29, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a blessed Christmas and 2014. I have beem enjoying learning a few Christmas carols. Husband an friends are nice enough to listen an say well done. I still think psaltery, s make such sweet music. Blessing to all

Added by Sue Gillum on December 25, 2013 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: The Violin-Zither

 The "Fischer's Fidola Mandolinette Zither" from the early 1900's is an interesting combination of individual strings available to be bowed or plucked that are also set up with push button springy hammers plus another set of strings arranged in chords to be strummed! One of these has recently shown up on E Bay with excellent close up pictures currently viewable on Google Images.The photos show "D.R.W.No.246857 D.R.Patent a.". Check it out on AntiquityMusic .com. "Zither Girl" has a  video on…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on November 19, 2013 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

A Rose by any other name.....

Up until now, if I was asked what my all-time favorite song was I would have said “Ode to Joy”.  Now I’m not sure that’s the right answer!

This past weekend at the East TN BP Gathering the comment was made that a piece of sheet music titled “Ode to Joy” was really called "Joyful, Joyful".  This raised my curiosity and I did a little research.  

Beethoven wrote his 9th and final complete symphony over a 7 year period, 1818-1824. By that time he was considered totally deaf (some…

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Added by Donna Malus on November 7, 2013 at 5:32pm — 2 Comments

Bowed Psaltery Origens Continued: The Scheitholt Connection

    In Germany and most of Europe the rich town people,the powerful in their castles, cathedrals,and universities had their own diverse entertainments only sparingly experienced by the sometimes prosperous farmers living far from all that on the side of a mountain. These folks played their own music on their home made instruments for their own enjoyment. The Scheitholt (which means long log),Hummel (Bumble Bee!) and other musical instruments  are brought to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on October 9, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

What's So Great About The Bowed Psaltery?!!

  I was at our dulcimer fest here in L.A. last weekend. Besides playing and visiting old friends I had 4 people give me a chance to play a little game I like to play- I ask them to look at their watches before I start showing them how to play. I have a way of turning the psaltery around and holding their right hand with my left hand guiding them up and down,pull push pull push,slide,sharps and flats Twinkle Twinkle, Doe a Deer,Ode to Joy,Yankee Doodle and we're done.OK how long did that…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on October 7, 2013 at 9:02am — 1 Comment

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.

    

Groups

Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

Spring Creek Psalteries - Sharon & Terry Kirby

http://www.springcreekpsalteries.com/

330-323-0618

From the Wood - Wayne Gaydos

765-468-7387

http://fromthewoodsinstruments.com/

to see his work visit

http://shop.indianaartisan.org/collections/musical-instruments

Waynie Psaltery - Wayne Simms

http://www.wayniepsaltery.com/

 

Prairie Psaltery - Richard Celata

http://www.prairiepsaltery.com/

 

Loon Song Psalteries-Charlie Marshall

http://www.loonsongpsalteries.com/

 

New Tradition Dulcimers- Dan Daniels

http://www.newtraditionsdulcimers.com/index.html

 

Psalteries by Dave- Dave Lucas  

http://www.davespsaltery.com/

 

Jon Williams Psalteries
(386) 853-0944

Westman Instruments - Tish & Greg Westman
http://www.westmaninstruments.com

Ringing Strings - Rick Long
http://ringingstrings.com

Michael J King Instrumetns - Diatonic Psalteries
http://www.michaeljking.com/psalterymaking.htm

Inspired Instruments – Carol and Joe Esch
http://www.windridgefarm.us/bowedpsaltery.htm

James Jones Instruments
http://www.jamesjonesinstruments.com/bowedpsaltery/bowedpsaltery.html

Omega Strings – Richard Spencer
http://www.omegastrings.com/

Master Works Bowed Psalteries - Russell Cook
http://masterworksok.com/

Members that teach Bowed Psaltery

Paul G.Sykes - MS  

Located in Hattiesburg
Contact Paul at
 pgsykes1@hotmail.com

or call him at

601-583-4115

 

Gregg Schneeman - California
Contact Gregg here on Psaltery Strings
greggschneeman@psalterystrings.com

 

Peter Tommerup - California
San Francisco Bay Area
Bowed Psaltery and other Instruments
408-867-4324
ptommerup@juno.com

 

Celeste Howard Ray
Bowed Psaltery lessons via Skype
347-796-4484
Skype name celesteray88

 

Maureen Barnes - Illinois
Bowed Psaltery lessons in Bloomington, IL
309-828-7957
dulcimergal98@yahoo.com
http://www.dulcimerdreams.com/

 

Dona Benkert -
Illinois

Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
& Folk-Lore Center, Warrenville, IL
Phone: 630.393.1247
http://www.folk-lorecenter.com/

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.
1-304-575-0998
tishwestman@yahoo.com
www.westmaninstruments.com

Rick Long - Tennessee
Lessons at Rick's home/workshop in Clinton, 30 mins N of Knoxville
(865) 660-4026
http://www.ringingstrings.com/lessons.html

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
karlaarms@upontheharp.com
http://upontheharp.com

Carol Esch - Kentucky
Lessons in Carol's home/workshop south of Lexington.
606-676-0128
esch@qx.net
http://www.windridgefarm.us/bowedpsaltery.htm

Honey Smith Walls - Florida
e-mail Honey for more info honey@offthewalls.us
Melbourne, FL
http://www.offthewalls.us/Psaltery.htm

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. http://www.westmaninstruments.com/Bowed_Psaltery_List.html

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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