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…Continue
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!
Added by Bea Romano on March 3, 2015 at 3:39pm — No Comments
Had a needle biopsy yesterday which indicates that I do not have cancer! Am celebrating today!!!!
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…Continue
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.…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on July 21, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
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
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…Continue
Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on April 2, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments
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.
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
Added by Sue K on February 7, 2014 at 9:46am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on January 29, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments
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
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue