Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey's Blog (16)

Bowed Psaltery Origins Continued: The Bladder Fiddle

  Please see this YouTube video of traditional Baltic instruments being played...https://youtu.be/hMrumB7xMWE   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…

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

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on August 21, 2015 at 7:30pm — 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…

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

The Passing of Jean Ritchie

 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/arts/music/jean-ritchie-who-revived-appalachian-folk-songs-dies-at-92.html?_r=0  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…

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

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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bowed Psaltery Origens Continued

  Lithuanians call their version of the Kantele a Kankle and claim an ancient history of playing them with one bowed lyre type. Gusle are the bowed group Jeremy mentions with Byzantine connections. However another group of plucked psalteries called Gusli are wide spread. Please Wikipedia and You Tube all these instruments.

Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on September 7, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Problems with bow skipping

 If you look down your horse hair like an arrow the strands should be perfectly straight with no twisting,one hair might be doing this-clip it.Find the bad spot on the horse hair and over rosin just there.Some bows you can loosen up and carefully turn the horse hair around.A brand new string has an anti rust coating that can be causing this problem.Try rubbing the string  with 000 steel wool lightly and or a piece of expendable rosin.Check the notch on the zither pin where the string goes…

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Added by Gregg E. Schneeman & Jean Gaffey on August 23, 2013 at 10:53am — No 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.

    

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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