This video is a result of a session where we discussed playing harmonies at the 2016 East Tennessee Bowed Psaltery Gathering. This video might be more for in...

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Comment by Dave Holeton on December 31, 2016 at 8:53pm

I think the psaltery is difficult to record and capture all of the sound in my little room.  Subsequent tracks can drown out previous tracks very easily.  It seemed like it all sounded great in the big room at the Gathering with multiple instruments, so let's hope we can capture that sound.

Happy New Year!


Comment by Nozomi Nose on December 31, 2016 at 6:38pm

Thank you very much for showing how you recorded the music. So, we were also on the same wave-length in the sense that we had been sharing the same problem.
I’d love to hear the recording from 2017 Gathering if you have time for it!

Comment by Brenda Mangan on December 30, 2016 at 11:29pm

Very nice, Dave. The harmonies are nice and the higher-than-the-melody harmony part added a nice and unexpected sound. Thank you so much for sharing the video and the sheet music in it.

Comment by Dave Holeton on December 30, 2016 at 9:26pm

Thanks Nozomi-san

All 3 verses were recorded on a 4 track cassette recorder with guitar on one track and a psaltery on each of the other 3 tracks.  It was difficult to find a way to hear the melody on the verses with harmony.  In the second part I played the melody on one track and the harmony on an additional track with the final mix down putting melody partly on the left, harmony partly on the right, and guitar in the middle.  The third time through the song I played the melody on one track, harmony 1 on one track, and harmony 2 on a third track with the final mix putting melody and guitar in the middle and harmony 1 entirely on the left and harmony 2 entirely on the right.  It took a while to find a final mix that I liked and still represented all of the parts.  The final mix was to leave the melody with higher volume than any harmony track. 

At the Gathering we had 20 or more psaltery players divided into groups for playing each of the parts in a high ceiling (wooden ceiling) room.  The acoustics of the big room were a lot different than the small room I use for recording but we all liked the sound and it motivated me to eventually make a recording.  We were able to hear all parts in that session.  Maybe we'll try it again at the 2017 Gathering and maybe find a way to make a good recording that represents all of the parts.


Comment by Nozomi Nose on December 30, 2016 at 8:25pm

Very nice, Dave san!  The melody played on the baritone bowed psaltery and the both versions of the harmony part sound really beautiful. 

In the second part of your video, did you play the melody and harmony at the same time?  Or was the harmony part overdubbed? 

At first when I took a look at your sheet music I thought we might not hear the melody very well because the harmony part was played with higher notes than the melody.  Watching your video I was surprised to find out that this did not happen at all! 


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