I just finished hammering out the details of a 'new' design for the psaltery with Rick Long of Ringing Strings.  It's a small soprano instrument that has a couple of neat features.

 

Based on Rick's popular chromatic and diatonic instruments that he designed to play easily with mountain dulcimers, this new model features 17 strings all along one side only that are tuned in a modified diatonic scale:

 

B C C# D E F# G a b c c# d e f# g a' b'

 

Note the C natural hidden in the middle of the scale.  The instrument is tuned in fundamental D major with three additional notes below the tonic D and extends a further octave and a half to high b'.  The C natural "odd ball' string allows the instrument to play the same scales as the Irish tin whistles or Irish flutes that play in D.  It can play in D major, G major, E minor and a modal scale of A.  It is also similar to the 'half frets' of the mountain dulcimer so that it can play along with dulcimers without having to reach over to the other side.  This arrangement of strings should allow for a very fast psaltery that is ideal for the Irish repertoire.

 

For anyone unfamiliar with Rick and Ringing Strings, know that he is a very innovative thinker who really understands the psaltery.  And he's a great guy to work with to boot!

Views: 470

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Tim, Leah has a Rick Long D and the style is very similar to yours. Her's is 16 notes starting at the low end with A. I bought one of Rick's new D tenors, they look similar also but I'm sure they are bigger than yours and Leah's. The D tenor has wound strings, 18 notes and begins at the low end with an A. It's nice not having to cross over to the "dark side" when playing in the Key of D and it is indeed faster!

Hope all is well with you Tim!

 

Thanks for replying on my behalf, Donna!  That is indeed what I have...how do you like the D tenor?

I hesitated, but then went ahead and responded  : P

I like the D, it's nice not having to go over to "the dark side", you can play faster, but probably not as fast as yours or Tim's because the tenor is bigger with wound strings.

I can also tune it to G, and those are my two favorite keys to play in.

 

For a first step into psalteryland, I do like the D.  The D tenor has my curiosity..do you use a horsehair bow? 
Tim, Have you posted any video or sound file of you playing this BP? Sounds like it would be wonderful to hear.

Hi Ann,

 

No, sadly I have no ability to record or post videos.  I suppose I could have someone record it on their cell phone or something, but there are a lot of really awfull recordings out there done that way, and I think it takes away from the instrument.  But maybe some day I'll find a way to post a high-quality recording.

Tim, now that you've had this BP for a while, are you able to do with it what you were hoping for? How are you using it?

It's very fast with practically no sustain, so that allows quick playing for Irish trad music.  It's not as well suited for the elaborate ornamentation as I'd hoped for, but the basic tunes can be played up to speed easily.  I'm working on an idea for a larger instrument that would duplicate this modified scale on both sides of the psaltery.  That would allow for two bows moving very fast indeed.

RSS

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.

© 2022   Created by Donna Malus.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

To add a scrolling message to your NingBar, change this text, and add the code to your Custom Code Box. If you want, you can add simple links like this: Visit JenSocial This is a great way to make announcements to your site visitors.
-->