I'm in a discussion with a customer that is ordering two custom psalteries.  One of his requests is for me to change the notes that I mark with dots. I have always marked the C's on the chromatic psalteries with a single dot.  I recently started marking the G's with double dots.  His request is to mark the C's and F's because he is used to playing the psaltery he learned on with those notes marked.


He has been playing along with dulcimer players and when he is playing in D he says the C and F naturals being marked tell him which notes to avoid when he's playing along the right side.  To me, that thinking is fine if you are only playing in C or D, but may cause confusion when moving to other keys.  I've seen builder's mark different notes on their psalteries, but it seems the majority mark only C's, or C's and G's.  A few don't mark any notes.  I noticed that Song of the Wood marks C's and G's and then also marks C#'s and F#'s.  I think you have plenty of hints on the left side because of the pin spacing, two together the first is C# and three together the first is F#, of course the exception there can be the lowest and highest notes on the sharp/flat side where the psaltery may start where you don't have the entire two and three pattern.


I think any series of markings are fine, as long as the player understands it.  This could cause some confusion for someone buying a used psaltery with a marking system that is different from what they are used too. 


Any thoughts?

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My first psaltery was marked at C and F, when I got the baritone marked C and G I had a heck of a time adjusting. I will confess that I put little topaz color stick on stones (very tiny so not to ruin that beautiful piece of work) at the Fs. Maybe it was just a comfort thing, I don't know, but all is well now.
I believe the Westman's are marked at C and G. I have another psaltery with no markings at all and one with markings only at C.
Because I got used to the C and F first, that will probably always be most comfortable, time will tell. Of course if I continue to put little cheat markers at F, I'll never get used to a different set of markings!
I am still a complete newbie, and have zero experience playing with others. (I DO play well with others! LOL-----just no experience playing MUSIC with others!)

Both of my Omegas, and my Phantasy are marked with C and F. Although I don't play my Phantasy (due to the string issue) I am used to the C and F from my Omegas. If I ever get a psaltery marked differently, I'd probably change it (like Donna) just because I'm used to the C and F marks.

But, like I said, I'm still a beginner. What do I know.......? :blush:
How do you work the "Edit" thingy.......?? :/
if you click on edit I believe it will take you back into the post, but the post will be in HTML if I remember correctly. I think I can edit more than most because I'm the administrator. I should know these things. I guess I should sign on as a new user and test the page from the other perspective.
Clicking on "Edit" didn't do anything. For us regular members, it works just like Grego explained :)
After you add your reply, and it shows up as a comment, you can click on your own comment to get it back in an editing window, or click on the red x to delete it.
Thanks Grego! I just tried it and was able to easily edit.
I second that thanks Grego, I really should sign up as a user to see how things work from the other end....
No worries Donna! You're doing a great job as the Admin, and we're all greatful you started this forum!

Five thumbs up! I mean stars......Five Stars!

Two thumbs up!

I cheated and wrote the notes really tiny (and pretty) all down the right side with a sharpie. When we perform, sometimes the lighting is not so great on stage. A wrong note on the psaltery is worse than a wrong note on the guitar or harp!
Actually, although the Omegas have the 'C' and 'F' marked (embedded wood), they also come with a removable strip with all the notes marks.

I'm not gonna remove it! :D
My psaltery has a knot in the wood between the F and G notes which I use as a reminder. The accidental notes on the left side are all evenly spaced and do not have the gaps found on some other types, so I just rely on trying to remember them!


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