All Blog Posts (114)

I OWE A DEBT TO THE ORIGINAL DULCIMER PLAYERS CLUB, OR," WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN EVART, MI, SUE Z Q?"

A year ago I ventured into the Hammered Dulcimer festival at Evart, Michigan.  http://evartdulcimerfest.org/

This was the beginning of me-as-a bowed-psalterist.

I’m staggered by how much I’ve been able to play and learn this year.  I’ve accumulated reams of sheet music, but also picked out tune after tune by ear. I’ve memorized a couple pieces. I’ve participated in both a workshop and a festival with Tish Westman, and had gratis…

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Added by SUE C WHEELER on July 19, 2016 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

My Waynie Bowed Psaltery

I received my new absolutely beautiful Waynie Ultimate Bowed Psaltery yesterday 26 Feb. 2016. The workmanship and attention to detail is nothing short of marvelous !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I chose Purpleheart wood and Wayne combined it with Curly  or Flame Maple. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!! My baby is one class act Psaltery !!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven't checked out wayniepsaltery please do so !!!! You will not regret it !!!!!!!!!!

Linda Rodgers

Oklahoma City, OK 

Added by Linda Rodgers on February 27, 2016 at 10:09pm — No Comments

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

high on bowed psaltery!!

When I bought my psalteries this summer, I imagined I would enjoy playing, and at some point might be competent enough to play at church or maybe a farmers' market. I had no idea how quickly doors would open for me to share the pleasure it has brought me. Almost immediately, I was able to contribute music to a family event.  My relations were superlative in their praise of my few tunes-- Amazing Grace, and I can't remember what else. I got plenty of practice trying to explain the instrument…

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Added by SUE C WHEELER on December 26, 2015 at 8:42pm — No Comments

Continuing my journey with bowed psalteries

I obtained my Baritone Roosebeck Psaltery on Aug 8, 2015, and my Cabin Creek Alto on October 19, 2015. I realize this is adding family members rather rapidly, but I'm guessing there's folks out there that understand this! I love the low tones of the baritone, and the fact that I never "run out" of notes. It seems that 37 strings is quite a luxury. On the other hand, the little cherry Cabin Creek is easier to play and to carry around. While exploring options, the friendly attention from the…

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Added by SUE C WHEELER on November 8, 2015 at 1:57pm — 4 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

My bowed psaltery debut, plus I'm all set up!

Ten days after acquiring my bowed psaltery (baritone), I was able to play some tunes as my cousins scattered ashes--both of their parents had died last year. The service was brief, informal, but beautiful, on the banks of the Sauble River.The guitar player and I each found a seat on moss covered tree limbs. I was told my music was very significant. Amazing Grace, Simple Gifts, Come by the Hills, and a little noodling. In other news, my James Jones platform came yesterday and I'm all set up…

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Added by SUE C WHEELER on August 21, 2015 at 6:54am — 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

Favorite bows.

I've tried quite a few kinds of bows including violin bows. My favorites are the light weight ones that Rick Long makes and I must have 5 or six sets including 2 double connected bows. Synthetic is OK but can be rather worthless in high humidity.  Was playing outside on a rainy day under a trailer awning and couldn't get any sound with those!  Like no rosin at all no sound.  Dark horsehair seems to grab the strings best in situations like that.  Tend to prefer the horsehair now since then.…

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Added by Terry Butler on April 30, 2015 at 9:34pm — 4 Comments

problem with wound strings Greg you're sort of right but if you use flatwound strings it does work on a pasaltery.I have used them on a psaltery.The only trouble is you have to drill out the hole in …

problem with wound strings
Greg you're sort of right but if you use flatwound strings it does work on a pasaltery.I have used them on a psaltery.The only trouble is you have to drill out the hole in the zipper to get the string through the hole if you're wanting a deep bass on a bowed psaltery like Alto flatwound is the way to go you'll feel it through the instrument.it ran shivers down me it was so beautiful of a sound. Continue

Added by Mouth Bow on April 8, 2015 at 3:24pm — No Comments

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

Psalteries welcome at our folk music jam on 4th Tuesdays in So, Cal. U.S.A.

Hello Everyone!  

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!

Bea

Added by Bea Romano on March 3, 2015 at 3:39pm — No Comments

health

Had a needle biopsy yesterday which indicates that I do not have cancer! Am celebrating today!!!!

Added by K.Keller on December 5, 2014 at 11:10am — 3 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

What I'm working on at the moment

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.…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on September 18, 2014 at 12:57pm — 3 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

It's here! Gamble paid off

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…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on July 24, 2014 at 8:40am — 2 Comments

First Post. Waiting for the Post.

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…

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Added by Ruth Lawrence on July 21, 2014 at 9:10pm — 3 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

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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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