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Big hammered dulcimer

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harper 05 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM
Jeri 05 Aug 03 - 08:44 PM
harper 05 Aug 03 - 10:00 PM
Bert 06 Aug 03 - 12:02 AM
John P 06 Aug 03 - 10:13 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Aug 03 - 11:53 AM
Jeri 06 Aug 03 - 11:56 AM
harper 06 Aug 03 - 08:10 PM
rangeroger 06 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM
Mark Cohen 07 Aug 03 - 12:39 AM
Naemanson 12 Nov 03 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,mbwhite 17 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM
moongoddess 17 Jan 07 - 10:07 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Jan 07 - 11:10 AM
Herga Kitty 18 Jan 07 - 04:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 07 - 01:17 AM
paddymac 19 Jan 07 - 07:05 AM
Vixen 29 Jan 07 - 09:56 AM
bubblyrat 29 Jan 07 - 02:39 PM
Georgiansilver 29 Jan 07 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: Big hammered dulcimer
From: harper
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM

I just returned from a festival in Michigan, where I saw lots of hammered dulcimers. There was one, made by David Lindsey, which is larger than the others (and much heavier too!). It had such volume! I'm wondering if there are any other hammered dulcimer makers who make the larger instruments. I'm thinking of purchasing one and just keeping it at my church, where I do much of my playing. (I currently play a MasterWorks, which is a fine instrument; but just not the 'sound' that the biggy dulcimer produces.   Thanks for your help. Catspaw, are you still making hammered dulcimers?


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 08:44 PM

David's Dulcimers here (Big graphics)
I've got one of David's 'Baby Grand' dulcimers. It's his second biggest model - the monster is the 'Grand' - but this thing is pretty huge and is a royal pain to carry around. It sounds absolutely gorgeous though. Don't play it & may sell it.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: harper
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:00 PM

Jeri, let me know if you decide to sell. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Bert
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:02 AM

Ya take an 8 by 4 sheet of 3/4 ply and...


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: John P
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 10:13 AM

Harper,
I work at Dusty Strings in Seattle. We make a big dulcimer, called the D600. It's four octaves and chromatic over 3.5 of them. Here's
a direct link to the info about it.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 11:53 AM

John P beat me to the Dusty Strings link. I'd found the D600, but got interrupted before I could get organized to post.

The question that nags at me is "what do you really mean by big?" It's obvious that the "big" instrument seen at the Michigan festival was impressive, but it's not clear what "features" of its "bigness" would be important to you (harper). You described "such volume," and the quick take would be that you meant "loudness;" but perhaps you meant "tonal richness(?)." - All somewhat vague.

The large dulcimer at David's Dulcimers uses 3-course strings, apparently in a "conventional" tuning layout. It might be reasonable to assume that the 3-string coursing might give a "richer" tone - if you can manage the tuning. Adding another course doesn't, alone, make an instrument much "louder;" but might permit some difference in note sustain. (Since you could feed the energy of 3 strings to the soundboard instead of just 2, you could get the same volume for a little longer, if that's the way you've built it.)

The D600 at Dusty strings stays with 2-course strings, but uses a chromatic tuning layout. The larger layout appears to be mainly to get the extra chromatic strings and a few(?) more low notes.

Others I've seen (or think I remember seeing) used a larger layout essentially to get more strings - and more octaves - on the board, with conventional tuning.

The odd ones I've seen have been mostly at sales booths set up at festivals, so I've only heard them in rather poor acoustic surroundings; but I don't recall observing that "bigger," by itself, necessarily came with better, or even louder, sound. A larger soundboard, needed to get the long strings on, should possibly "project" a little better; but it's not a given that the difference would be "notable." (not really a pun)

The simple answer to the original question is that it shouldn't be difficult to find larger hammered dulcimers. A little more color to the description of what was impressive would, perhaps, help elicit comment on which larger dulcimers would satisfy the particular NIAS lust at hand.

John


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 11:56 AM

Harper, what corner of the world are you in? I'm in New Hampshire. The dulcimer weighs a ton and I'm a bit afraid to think what shipping would cost. It also wasn't cheap to begin with. (Something like $1,300 including a sit-down stand plus gizmos.) Of course, if you've been looking at David's dulcimers at the festival, you know that. Hopefully, you've also had a chance to play a baby grand, so you know if the sound's big enough. Anyway, if you're interested and I do make the Final Decision to sell, I'll certainly let you know.

And every time a hammered dulcimer thread happens, I want to go excavate some corner of my house so I can set it up and play it.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: harper
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 08:10 PM

Yes, Jeri, I was wondering where you live. I'm in Indiana - not exactly conducive to driving to pick up your big dulcimer.

Regarding the sound of David's Grand dulcimer, what I noticed and refer to as volume was more of a piano sound. Louder and richer. I believe Cathy Barton plays one of David's dulcimers. No, I know my playing isn't going to sound like Cathy's if I play one, but it might come a little closer than I'm doing now!

I know they are super-heavy. Actually there was a used one for sale at the festival, and I played on it a while, and contemplated buying.   Then I tried to lift it! And I quit contemplating.    But now, thinking about the prospects of buying one and just keeping it at my church, so I wouldn't have to be hauling it around....... I'm tempted again to buy one..........

How heavy are the big Dusty Strings?


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: rangeroger
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM

harper, go to the link John P gave above. The D600 weighs 25 pounds.

rr


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 12:39 AM

If you're looking for something hefty, you might try a tsimbl, once the standard klezmer instrument (along with the violin). The one pictured is a little wider and a little shorter than Jeri's Baby Grand. More pictures of tsimbls and a probably interesting (though largely incomprehensible to me) discussion of tunings for Eastern European hammered-dulcimer-style instruments. And here's a link to a recording of traditional fiddle-and-tsimbl klezmer music--I can't vouch for this album, as I haven't heard it, but I suspect I may be buying it soon!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Naemanson
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 06:57 AM

I just watched Lon Chaney in The Wolf Man. There is a scene at the gypsie encampment where a band is playing for the dancing woman. And there in the middle of the band is a hammered dulcimer. And what a hammered dulcimer! I have seen pictures of such instruments but nothing like this. The body is rectangular and deep. From the glimpse I had it seemed to be at least 6" deep. The player was seated and played fast. When the music ended he laid his hands on the strings to quiet the instrument. It must have been loud to compete with the other instruments, a fiddle and possibly a clarinet.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,mbwhite
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM

I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Grassroots Dulcimers. Has anyone ever had one and how would they be compared to a dulcimer by David Lindsay?


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: moongoddess
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 10:07 PM

I own a big hammered dulcimer made by John Judge from Wickford, Rhode Island. It has the prettiest sound and is beautiful to look at, besides. I've got it for sale, with hammers and stand and John's input and expertise.

Diana


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 11:10 AM

and then there's the Cymbalum.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:45 PM

Dick - yes, I remember when a Hungarian team was booked for Sidmouth festival, and the Cymbalum needed roadies to carry it around to the different venues!

I learnt to play hammered dulcimer from Peter Pickow's book (my then husband bought me a hammered dulcimer because I have small hands that can't reach all the keys on stringed, keyed, buttoned and wind instruments). I'd heard Chris Coe play dulcimer and thought it sounded wonderful.

I belatedly discovered that Chris Coe plays a dulcimer with East Anglian tuning, and that American tuning is different......

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 01:17 AM

There's s musical gypsy scene in one of the James Bond films too. perhaps we need a 'hammered dulcimers in movies' thread... :-)

"It might be reasonable to assume that the 3-string coursing might give a "richer" tone - if you can manage the tuning. Adding another course doesn't, alone, make an instrument much "louder;" but might permit some difference in note sustain."

With my triple course beastie, there's a couple of tuning tricks I discovered.

1) the individual bridges are very touchy within to a very small amount if not placed correctly. A slight tap with the tuning adjuster can move them minute fractions of an inch. Also if the fret is not at right angles to the strings - the strings of the triple course don't seem to want to tune just right either. If placed exactly right, those 'split' strings stay in tune longer and easier - almost 'permanently' - in string terms! :) and the tone and sustain is much better.

2) tuning the triple courses just right - once you can get two right on, the third wants to 'pull in' anyway - but when you get all 3 spot on - the sustain is noticeably longer, and the tone louder and sweeter. they also seem to want to stay 'on' tune longer too.

3) no ply in my beastie as far as I can tell - all solid sheets of wood mate - much better!


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: paddymac
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 07:05 AM

Cymbalum/Cymbalon - I met a fellow playing one on the street in Vienna a couple of years ago. He opened with "Phantom of the Opera" and drew an instant crowd. The foolish shopkeeper came out and ran him off. I helped him relocate and he allowed me the rare privilege to play it briefly. What joy. As I recall, it had "all 88," and larger hammers, and he had a special 4-wheeled cart to carry it, but it could be handled by one person.


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Vixen
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 09:56 AM

Reynaud has one of David Lindsey's "Grands", and it has marvelous tone and volume. When he bought it at Old Songs, there were three to choose from, and David had them moved, in sequence, to the same spot, so we could compare the sound of each one in the same acoustical place. He had one of his staff play the same tune on each one, so we could compare how they sounded. It was fascinating to hear the differences in volume and sustain and tone between the three "identical" instruments, though each was constructed of different woods. They all sounded lovely, and the one we finally chose had a "darker" pianolike tone--by comparison, the other two were "brighter" and sounded more like harpsichords.

It's an instrument that always draws a lot of attention when we have it out on gigs!

V


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 02:39 PM

I love the sound of a hammered dulcimer !! It"s quite rare to hear one---I think I have only ever seen five players "in the flesh".There"s a really nice man from Devon who goes to Miskin,but I don"t know his name !!Then there is Chris Coe, of course---I have seen her at play at Sidmouth.Also at Sidmouth, I saw my personal favourite, Walt Michael. Then there"s Clive Jennings,down in the Poole area ( He"s very good ) and last,but not least, Jim Couza, who I saw at a "country fair " at Kingston Lacey house,near Wimborne.
What instrument was it that they seemed to use for so many "Spy movies" in the 60s & 70s ?? There is also some nice playing on a CD I heard of "Deep Forest "-----Any thoughts on that ???


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Subject: RE: Big hammered dulcimer
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 03:16 PM

www.smokeymountaindulcimer.com       may be worth asking Blaine to make one to your spec..no plywood used...all good woods. Contact him through the site and find his prices are pretty reasonable.


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