Welcome to the June/July 2010 Issue of Dulcimer Sessions®!

Hammered and mountain dulcimers are different instruments with different playing techniques, but they have a lot of music in common, and many people play both. To make mountain dulcimer music accessible to hammered dulcimer players we usually include with mountain dulcimer tablature the accompaniment chord letters and either notation or...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Flop Eared Mule” an Easy and Popular Old-Time Tune for Hammered Dulcimer

arranged by Sally Hawley This popular jamming and contra dance piece is also called the “Blue Bell Polka.” It is actually what’s called a “cotillion.” Usually with cotillions, the parts are played in A-B-A sequence. “Flop Eared Mule” is also fun because it changes key. The A part is in...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Kevin Keegan’s Waltz” an Irish Waltz for Hammered Dulcimer

This is one of hammered dulcimer artist Ken Kolodner’s “signature” pieces. Ken says of this it, “Kevin Keegan’s Waltz is one of the many great tunes which I have learned from button accordion virtuoso Billy McComiskey. Billy is widely regarded in traditional music circles for his playing in the Irish...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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Hammered Dulcimer: “Be Thou My Vision”

This collection of music conveys author Madeline MacNeil’s love of hymns. Many of these arrangements provide a harmony part that may be performed on another instrument such as the flute, guitar, bowed psaltery, or mountain dulcimer. The majority of these tunes can be played on a 12/11-course hammered dulcimer (with...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

Christmas Carol for Hammered Dulcimer

The melody of “Ding Dong, Merrily on High” was first a secular dance tune titled “le branle de l’Official” and appeared in a sixteenth century dance book written by Jehan Tabourot. The lyrics, in somewhat antiquated language, were written much later by an English composer named George Ratcliff Woodward and was...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Spanish Lady” for Mountain Dulcimer

This traditional Irish song captured my attention on folk radio. What struck me was the beautiful melody and rhythm in conjunction with the quirky counting chorus, and the story: a young man is smitten by a woman of questionable reputation washing her feet by candlelight on a late-night street in...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

“Down by the Salley Gardens” for Hammered Dulcimer

The words to this song (in Irish ‘Gort na Saileán) are from a poem composed by Irish poet William Butler Yeats and published in 1889: Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet; She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet. She bid me take love...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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A Sweet Fingerpicked Melody for Mountain Dulcimer – “Dream Stream”

Jan’s tips on playing “Dream Stream”:    This is a tune that I wrote with a mystical, dreamy and arrhythmic feeling in mind. The solo recording was made with my dulcimer in a C-G-C, Mixolydian tuning. The tab is written in the standard DAD tuning and is indicated to be...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

“Scotland the Brave” Using Different Mountain Dulcimer Drones

The bagpipe tune, “Scotland the Brave,” probably became known around the turn of the 20th Century.  It is considered the unofficial national anthem of Scotland. Many people in the U.S. first heard this traditional melody in the 1950s, when the Ames Brothers recorded contemporary lyrics to it bearing the name...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Silent Night” arranged for Mountain Dulcimer

“Silent Night” was sung first as “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht” in Oberndorf, Austria in 1817. Written a year earlier as a Poem by Fr. Joseph Mohr, he took it to Franz Gruber on December 24, 1818 to inquire about a melody being put to it for the Christmas Eve service....
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Auld Lang Syne” for Mountain Dulcimer

by Madeline MacNeil This book and companion CD offer a very simple and reliable introduction for new mountain dulcimer players. The following sample from the book is a simple one-string arrangement, along with a recording. Author Madeline MacNeil is using the DAA (‘Ionian’) tuning, which places the tune comfortably on...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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“Off She Goes” for Mountain Dulcimer

Traditional Irish Jig arranged by Mark Nelson This energetic jig is often played in music sessions and dances in Irish, English and Scottish traditions. It is a popular tune for New England contradances as well. Here are some words that go with the A part: Off she goes to Donnybrook...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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Mountain Dulcimer: “Aura Lee” an Easy Jamming Tune!

This traditional Irish song captured my attention on folk radio. What struck me was the beautiful melody and rhythm in conjunction with the quirky counting chorus, and the story: a young man is smitten by a woman of questionable reputation washing her feet by candlelight on a late-night street in...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

“Grandma’s Dulcimer” for Mountain Dulcimer

by Linda Brockinton Several years back I went into a flea market and found a dulcimer abandoned on the floor. How sad it was to see this instrument that once held so much music just tossed away after someone died. It always makes me sad to see music and instruments...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

Mountain Dulcimer Blues 101

By Bing Futch Music is a language much like English, German, French or Kacipo-Balesi. If you think of 12 chromatic notes like our 26 letters of the alphabet in the western English language – those same 26 letters (sometimes with diacritical markings) can order coffee in Spanish, beer in German...
  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
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