Scottish Christmas Tunes for Hammered Dulcimer

  • Ted
  • November 30, 2016
  • 0

This tune book/CD combination published by Mel Bay has many lovely tunes. The CD presents the hammered dulcimer in an ensemble setting with fiddle, pipes and guitar. Mel Bay author Maggie Sansone plays hammered dulcimer the “A Scottish Christmas” recording. The CBS “Sunday Morning” show said of the CD, “One of the best selling CDs of the season, the music is ancient and infectious.”

Listen to Maggie Sansone play from the CD “Yoeman’s Carol” and “Sound of the Sleat.”

Here are the written arrangements to these two pieces from the Mel Bay book/CD, arranged by Bonnie Rideout and played by Maggie Sansone:

Yeoman’s Carol

Arranged by Bonnie Rideout and played on hammered dulcimer

by Maggie Sansone

From A Scottish Christmas for Fiddle, MB 96784BCD

A popular carol around the world. A yeoman was a person who owned and worked his own small parcel of land and was considered in a social class below the gentry. The word carol originally meant a circling dance, perhaps to symbolize the circular movements around the nativity crib that this dance emulated.

Sound of the Sleat

Arranged by Bonnie Rideout and played on hammered dulcimer

by Maggie Sansone

From A Scottish Christmas for Fiddle, MB 96784BCD

 

A popular pipe tune usually played as a quick march and often played as a reel by fiddlers. Bonnie prefers a slower “swingy” tempo that Maggie plays on her small pipes. (Maggie also plays it on hammered dulcimer in the cut.) Maggie picked it up from Christopher Layer during a week stint at Hamish Moore’s School for Cauld Wind Pipes. It was Maggie’s favorite tune at the time of the Christmas recording, so it was decided to medley it with the “Yeoman’s Carol” (above) because of the march-like feel they had together. The “Sound of the Sleat” (pronounced ‘Slate’) is a body of water off the Southern tip of the Isle of Skye. Near to where Bonnie lived during her residency at Armadale Castle, the Sound of the Sleat is one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland. Bonnie used to go down to the water’s edge at sunset and observe seals, otters, eagles, and all sorts of curious sea birds.

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