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.
Our April/May issue contains:
For Mountain Dulcimer (with notation and chord letters for hammered dulcimer):
- An Interview with Jerry Rockwell, Mountain Dulcimer Player & Builder. This article contains three videos of music and playing techniques by Jerry. In the first you’ll hear him play the Irish piece, “The Fair and Charming Eileen O’Carroll,” and he has included the mountain dulcimer tablature of his arrangement (for Advanced Beginner players & up), with notation and chord letters.
- “Grandma’s Dulcimer” started as a poem by popular mountain dulcimer player Linda Brockinton. She later wrote a melody to go with it, and both are included in this article. The arrangement is fingerpicked and has as its root several simple chord forms.
For Hammered Dulcimer:
- “Angel Band,” is a beautiful traditional gospel song arranged for hammered dulcimer by Jeanne Page. It comes from her Mel Bay book Bluegrass on Dulcimer, MB20807. As with the other arrangements in this book, Jeanne first presents the basic melody and then a fuller, more arranged version.
- “The Cuckoo’s Nest” is a favorite Irish/Scottish/American piece (sometimes a reel, sometimes a hornpipe). Here it is arranged by Ken Kolodner from his Mel Bay book, Walking Stones MB97348. We have added a video that shows Ken playing the piece in a performance setting!
Mel Bay Publications is the largest publisher of books for hammered and mountain dulcimers. You’ll find outstanding resources for playing techniques and many colorful music styles by visiting www.melbay.com. Click on “Browse by Instrument” in the left margin. Then on “Dulcimer,” which leads you to the books available for both “Hammered Dulcimer” and “Mountain Dulcimer.”
Be sure to check our DulcimerSessions.com “Back Issues” that start with 2003 articles on the rudiments of playing both instruments. Many provide samplings of Mel Bay dulcimer books. You’ll find about 134 free musical articles in all – courtesy of Mel Bay Publications.
I invite dulcimer players to submit articles to me for possible inclusion in future issues of Dulcimer Sessions. We offer a small honorarium for those articles use. Requests for articles on new subjects are also welcomed.
Enjoy! See you in our June/July 2011 issue of DulcimerSessions.com.