By Lois Hornbostel
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 instruments. Most of our mountain dulcimer music is presented in both tablature and standard musical notation, making the music accessible to hammered dulcimer players and those who play other instruments.
Our August/September issue begins with an article on a very easy-playing style of music – “Rounds for Mountain Dulcimer,” written by Mark Gilston. The tablature and music for the round Rose Rose Rose Rose are contained in the article, along with an mp3 sound file of Mark playing the piece.
The next mountain dulcimer article presents an arrangement by Lois Hornbostel of the “unofficial Scottish anthem” Scotland the Brave. It uses the mountain dulcimer’s drones for dramatic effect and contrast between the A and B parts of the piece.
For hammered dulcimer players Scotland the Brave is notated by Sally Hawley with playing tips from her Mel Bay book The Hammered Dulcimer Treasury of Tunes.
Then, also in the Scottish vein, is the beautiful dance tune Petronella, arranged by Maggie Sansone from her Mel Bay book Maggie’s Big Book of Celtic Tunes.
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. Many of these titles are now available as eBooks. For a complete listing of dulcimer eBooks: Click Here.
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 142 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. Requests for articles on new subjects are also welcomed.
Enjoy! See you in our October/November ’11 issue of DulcimerSessions.com.