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.
In our February/March issue we would like to present some music in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. This issue’s music is certainly played in the Irish tradition, but also throughout the British Isles and around the world. We hope you enjoy these lively tunes! They are all of moderate challenge to play. You’ll have some time to practice them for St. Pat’s Day parties or playing for other people.
For Mountain Dulcimer (with notation and chord letters for hammered dulcimer):
. “Off She Goes,” from MB95530BCD, Mel Bay’s Complete Book of Celtic Music for Appalachian Dulcimer, by Mark Nelson.
. “Spanish Lady,” a traditional Irish song arranged by Aubrey Atwater. Included is a video of Aubrey in concert singing and playing the song on her mountain dulcimer.
For Hammered Dulcimer:
. “Down by the Sally Gardens,” from MB20207, Maggie’s Big Book of Celtic Tunes,
arranged by Maggie Sansone.
. “Star of the County Down,” from MB21306, Hammered Dulcimer Arrangements for Special Occasions,”arranged by Peggy Carter.
The 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 “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 130 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 April/May 2011 issue.