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 notation and/or sound files and chord letters. Be sure to check our “Back Issues” that start with 2003 articles on the rudiments of playing both instruments. You’ll find 125 free musical articles in all – courtesy of Mel Bay Publications.
The Mel Bay Publications is the largest publisher of books for hammered and mountain dulcimers. You’ll find outstanding resources for playing techniques colorful music styles by visiting www.melbayxpress.com. Click on “Dulcimer” in the left margin. Click on “Hammered Dulcimer” or “Mountain Dulcimer” or just cruise down the page for a delightful browse of books for both.
This issue of DulcimerSessions.com has a simple and a more challenging article/music for each instrument:
- An easy mountain dulcimer jamming tune – “Aura Lee” – from FIRST JAMS for the Mountain Dulcimer by Drew Andrews. It contains the written tablature and two recorded versions in progressing versions.
- An easy hammered dulcimer tune – “Amazing Grace” – from Getting Into Hammered Dulcimer by Linda G. Thomas. Starts with a very simple version and develops two more progressive versions – both in written music and sound file versions.
- A more challenging mountain dulcimer technique/tune – “Those Sparkling Harmonics” – “Mary’s Dream” by Nina Zanetti. Includes tablature, notation, sound files and video clip link.
- A more challenging hammered dulcimer tune – “Be Thou My Vision” – from Shall We Gather by Madeline MacNeil. This arrangement contains basic melody and variations.
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 December/January issue.