Monday, March 12, 2007

A Dulcimer Prelude to Spring

Mention dulcimer music in a crowd and you are likely to get three distinct responses. About a third of the folks will admit that they enjoy dulcimer music on occasion and an equal number will (usually, loudly) let you know of their disdain for the instrument. The final third will respond with glazed eyes and a simple “Huh?”

There are some that toss off the dulcimer as a simplistic instrument. I would argue that the same can be said of the harmonica, ukulele, Autoharp, drum, guitar and a host of others. Pleasant sounds can be wrought from any of these instruments with a minimum of instruction, making them accessible to any would-be musician.

The dulcimer was the first instrument that I felt satisfied with playing. After failed attempts at the accordion and electric guitar as a young boy, the ease of making music on the dulcimer gave me the confidence to continue learning.

The dulcimer may not be for all tastes, but it sure suits mine just fine. Like any instrument, the magic held within can be released by skilled and caring hands

Bonnie Carol - The Cuckoo.mp3

Bonnie Carol - Cherokee Shuffle.mp3

Bonnie Carol has been drawing amazing music from the dulcimer since the 1970s. I first stumbled upon Bonnie's music in the early 1980s when I was an independant distributor for Kicking Mule Records. Ed Denson, co-founder of Kicking Mule, had sent me a bunch of KM's new releases and I was instantly taken with Fingerdances for Dulcimer, an album by Bonnie Carol (still available here.) Bonnie is accompanied on this album by an impressive group of friends including; Max Krimmel, Bonnie Phipps, and the late David Schnaufer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed I guess I am like you, I don’t think I can get enough dulcimer music
Good choices


March 13, 2007 6:22 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I knew that you would enjoy these selections, Joey.

March 13, 2007 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Rob Hutten said...

Nice playing, but - especially on Cherokee Shuffle - there's a lot of pitch wobble. Any chance the belt's loose in your turntable?

March 13, 2007 8:38 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Hi Rob. The LP is a poor pressing with both groove and center hole way off-center. I removed the center post and tried to center the record using the tonearm drift as a guide. I got close, but not close enough. I appologise for the poor quality.

March 13, 2007 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Wobble or not, I like Cherokee Shuffle. I'm rather fond of the music that's made by the dulcimer. Good post, Ed.

March 13, 2007 12:36 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Good to hear from you again, Lucy dear. I'm glad to hear you also enjoy dulcimer music.

March 13, 2007 4:04 PM  

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