The Wild Dulcimer
The most unique introduction to the unbound capabilities of the dulcimer was a book entitled In Search of the Wild Dulcimer by Robert Force and Albert d’Ossché (1971). This wonderful exploration of the dulcimer is still one of the best introductions to unlocking this simple instrument. I have passed my original copy of In Search of the Wild Dulcimer, now dog-eared and worn, to my son.
Beginning in the early 1970s, and playing together until Albert d’Ossché’s death in the late 1990s, Robert Force and Albert d’Ossché opened a whole new world of music for the dulcimer player. Force and d’Ossché played their instruments held against their body rather that flat on a lap or table. This allowed them to strum and fret similar to a guitar or mandolin. This method of playing was adopted by a few other dulcimer experimenters, including the late, great David Schnauffer.
I have chosen a small sampling of the magical dulcimer artistry of Force and d’Ossché to share with the riders on the Bus that may not be familiar with their work or with the versatility of the humble dulcimer.
Bonus video: Robert Force - On The Hard Drive Now.wmv (video)
Robert Force is still playing and teaching dulcimer. Visit robertforce.com for more info. about this pioneer and the instrument he has helped redefine.