Timothy's Blog

Timothy's blog on dulcimers, music, nature and life!
JAN
29

Sample the musical instruments of the Renaissance Period!

Sample the musical instruments of the Renaissance Period!

During the Renaissance and Elizabethan Periods in Europe, certain musical instruments were popular and widely used. Here is a sampling of a variety of them! These are grouped by their instrument family types.

I’ve found a Youtube video of each, so here you can click on the instrument’s name and watch and listen to it being played:

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189 Hits
JAN
17

Born Fighting: Our Scots-Irish heritage

Born Fighting: Our Scots-Irish heritage

I love the diversity of people groups we have here in America: Each heritage has various special approaches to life that it can contribute to the society in general.

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83 Hits
DEC
05

Practice scales with four Christmas carols!

Practice scales with four Christmas carols!

As I play Christmas carols, I find that some of the most beloved ones are constructed out of large segments of the diatonic scale, and perhaps that contributes to people’s love for them!

At any rate, if you play a musical instrument and want to practice your scales while making festive holiday melody, here are the ones I’ve noticed are like that:

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949 Hits
NOV
03

Three chords for every scale step!

Three chords for every scale step!

When you need to choose a chord to play with a certain melody note, it doesn’t have to be guesswork! There is a very clear and simple structure to music that we can refer to when choosing chords.

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1221 Hits
OCT
15

Hammered dulcimer steepness and the gravity effect!

Hammered dulcimer steepness and the gravity effect!

Hammered dulcimer players often discuss the best steepness of angle the instrument needs to be for playing. There are some interesting factors that figure into this equation!

  1. How big is your dulcimer? If it’s big, like 3 ½ to 5 octaves in range, you might want to lean it pretty steeply so you can easily reach the high notes.
  2. Do you play standing up or sitting down? If you stand, it’s easier to have a flatter angle, since you can move on your feet to get the reach; if you sit, you have to move around from the small of your back and use your arms more than the rest of your body, and can reach more easily with a steep angle.
  3. Do you hover over your hammers, or do you stand up straight and reach from your elbows and shoulders mostly? Hoverers like me tend to need a bit steeper of an angle to easily lean over the notes --- but height helps too: I prefer for the whole dulcimer to be pretty high off the ground so my face can get close to my playing (and since I have relatively short arms), and so I don’t have to crouch to get the bridges’ lowest notes or hurt my elbows because of the funny playing position. Other players may see it just the opposite, though. What’s your approach?

 

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1053 Hits

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