Timothy's Blog

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

My composition 'Preservation' on solo hammered dulcimer, separated-hands style


In 1995 I wanted to compose a theme for the National Parks for the series of CDs called Places of Abundance, starting with the disc for Shenandoah National Park entitled Here on this Ridge.  I wanted it to have a sweeping 'motion picture theme' character, both inspiring and touching.  So I decided to try using a new alphabet chart I'd devised for transforming letters of words into letter names of musical notes.  I tried a whole page full of pertinent words like 'Skyline Drive' and 'conservation' and 'Blue Ridge' --- but none of these yielded a series of notes that invited me to begin the melody... till I plugged in the word 'Creator' (since I wanted to acknowledge God as the maker of all this wonderful nature the music was about), and it worked well!  (An article about this chart is in the Summer 2011 issue of Dulcimer Players News, if you'd like to try it.)

Thus began the tune 'Preservation,' which I recorded in ensemble form three different times, the first two on Here on this Ridge in 1997, then the third on the disc Common Wealth in 2001.

But I always wanted to be able to play it live on the hammered dulcimer too, and finally a few years ago this solo arrangement got worked out, using my pianistic separated hands technique.  The pdf above is an approximate representation of the notes --- for you hammered dulcimer players --- but really the piece is played not note-by-note but as a series of triangular-shaped chords (mostly) playing a 'duet' with the melody.

And of course I hope you can get to Shenandoah National Park soon, or to another one of these magnificent places!

My Dulcimer Players News "Pro-file" in 1999
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