Festival & Workshop Info

FESTIVAL WORKSHOPS For 2017

As I choose tunes to teach or feature, I will list them with each workshop below. Many or most tunes will be posted on the SHEET MUSIC page, so you can print them out ahead of time if you wish to. I will also expect to have copies at the workshops. Any other handouts will be available at the workshops if not included with workshops listed here.
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KENTUCKY MUSIC WEEK 2017
June 25 – 30
Bardstown, KY
http://www.kentuckymusicweek.com

SESSION 1
MODAL, MINOR, AND CROOKED TUNES
Hammer Dulcimer. Advanced.
Modal scales take us beyond the familiar major scale into the most haunting music. And “crooked” tunes have extra beats or measures that intrigue the listener and challenge the player. This will cover different tunes than last year’s class on modal tunes.

We will use scales beyond the familiar major scale to explore interesting and haunting tunes. The dulcimer makes this easy. When old-time fiddlers say a tune is “modal”, they mean it uses a scale other than the familiar major or minor. If this sounds like Greek, not to worry. All will be revealed.

I will choose just a few from among the following tunes and base choices on what seems to suit the group.
Modal, Minor, and Crooked: Bear Ran Down The Mountain. A new version of this tune, with more parts, was posted on the Sheet Music page on 6/14/17. Since it includes all the elements I want to cover, we might work with this tune for a while.
Modal: Christ Child Lullaby, Sweet Hour Of Prayer (modal arrangement), Purple Cloud, Bonaparte’s Retreat, Campbell’s Farewell To Red Gap.
Minor: Evening Is Like A Rose, The Stars Like Dust, Dark River, Deluge.
Modal and Crooked: Wild Rose Of The Mountain.
Modal and Minor: Cedars In Snow.
Crooked: Chinquapin Hunting, Blackie’s Polka.

SESSION 2
PLAYING WITH FEELING
Hammer Dulcimer. Intermediate (and up).
Expression and emotion in music takes several forms. We will explore dynamics, phrasing, tempo, harmonies, and tune selection for creating healing, stress reducing music. I’ll share some favorite melodies.

Possible tune examples: Healing Springs, Evening Is Like A Rose, Love Above All, Keeping Vigil, Softly And Tenderly, Purple Cloud.

SESSION 3
CREATIVITY
Hammer Dulcimer. Beginners and Intermediate.
Use hammer dulcimer to free your creative muse. We will have fun improvising and creating melodies. Make beautiful music without having to learn tunes. Help compose a group tune. Music reading is not necessary. Give yourself a time out from the memorization brain drain of your other classes.

SESSION 4
LEARN THE BASICS: HOW TO TUNE, ADJUST, AND MAINTAIN YOUR HAMMERED DULCIMER
All Levels, Beginning to Advanced.
Making beautiful dulcimer music is not just a matter of practice. The dulcimer is a mechanical beast that can only be tamed by careful adjustment and maintenance. Learn how to do it yourself from a lifelong designer and builder. Bring your dulcimers and questions. This will be hands on. I will have demo dulcimers for you to practice on. We’ll cover broken strings, loose pins, adjusting bridges, tuning tips, electronic tuners, re-padding hammers, getting the best tone, finish touch up, installing TriStander legs, and more.

– replacing broken strings
– tightening loose tuning pins
– setting and adjusting bridges
– tuning tips (for getting in tune and staying in tune)
– using electronic tuners (and which ones work best)
– what to tune to: equal vs. mean-tone temperaments
– padding and re-padding hammers
– getting the best tone
– installing TriStander legs
– touching up the finish
– problems to look for
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OLD DULCIMER PLAYERS CLUB FUNFEST 2017
July 13-16
Evart, MI
http://www.originaldulcimerplayers.org

RAGTIME RYTHMS. (Easy Intermediate Level and above) This is an introduction to syncopation, the essential ingredient of ragtime. It also adds spice to many other types of music. And I have a fun tune that give us any easy way to learn it. You can use syncopation to jazz up your playing! And the dulcimer really makes ragtime sparkle. Learn how to get a handle, or a hammer, on it. We will work on Bumble Bee Rag, which can be found on the Sheet Music page.

MODAL TUNES. (Easy Intermediate Level and above.) The basic do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do notes can be used to play in haunting scales other than the familiar major scale. Such scales are called “modes”, and some of the most wonderful tunes are modal. The good news is that the dulcimer makes this easy.

When old-time musicians say a tune is “modal,” they often mean the tune is in the haunting mixolydian mode, a scale like the major scale but with the 7th note of the scale flatted. If this sounds like Greek, not to worry. All will be explained. We will learn a modal waltz, Lady Of The Mist, which can be found on the Sheet Music Page. Also, here is a handout that I will use to have us play through some modal scales. Modal Scales For Hammer Dulcimer

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