by Peter Tommerup
The hammered dulcimer differs
considerably from its distant Appalachian cousin, the "mountain dulcimer." Though
both are members of the zither family (along with pianos and autoharps),
a "sweet sound" (what the word "dulcimer" means,
from Latin and Greek "dulce" and "melos"), this is
about where the similarities end. The hammered dulcimer is considerably
trapezoidal in shape, and is played with two little wooden hammers. It
is the instrument
from which the piano evolved.
Peter will introduce the hammered dulcimer by playing several traditional
pieces (probably from several cultures) and sharing a bit about their
context. People who bring their hammered dulcimers will
be able to learn a tune or two. (Please tune your hammered dulcimer ahead
of the workshop as best as you can, so we don't spend
all our time tuning).
About Peter Tommerup:
I fell in love with the mountain and hammered dulcimers
when I first heard them played by Guy Carawan in 1973 in a folklore class
that Guy taught at the college I was attending. Since then, I have spent
thousands of hours jamming, teaching and performing on these instruments.
I also fell in love with the discipline of Folklore Studies, and completed
a Ph.D. in this at UCLA. Among the topics I studied were: Celtic and
American Old Time instrumental music, the dulcimers in their traditional
cultural contexts, and organizational culture and folklore. I have taught
hundreds of folks in the Bay Area to play dulcimer through classes, workshops,
and individual lessons. I currently teach at Gryphon Stringed Instruments
in Palo Alto, CA, and at my home.
I also have co-founded REDWOOD DULCIMER DAY, and all
day mountain dulcimer retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains. This year
it takes place on Friday, August 6 (evening concert) and Saturday, August
7 (all day workshops, jams, and evening showcase concert).
For more info, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org