Celtic Mountain Dulcimer
by Peter Tommerup
Traditionally, the Appalachian mountain dulcimer
was primarily used to simply accompany the singing of old British and
Appalachian ballads. Over the last 30-40 years, however, the dulcimer
an exciting renaissance in which players have taken it in many new directions.
One of these is to play Celtic airs and fiddle tunes. On these, the dulcimer
excels, adding a new musical voice to the other instruments one usually
hears in this genre. "Celtic" here broadly refers to the music
of those lands settled long ago by the Celts: Ireland, Scotland, Wales,
the Isle of Man, the Shetland Islands, Cornwall (in England), Brittany
(in France), and Galicia (in Spain).
Though the mountain dulcimer can make many beautiful
sounds, and can be used to play complex as well as simple music, it is
generally one of the most easily accessible string instruments for beginners
to pick up.
Peter will share how the dulcimer sounds on several
tunes played with various techniques, and then teach a couple of tunes
to those who bring their dulcimers to the workshop. Listeners and all
levels of players are welcome.
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