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[2 Feb 2012 | Comments Off | ]
“Pipe on the Hob” an Irish Jig in A minor for Mountain Dulcimer

by Lois Hornbostel
I “cut my dulcimer-playing teeth” playing in traditional Irish music sessiúns in New York City. The jigs were some of my favorite tunes, and the sound of the strummed mountain dulcimer reminded me of the ever-more-popular bouzoukis being played in well-known traditional Irish bands. There are a couple of other Irish tunes with this name, but this is the one I heard most. A “hob” is sometimes short for hobgoblin, but a “hob” is also a shelf at the back of a fireplace.
 
It’s in A Dorian and …

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[1 Dec 2011 | Comments Off | ]
God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer

Traditional Christmas Carol
by Ehukai Teves
The lyrics of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” author unknown, are reputed to date back to the 15th Century, making it one of the oldest carols. It was first published in 1833, when it appeared in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys. It is believed that this carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen, who earned additional money this way during the Christmas season.
 
God rest ye, merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour,
Was born …

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[1 Dec 2011 | Comments Off | ]
“Joy to the World”

Composed by Isaac Watts and Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer by Linda Brockinton
The composer of “Joy to the World” was Isaac Watts (1674-1748). He was one of the great hymn writers, and the first to produce a modern-style hymnbook. A prolific and popular hymn writer, he was recognized as the “Father of English Hymnody,” credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in use today and have been translated into many languages. Not only did he write hymns, he wrote many books in the science and theology field. He …

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[10 Oct 2011 | Comments Off | ]
“Off to California” An Irish Hornpipe

Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer
by Lois Hornbostel
 
The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. It was the inspiration for many Irishmen to immigrate to seek a fortune. This tune is from that era.
“Off to California” is arranged here in mountain dulcimer tablature from Lois Hornbostel’s Mel Bay book Dulcimer Fiddle Tunes. A recording of the arrangement follows. Learning the melody first by listening can help you play the tablature. This is a play-along recording. After practicing the tablature to …

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[10 Oct 2011 | 5 Comments | ]
“Children of the Heavenly Father” – A Swedish-American Hymn

 Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer
by Peter Ellertsen & Michael Thomas
During Swedish opera star Jenny Lind’s America tour in the 1850s, the pastor of a church out on the Illinois prairie hit her up for a donation.
Known as the “Swedish nightingale,” she had a reputation for supporting good causes, and Pastor Lars Esbjorn definitely had a good one. His church had set aside enough lumber for the roof, but a cholera epidemic swept through his little prairie town of Andover, Illinois, and the lumber was sawed up for coffins instead.
Jenny Lind contributed …

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[27 Jul 2011 | Comments Off | ]
“Scotland the Brave” Using Different Mountain Dulcimer Drones

by Lois Hornbostel 
The bagpipe tune, “Scotland the Brave,” probably became known around the turn of the 20th Century.  It is considered the unofficial national anthem of Scotland. Many people in the U.S. first heard this traditional melody in the 1950s, when the Ames Brothers recorded contemporary lyrics to it bearing the name “My Bonnie Lassie.”  In the following arrangement, there is a nice change of drone harmonies from playing the A part melody on the middle string, and then playing the B part melody on the two outside strings.
 
 
 Printable Version
 
 
 
 

Featured, Mountain Dulcimer Tunes »

[27 Jul 2011 | One Comment | ]
Rounds for Mountain Dulcimer

by Mark Gilston
Rounds have been around since the early Renaissance, and provide a wonderful way for people to learn to sing and play harmony together. Like so many children, I learned many rounds in summer camps and in early school years. I took a great interest in rounds at an early age, and even wrote a series of my own rounds and canons in my late teens.
A canon is any piece of music where one part exactly imitates another, but not necessarily starting on the same pitch and the parts …

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[2 Jun 2011 | Comments Off | ]
“Haste to the Wedding” An Irish Jig for Mountain Dulcimer

by Mark Nelson
 
“Haste to the Wedding” is a favorite traditional Irish dance and jamming tune. Here is Mark Nelson’s mountain dulcimer arrangement of it from the above-referenced book. You can purchase the book and its accompanying CD, or “e” version at MelBay.com

Listen to Mark Nelson play “Haste to the Wedding.” | Printable Version

About the Author
Multi-instrumentalist Mark Nelson has been active in the folk, Celtic and world music scene since the early 1970′s. Considered one of the nation’s premiere mountain dulcimer players-he won the National Championships in 1979-he is equally adept …

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[2 Jun 2011 | Comments Off | ]
A Sweet Fingerpicked Melody for Mountain Dulcimer – “Dream Stream”

by Jan Hammond
Jan’s tips on playing “Dream Stream”: 
 
This is a tune that I wrote with a mystical, dreamy and arrhythmic feeling in mind. The solo recording was made with my dulcimer in a C-G-C, Mixolydian tuning. The tab is written in the standard DAD tuning and is indicated to be played with a flat-pick. It is important to hold the chord shape as long as possible in order to keep the music smooth and flowing. On the recording, I actually fingerpicked this piece with a series of harp-like strums from …

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[2 Jun 2011 | Comments Off | ]
“El Condor Pasa” An Andean Folk Song for Both Hammered and Mountain Dulcimers

by Bonnie Carol
 
This book contains authentically-arranged Latin American music for both mountain and hammered dulcimers. It can be ordered through MelBay.com.
Printable Version
  
About the Author
 
That’s me, Bonnie Carol. I began teaching dulcimer almost as soon as I learned to play it, and through those first years teaching, I came to understand my own informal musical education better and how to communicate it to others. I played piano from the time I could walk, accompanying community theater and school choirs till I went to college and discovered the guitar and Folk music. …