This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
continues to uncover evidence used in old-time music. A maker a highly visible part of the including Atlanta Olympics,
about the significance of the called J. Edward Thomas (1870 contemporary music scene, Kolkata Carnival, London Olympic
instrument in the region’s culture. – 1934) who made instruments but early in 2008 a young Torch Relay and Nelson Mandela’s
More recently Chris Coe has for the Ritchie family told scholars player exploded into prime-time statue unveiling at Parliament
been responsible for adding that he’d made a dulcimer for television and a web-based Square. Mat also runs Kinetika
a hammered dulcimer to the the King of England; this was talent contest – bbc3 Upstaged. Bloco, a group of 140 Lambeth
instrument bank for the Newcastle probably for the Prince of Wales Rebecca Edwards, professionally and Southwark teenagers
University Folk Music degree who toured the US, and who later known as Dizzi Drummer or playing brass and woodwind
course. became Edward VIII. Dizzi Dulcimer, discovered the with drumming and dancers; the
hammered dulcimer in 2001 group was chosen to represent
Traditional players are still with English players who explored the and was so smitten with it that London as part of the ‘Beijing
us. East Anglian Reg Reeder possibilities of the instrument in she decided to promote it in a 2008’ Olympic Cultural Festival.
represents the older generation the early years include Shirley BIG way. Here is her mission
– he’s passing on his skills to Collins who was a friend of Jean statement – “my goal is to In a recent composition written
his grandson Tom Knights. Ritchie’s, and who was given a re-introduce the hammered to commemorate the abolition
West Midlander Fred Woodley, dulcimer by Alan Lomax. Guitarist dulcimer into the 21st Century by of slavery, Mat used dulcimer
who continues building and John Pearse, one of the first releasing a dulcimer single that and psaltery to create the most
playing dulcimers as part of people to introduce the dulcimer is modern, current and popular, haunting part of the entire piece.
a family tradition, teaches his to English folk clubs in the 1960s, by doing workshops, talks and Mat will be teaching large group
grand-daughter Laura Sorrill demonstrated how to make and live performances all over the UK arrangements of old recordings
the Birmingham plucked style. play the instrument on television. until everyone knows and loves of music from the Caribbean, a lot
As a maker, Fred is constantly The outstanding and influential the hammered dulcimer and as of which is probably at least partly
developing his understanding, virtuoso Roger Nicholson, who many people want to learn to play English in origin, plus a couple of
refining his techniques and utilised guitar techniques to create it as do guitar or piano, and then his original pieces and as Mat puts
experimenting with new a quintessentially English style I would like to set up a Dulcimer it “hopefully some weird stuff”!
construction methods. Fred of playing, making the dulcimer Culture Center to educate people The main mountain dulcimer
and Reg continue to add to their sound as if it had been played about this ancient and almost teacher at the weekend will be
repertoires, learning tunes they here for centuries, recorded the forgotten instrument”! Dan Evans, who uses traditional
like as they come across them. seminal Nonsuch for Dulcimer British folk songs, his own
Glasgow’s John Crichton, one and several other albums. Roger Dizzi holds workshops at festivals, instrumental compositions and the
of the original members of the has been a longstanding member notably Glastonbury, runs the odd pop classic. His inspirational
Glasgow Dulcimer Study group, of the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club, Somerset Dulcimer Orchestra, workshops will include finger-style
and Antrim’s William Rea, who and an inspirational teacher at and imports good quality but dulcimer, voice and performance
learned from the great John Rea, Nonsuch events until a heart very moderately priced dulcimers skills. John Shaw will also teach
are both still playing. William’s attack in 2005 severely curtailed for beginners made in the US mountain dulcimer. Mat, Dizzi
cousin Nat Magee, who did much his activities, although he still by Tim O’Brien. These 12/11 and John will have a number of
to bring the Antrim dulcimer to plays his dulcimer at home and instruments come complete with instruments available for people
public attention again, sadly continues to teach the instrument. instructional book, case, single- who don’t have one of their own.
died last year. Jimmy Cooper, The mountain dulcimer in England leg stand, tuning wrench and
Billy Bennington, Reg, Fred, hasn’t solely been used for folk three year guarantee. Dizzi’s The weekend will be a great
John, Nat and William have music; it also appeared in the talented performances, dynamic opportunity to learn about either
all been rejuvenated by their hands of multi-instrumentalist approach and savvy use of the type of dulcimer and spend time
contact with new audiences, Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones Internet enabled her to reach the in the beautiful setting of Launde
new enthusiasts, and in Fred’s song My Sweet Lady Jane. quarterfinals of the contest – a Abbey. There will be workshops,
case, a new role as a trainer and great achievement and fantastic tune and song sessions, and the
adviser for inexperienced would- Dan Evans is probably now the publicity for the instrument. Her amazing Saturday night concert.
be makers. The Make and Play busiest English mountain dulcimer My Space site has photos of the As David Kettlewell suggested in
Project in Redditch would have player and teacher, performing Upstaged show at Millennium his book when he quoted Irish
been impossible without Fred. what he describes as “folk with Square Bristol on 25th Feb 2008. player Andy Dowling – “you can
Hammered dulcimer activity is a sense of the medieval and a play all the tunes that ever there
thriving at many different levels. hint of jazz”, and teaching both Dizzi will be teaching hammered were on a dulcimer”. q
in the UK and the US. Nonsuch dulcimer later this year at the
The mountain (Appalachian) member (and recent chairman of Nonsuch weekend at Launde in Dulcimer resources:
dulcimer was a much more recent the club) John Shaw continues Leicestershire (31st Oct – 2nd
Nonsuch Dulcimer Club -
arrival to the UK. It was probably to be a tireless promoter of Nov). Mat Fox will be the other
www.nonsuchdulcimer.org.uk
Jean Ritchie, the American the instrument, as a player well-known hammered dulcimer
Causeway Dulcimer Festival -
player, who introduced English and singer, as a storehouse of teacher at the event. There is
www.causewaymusic.co.uk
audiences to it in the 1950s when dulcimer information, and as an an interesting link between Mat
she came over to collect folksongs organiser of events, including a and Dizzi – both have worked
Cimbalom World Association (CWA)
in England and Ireland as part of memorable afternoon at Dursley as percussionists at the Globe
- www.cimbalom.org.
her research into the origins of near Gloucester with the great theatre. Mat’s name will be
European Dulcimer Players
songs sung in the Appalachian Jean Ritchie and Peter Kennedy known to many as the creative
Forum - www.myspace.com/
Mountains. Jean started playing in 1999. Dan, John, Grahame energy behind The Happy End
dulcimerplayersforum
in New York in the 1940s, and Hood and Roger have published and the charismatic front man Geoff Smith - www.dulcimer.co.uk.
surmised that mountain dulcimers dulcimer tablature for numerous of The Barely Works. The core
East Anglian Traditional Music Trust
were created by European settlers tunes in the Nonsuch Club of his musical career has always
- www.eatmt.org.uk
who probably used diatonic magazine. Liz Law, a deft, fluid been teaching and directing many
The Make and Play Project, Redditch
fretted instruments such as player from northeast England, types of ensembles. He plays
- www.fred.woodley.btinternet.co.uk
the scheitholt and the hommel was mountain dulcimer tutor for and teaches hammered dulcimer,
as inspiration. A southern Folkworks prior to recent funding but also plays and teaches
Dizzi Drummer or Dizzi Dulcimer
Appalachian instrument from 1832 cuts; hearing her version of composition, piano, saxophone,
- www.dizzi.co.uk
is the earliest recognisable one Random, inspired by the playing steel pan and African and Brazilian
David Kettlewell’s research -
that can be dated with certainty. of the late Phil Ranson, is an drumming. He is the Musical
www.NewRenaissance.ibs.ee/dulcimer.
The dulcimer’s modest volume unforgettable experience! Director of Kinetika, a carnival arts Some assisted places for young
made it ideal for small gatherings group that puts on spectacular musicians are available for the
in people’s homes and it gradually Hammered and mountain performances, and which has Nonsuch Weekend at Launde. -
became popular and was widely dulcimers have seldom been appeared at major world events www.nonsuchdulcimer.org.uk
The Living Tradition - Page 
Issue80.indd 33 14/7/08 14:50:55
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