by Steve Eulberg
I was honored to be the American mountain dulcimer tutor for the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club’s Fall Festival in Malvern, England last month.
Thanks to Geoff Reeve-Black, I was also able to see some historic mountain dulcimers from his collection that I am pleased to show to you here:
This one was built by Edd Presnell from North Carolina. Some people find the traditional wooden tuning pegs to be a challenge (and a chore!) but these operated smoothly, AND accurately, even though I was coaxing the instrument into a couple of different tunings.
The second instrument was built by Sam Carrell of Tennessee. Like the Presnell dulcimer, this one also had friction pegs, but has the classic “fiddle” shape that Mike Clemmer also builds with in Townsend, Tennessee. Like Mike’s, this one is also built to be strung as a 5-string instrument, but Geoff had it set up as a 4 equi-distant string instrument.
As I took the photo of Geoff, holding the Presnell dulcimer above, he quipped: “Ah, a photo of two fossils.”
That makes me one grateful dulcimer paleontologist for sure!
And here is a view of our multi-instrument jam in the Lawnside Room on the first night! (This was just a harbinger of all the good music shared throughout the weekend.)
And this photo is the clear evidence that this dulcimer festival was taking place in England. Where tea (and coffee) were served twice a day, and after tea-time, the bar opened for the rest of the evening, throughout dinner and the evening jam session.