Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Kantele to Dulcimer

With my next music party just a month away, and my autoharp out of commission, I need to get more tunes for the mountain dulcimer. While I have the wonderful book by Neil Hellman on Celtic music for the mountain dulcimer, I really want to explore my Finnish heritage in song as well. Lucky for me one of the major tunings used on the Kantele is the key of D, so tonight I made up my first Mountain Dulcimer TAB from the book "My Kantele is My Teacher" by Lani K. Thompson that I got a year ago. I picked a very simple tune for the first one, because of my lack of skill with my MD as well as it's my first time coming up with my own tab. I found this is a really good way to learn more about what makes a song a song. Even this simple one, which is just eight bars long, had something to teach me.

My experiment worked very well, and I should have a Traditional Finnish folk song or two memorized in time for my music party. It helps that I'm taking my staycation the week leading up to it. So I will have no excuses for either having a messy house or a lack of playing ability. Most of my musician friends have RSVP'd as maybe. I will have to do a little begging and cajoling to get then to commit to coming to play. I'm kind of obsessed with learning to play better at the moment. I want to pick up my instrument every chance that I get. At least I won't embarrass myself too badly in front of my party guests!

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