A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Acmespaceship » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:01 pm

Rufus is gorgeous! His arms have an interesting fret pattern. :D
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Jono » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:30 pm

My original post was not written to suggest what is, and what isn't, a dulcimer.

It was written because I was rather dismayed that someone who prefers one type of dulcimer would even bother to demean other types of dulcimers. It just seems so petty and divisive to me. I wish people were more accepting and open minded. There's room for everything. No need to demean other peoples choices.

Be accepting. Be nice.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby strumelia » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:44 pm

Acmespaceship wrote:Rufus is gorgeous! His arms have an interesting fret pattern. :D


Yes, and I think he's got some half frets in there. 8)
You should see the giant perfect circumpuncts he has on both sides!
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Jono » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:01 pm

I see strumelia has tried to purposely derail my topic, immediately after her first reply to me. She's succeeding. That's trolling. Please don't do that to me strumelia, this is a serious topic. Show more respect please.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Acmespaceship » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:01 am

Jono, I wholeheartedly agree with you that this is an important topic. Unfortunately, it is also Kryptonite. For the life of me I can't figure out why, but the very idea of a "chromatic dulcimer" plunges some people into despair and rage. If you are interested, you can search the forum and read some of the past threads about chromatics and "extra frets." They can be very entertaining. But people storm off and never return, and that's a shame.

Most of us forum oldtimers who have survived these battles are not eager to set off another one. Strumelia is trying to lighten the mood and prevent this thread from turning ugly.

You know how in certain families, there are topics you can't talk about during a holiday dinner? It may be pathetic, but it's all the family we've got.

One reason why we started a separate sub-forum for chromatic dulcimer in the first place was so the "get a guitar" crowd could easily ignore the heresy and let us discuss our instruments in peace. You can see how well that worked. Certain people will always feel compelled to tell us that we are not playing "real" dulcimers. Consider them trolls and don't feed them. Sometimes kittens distract them...
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Jono » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:22 am

Thanks for that Acmespaceship, I had no idea the idea of chromatic dulcimers was toxic on this site. In my very first post on this topic I thought that guy was expressing some very odd anti chromatic ideas and didn't expect others to have similar ideas. I guess I shouldn't have started the topic, maybe I should get a moderator to delete it. I might make this my last post on this site. I guess it's not for me.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Acmespaceship » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:52 pm

Jono wrote:...I might make this my last post on this site. I guess it's not for me.

Please don't leave, Jono. We need more people like you who are willing to ask "forbidden" questions. It is actually possible to have fascinating and far-reaching discussions here. All it takes is a thick-enough skin and the ability to tell yourself "oh, that's just grumpy Uncle Ken complaining about frets again" and ignore him.

Oh, and one more piece of advice: Never, never, never say anything remotely dismissive about noter/drone style. :shock:

In all fairness, traditional players had to put up with a lot of grief for decades. The high-profile dulcimer players (there's an oxymoron for you) played chord/melody and often had extra frets. The general attitude was that trad-style was obsolete, limited, simplistic. Well, a person can get tired of hearing "that's nice, but don't you think it's time to stop playing like a beginner?" Unsurprisingly, the trad players have pushed back. Now it's the chord/melody players' turn to absorb some abuse. I like to think we'll soon outgrow this phase and stop passing judgement on each other. In the meantime, I can deal with it.

One of our knowledgeable members, Ken Bloom, has said that this is a pivotal time in the history of our instrument. I think about this often. Here on ED, we are not merely snarking back and forth about personal grievances. We are in the midst of a global conversation defining what the mountain dulcimer will become. It may well split into two different instruments. Or it could die out entirely if we don't find ways to engage the next generation. Wherever we're heading, it's better to have more people contributing and I hope you'll stay with us.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Judy K » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:49 am

I will add my request to Acmespaceship's that you don't leave the site due to contrary members. Some things are better ignored. I appreciate the defense you gave me in another thread and would enjoy having a new friend on here. :)

Chromatic dulcimers aren't toxic in everyone's world. I have a chromatic & love it.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Ken Bloom » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:58 am

Let me reiterate something I've said before but I think it bears repeating. In Sweden, they have an instrument called the nyckelharpa. It has gone through a similar revival and renaissance that the dulcimer has here. There are four or more versions of this instrument. Some are relatively diatonic, others chromatic and some have additonal strings. Sound familiar? In the last ten years there has been a revived interest in the older forms of the instrument. They all exist side by side in reasonable harmony. The older versions work very well for some of the older music. The dulcimer world could learn a lot from the nyckelhapra world. Save the energy for playing and making better music.

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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby danc9 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:16 am

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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby GrantOlson » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:46 am

I had a thought. I think the problem is that we need to decide: how do we define a dulcimer? Is it defined by what it looks like; size, shape, frets, number of strings, etc. Or do we define it by playing style. Doing that could easily get confusing as there are so many styles. What the dulcimer was defined by was both by its looks and its playing style. Now we have developed so many other playing styles that we have to decide a new way to define a dulcimer. I think that is why we disagree so much.
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Re: A chromatic dulcimer is not "really" a dulcimer?

Postby Skip » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:35 am

I don't really see any problem. Everybody knows 'guitar' or 'banjo, or 'piano' for that matter, and don't have a problem with details such as how it's used or construction details. So what's so different about 'Mountain Dulcimer', it's just generic name for a beautiful sounding musical instrument. As far as as the original post, that's an opinion, and every one has one, so it doesn't bother me.
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