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Dulcimer Players News' Demise

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On Facebook today, 01 February 2023, Ashley Ernst announced that DPN will cease publication in 2024. She did not give a volume or issue number, but I suspect the last issue will be the first one that comes out in 2024. Again, that is just speculation on my part.

Having been a columnist and contributor to DPN over the years, I will miss the magazine. I understand why Ashley made this difficult decision. Many print publications are ending that aspect of life and shifting to electronic (online) editions. There was no mention of this as a possibility for DPN.

In the early days of DPN it seemed the "newsletter" worked to create a community of dulcimer enthusiasts. It helped people share ideas, arrange meetings (festivals), and find places to buy instruments. It also kept us posted on what we were all doing. While these things continued over the life of the magazine, over the last 10 or 15 years the emphasis seemed to shift to teaching techniques or songs. In a sense it became a quarterly lesson for mountain or hammered dulcimer. The connection of getting to know "dulcimer people" seemed to have been lost. We knew contributors were good players and provided excellent lessons without learning what brought them to play the dulcimer, desire to teach, etc. I know that much of that community building happens at festivals, but with so many festivals going virtual what we are experiencing is group video lessons and little real community (but that is a whole other discussion).

I offer my thanks to Ashley, Dan, Maddie, and Phil for their hard work and dedication to DPN and the dulcimer community it created. Without them who knows where we would all be. So to those five folks and all who contributed to the magazine over the years, "So long, and thanks for the all the fish."


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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