Dulcimer Maker: The Craft of Homer Ledford by R. Gerald Alvey

By R. Gerald Alvey

Dulcimer making has lengthy been thought of an artwork. The beautiful layout is additionally practical, and the simplest tools sound as appealing as they appear. Homer Ledford, a legend between dulcimer makers, is understood for his cutting edge yet conventional craftsmanship. A biography and a step by step advisor to dulcimer making, this vintage publication illuminates and celebrates the paintings of a grasp craftsman, musician, and people artist. This re-creation offers a foreword by means of Ron Pen, director of the toilet Jacob Niles heart for American tune on the collage of Kentucky, and an enlightening afterword that includes a talk with Ledford. In an period whilst americans are rediscovering their musical roots, Dulcimer Maker bargains a distinct examine a bluegrass legend.

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Campbell wasn't that way; she didn't mind if you didn't have anything; if you had a lot it didn't matter; you were a person to her, really a person, and she was down there with you if you were down there. Some would laugh with you and later laugh at you; they think they're fooling you but they're not. Many people took a lot of us for fools, you know, but if you've got any sense at all-after a while, at least-you can figure it out .... If preachers or missionaries wouldn't come and spend the night with you, wouldn't eat with you, wouldn't sit down at the same old table that you did-forget them.

When I asked Homer to explain any possible secret of success beyond his obvious love of and innate talent for musical instrument craftsmanship, he answered: I don't have a trade secret; if I'm successful, it all boils down to the reason being that it's exactly because I like it; that is what I had to do, ever since I can remember; I had to make things by hand .... now it's true I've used machinery since I've been able to own some, but I don't use the machine as an assembly line, or even as an automatic worker; I control it for each and every job ....

Little did they realize that Homer had invented the double-string arrangement and had put it in the middle position and that Floyd and Edna's special dulcimer was the only one, at that time, that Homer had ever made with an outside double string. What the other dulcimer craftsmen had copied and were claiming to be traditional was in fact unique. Furthering the irony, dulcimers mass-produced by Sears, Roebuck and by South Korean and Czechoslovakian companies now also feature the outside double string that originated with the one dulcimer Homer custom-made for the Bakers.

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