Caledonian Club
A Celtic Tune for Hammered Dulcimer Players in the Key of D by Steve Eulberg

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. A Strathspey Introduction A Strathspey is a Celtic dance tune in 4/4 time, easily recognized by the Scotch snap. A Scotch snap is a short note before a dotted note, a short-long rhythm, with the pulse on the shorter beat. In traditional playing, this rhymic pattern is generally exaggerated to enhance the musical expression.
2. The Clue Steve uses "vocables" to embed the rhythm in his mind. Vocables are created by assigning words or syllables that follow the rhythm of the tune to each beat. Many Native American songs, and some children's tunes (such as Su La Li), consist entirely of vocables.
3. A Part The A Part is played in the D box. Normally Steve teaches that it is best to alternate hammers as often as possible. But for this song, watch where Steve breaks this rule.
4. B Part The B Part is played in what looks like the G box, with one tone played on the bass bridge.
5. The Whole Song In this video, Steve plays through Parts A and B.
6. Lower Octave We can play the entire tune in the lower D box as well, and the hammering pattern is the same.
7. B Part, Lower Octave Steve goes through the B part more slowly for us, demonstrating an alternate pattern for playing the same tones.
8. Adding Chords A chord backup, using the D, G, and A chords, could be added to create an arrangement with somone playing the melody, or played as backup at a lively jam session.

PDFSheet Music

AnimationAnimations

Music GlobeExtras

  • Here is a demonstration of the dance steps that go with a Strathspey tune. As you listen to the music, note the short-long rhythmic pattern.

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