Breaking Up Christmas
By Steve Eulberg for Hammered Dulcimer Players
Played in the Key of A

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction This tune is played in the key of A, if you're playing with old-time musicians. Steve gives a little history behind the tune, and plays through it for us. He adds that he will also be teaching it in the key of D, and on the mountain dulcimer in both keys as well.
2. Mapping the A Part There is a half note tied to an eighth note for the first note, which on a fiddle would come off as a swoop. Timing-wise, you may find this to be a bit of a challenge at first.
3. Breaking Up the A Part Now Steve takes us through Part A, phrase by phrase.
4. Adding Bass Notes
to the A Part
Steve plays the low E and the low A on the anticipated notes, to add a solid foundation. Adding these two notes will help build your skills in hand separation and hand independence.
5. Mapping the B Part The two phrases of the B part are the same. Steve also explains how this is actually a plagal tune.
6. Mapping the B Part
on a Bass Bridge
In the previous video, the melody ran straight up and down along the right side of the treble bridge. If you have a smaller dulcimer, yoou can still play the melody by striking notes on the bass bridge.
7. Whole Song
in the key of A
Here Steve puts both parts A and B together.
8. In the key of D You will use all the same hammering patterns you learned for the key of A when you play this in the key of D. Just move from the A box up to the D box.

PDFSheet Music

  • Key of A

  • Key of D


  • In the Key of A
    • Part A
    • Part B

  • In the Key of D
    • Part A
    • Part B

Music GlobeExtras

  • The story behind the tune

  • Lyrics to the tune

  • Performed by the Kermit Possum Killers on Jan. 6, 2018 (although the text in the video says 2017). The "Kermit Possum Killers" are an old time string band, with members from both southwest Virginia and east Tennessee. This was performed on stage at the historic 1925 Cameo Theater on State Street in downtown Bristol, Virginia.

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