Neal Hellman
Neal Hellman


Neal is a nationally acclaimed performer and teacher of the mountain dulcimer, and has been active in performing, writing, teaching, and recording acoustic music for the past 30 years.

Neal’s latest recording, Emma’s Waltz, is a colorful dance through traditional and contemporary acoustic music styles. Featuring seventeen different musicians playing compositions from Ireland, Scotland, Finland, America and France.

As founder, director and one of the primary artists of the Gourd Music record label, Neal has produced over forty albums, including Simple GiftsThe Fairie RoundTender ShepherThe World Turned Upside Downand Jefferson’s Fiddle, creating a uniquely distinctive sound, featuring a variety of acoustic instrumental ensembles, rich in texture and tonal color.

Watch Neal's video as he introduces himself.

Level 4 Allemande
We tend to think of the mountain dulcimer as an instrument that is only useful for those lively fiddle tunes we like to play at jam sessions. However, this instrument also lends itself very nicely to classical tunes as well, as we see in this lesson by Neal.
Level 3 Asika Thali
Asika Thali is a song of freedom from South Africa. Neal likes to play this tune on a dulcimer with 4 equi-distant strings tuned to D-A-dd, but it can also be played on a dulcimer with 3 strings in the D-A-d tuning.
Level 3 John Brosnan's Polka
This is a traditional Irish polka, also known as John Leary's Polka and Nell Fees. John Brosnan, an accordion player from County Kerry in Ireland, recorded the tune.
Level 2 Kōjō no Tsuki
The title of this song is translated "Moon over the Ruined Castle." It was composed by Rentarō Tak as a music lesson for his students in 1901. Although Rentarō died quite young at the age of 23, his music has endured.
Level 2 Lauda di Maria Maddalenna
The word "Lauda" means to give praise and, in 13th century Italy, there were at least 150-160 Laudas collected from both Florence and Cortona. Here Neal teaches us a beautiful arrangement of his favorite Lauda, Lauda di Maria Maddelenna, adding chords, hammer ons, and pull offs to the melody.



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