Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Der Burgermeister" is Finished!

Barely six weeks ago I started on a reproduction of the Pennsylvania German Scheitholt I restored last year. It's been in the planning stages for a lot longer, ever since the instrument arrived for repair in Spring of last year. When it came, I immediately started researching its history, taking measurements, and drawing up technical illustratons, thinking I might replicate it one day.

That day came shortly after the first of the year. I got into a carving mood, starting on a couple of heads for future dulcimers. I was cleaning and rearranging my shop a little and The Burgermeister-1came across my technical drawing of the Pennsylvania Scheitholt. I got to thinking about it more then decided to start carving a head for it too. I got very occupied with the carving, and with getting all the pieces together for later assembly.

Yesterday, it all came together, with the final polishing, stringing, and playing... and naming. I call it "Der Burgermeister." And, no, it's not named after a beer. A Burgermeister is considered a German town leader, like a mayor.

My new Pennsylvania German Scheitholt is all black walnut  except for a small maple strip The Burgermeister-head2for the nut and a bone saddle for a bridge. It's a 30" long by 3" wide by 3" deep box. To me the tone is wonderful. It has that sweet Mountain dulcimer sound but with the added feature of 1/4" wide melody strings that allow chording in the concert zither and epinette des Vosges style.

Sound clips and professional photos will be coming soon.

Onward through the fog.

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