Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

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Month: April 2008 Page 1 of 3

Quotes – Hazrat Inayat Khan on Music and Sound

Music, the word we use in our everyday language, is nothing less than the picture of our Beloved. It is because music is the picture of our Beloved that we love music. But the question is what is our Beloved and where is our Beloved? Our Beloved is that which is our source and our goal; and what we see of our Beloved before our physical eyes is the beauty which is before us; and that part of our Beloved not manifest to our eyes is that inner form of beauty of which our Beloved speaks to us. If only we would listen to the voice of all the beauty that attracts us in any form, we would find that in every aspect it tells us that behind all manifestation is the perfect Spirit, the spirit of wisdom.”

“As to what we call music in everyday language, to me architecture is music, gardening is music, farming is music, painting is music, poetry is music. In all the occupations of life where beauty has been the inspiration, where the divine wine has been poured out, there is music. But among all the different arts, the art of music has been specially considered divine, because it is the exact miniature of the law working through the whole universe. For instance, if we study ourselves we shall find that the beats of the pulse and the heart, the inhaling and exhaling of the breath are all the work of rhythm. Life depends upon the rhythmic working of the whole mechanism of the body. Breath manifests as voice, as word, as sound; and the sound is continually audible, the sound without and the sound within ourselves. That is music; it shows that there is music both outside and within ourselves.”

“Many in the world take music as a source of amusement, a pastime, and to many music is an art and a musician an entertainer. Yet no one has lived in this world and has thought and felt, who has not considered music as the most sacred of all arts, for the fact is that what the art of painting cannot clearly suggest, poetry explains in words; but that which even a poet finds difficult to express in poetry is expressed in music. By this I do not only say that music is superior to art and poetry, but in point of fact music excels religion; for music raises the soul of man even higher than the so-called external forms of religion.

By this it must not be understood that music can take the place of religion; for every soul is not necessarily tuned to that pitch where it can really benefit by music, nor is every music necessarily so high that it will exalt a person who hears it more than religion will do. However, for those who follow the path of the inner cult, music is essential for their spiritual development. The reason is that the soul who is seeking for that is in search of the formless God. Art no doubt is most elevating, but at the same time it contains form; poetry has words, names suggestive of form; it is only music which has beauty, power, charm and at the same time can raise the soul beyond form.”

Hazrat Inayat Khan with Vina

“I gave up my music because I had received from it all that I had to receive. To serve God one must sacrifice what is dearest to one; and so I sacrificed my music. I had composed songs; I sang and played the vina; and practicing this music I arrived at a stage where I touched the Music of the Spheres. Then every soul became for me a musical note, and all life became music. Inspired by it I spoke to the people, and those who were attracted by my words listened to them, instead of listening to my songs.

Now, if I do anything, it is to tune souls instead of instruments; to harmonize people instead of notes. If there is anything in my philosophy, it is the law of harmony: that one must put oneself in harmony with oneself and with others. I have found in every word a certain musical value, a melody in every thought, harmony in every feeling; and I have tried to interpret the same thing, with clear and simple words, to those who used to listen to my music.

I played the vina until my heart turned into this very instrument; then I offered this instrument to the divine Musician, the only musician existing. Since then I have become His flute; and when He chooses, He plays His music. The people give me credit for this music, which in reality is not due to me but to the Musician who plays on His own instrument.”

My Most Used Chisels

Most of the work I do involves light trimming, fitting and the shaping of parts. I prefer paring chisels for the precision, reach and control they offer.


I was lucky enough to find a few old Buck cranked and straight paring chisels at an antique mall a few years ago. These chisels are great for shaping braces, trimming joints, cleaning up surfaces, etc. I also have a few old bench chisels that work well as paring chisels.


There are tasks that would not be appropriate for the long, thin blade of a paring chisel such as chopping out end grain or making heavy cuts to remove a lot of waste. For these tasks I use bench chisels. I have a few Stanley 750 chisels that I reach for in these situations. I also use them in place of paring chisels when a shorter chisels seems more comfortable and easier to manage. I also have a 4mm chisel that is perfect for getting into nooks and crannies.


There are other chisels I regularly reach for, some with names on them and some of unknown origin. If they fit the task and hold an edge then I am happy.

I have found that grinding the edge to 25 or so degrees works pretty well for just about everything I do. The edges hold up well and work fine for a variety of cuts.

jews harp bill

Jew’s Harp Bill

And now for your listening pleasure…..

“Jew’s Harp Bill” Parkophone Records E6357 – The Greene Brothers: [audio:Jews-Harp-Bill-ParkophoneE6357-Greene Brothers.mp3]


Back To The Studio Tomorrow

The dulcimer album is almost done and the hammered dulcimer album is in the home stretch. Mastering should begin in a few weeks.

I’ve been recording with Glenn Brown at Glenn Brown Productions in East Lansing. The sound is wonderful, true audiophile quality.


Quote – Rabi’a Al-‘Adawiyya

“I have two ways of loving You;
a selfish one and another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love I remember You and You alone.
In that other love You lift the veil and let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.”


-Rabi’a Al-‘Adawiyya

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers

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