Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: November 2008

Dulcimers by Doug Berch Available at Elderly Instruments

Butterfly WomanI am happy to announce that  Elderly Instruments now has several of my dulcimers in stock.

I first began making dulcimers by putting together a kit I bought through the mail from Elderly Instruments when I was a teenager.

I never imagined that I would end up working at Elderly for many years nor did I think that at the age of 50 Elderly would be carrying my instruments.

I also didn’t think I would meet my future wife when I went to a job interview at Elderly many years ago.

So having Elderly carry my instruments feels like something has come full circle.

Now, if a dulcimer doesn’t suit your fancy I would suggest checking if this company is still in business:

I wonder how many parents lived in fear that their kid would somehow come up with $18.95 and order a monkey through the mail.

The advantages of purchasing one of my dulcimers instead of a mail-order monkey:

  • Where would you learn how to play a monkey?
  • Dulcimers do not need diapers
  • No slippery banana peels all over the house

Now just to be fair, I will list the advantages of getting a mail-order monkey instead of a dulcimer:

  • A monkey can learn to play the dulcimer and serenade you
  • Recent studies show that a majority of dulcimer playing monkeys prefer a dulcimer made by Doug Berch
  • Hey, its my blog and I can say what I want!

The Music of Nature

The Internet Archive has something for everyone. Books, music, film and more, usually copyright free or opensource.

It was here that I found this book:

“The Music of Nature, or, An Attempt To Prove That What is Passionate and Pleasing In The Art of Singing, Speaking, and Performing Upon Musical Instruments, Is Derived From The Sounds of The Animated World” by William Gardiner , published in 1832.

I have read a several books written by musicians, historians and mystics who have expressed that the origins of what is considered musical is based on principles found within the natural world.

One of the more interesting features of this book are the musical transcriptions of bird songs, the sounds of various animal, and the rhythm and tonal inflection of human speech.

I include a few of the transcriptions below.

songs of animals and birds

songs of birds and animals

vocal rhythm patterns

“It will always prove to be true that when a person takes no heed of rhythm, whether he does right or wrong, good or evil, in either case a wrong rhythm will make him fail. For rhythm is not only a law to which nature is subjected, but it is something that maintains things as they are and gives things and beings the power to continue to live and to progress.”

-Hazrat Inayat Khan



Handy Method of Finding The Center of a Shaft

Handy method of finding the center of a shaft

From “Handy Man’s Workshop and Laboratory – Scientific American Series” compiled and edited by A. Russell Bond – 1910

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers