Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: September 2010

Thousand Cankers Black Walnut Disease Is Spreading

While in Kentucky this weekend I learned that Thousand Cankers Black Walnut Disease had been found in Tennessee. A few weeks ago no cases had been reported in the Eastern part of the United States.

This disease can potentially cause  walnut trees in North America to become extinct.

It is not a time to give up hope for the walnut tree but it is certainly time to take action. Contact your State Department of Agriculture of University Extension for local information. Some states and counties are already banning the transport of walnut logs, firewood, etc.

Do what you can to protect walnut trees!

Here are some link to more information:

Thousand Cankers Walnut Disease

Missouri Department of Agriculture – Thousand Cankers of Black Walnut

Tennessee Department of Agriculture – Identifying Thousand Cankers Disease

The Missourian – How Thousand Cankers Disease Works


Dulcimer Book – Print or Digital?

I have been working on a book of finger-picked arrangements of  traditional tunes for the Appalachian mountain dulcimer.

There will be about 30 tunes in both tablature and standard notation. I will also record two versions of each tune; a version exactly as written and an enhanced version demonstrating what can be added to a written arrangement by the player.

I am considering using the following publishing formats and would like to hear your opinions:

Printed dulcimer books - tried and true technology

  • A printed book and an accompanying CD
  • PDF files of the book and MP3 recordings of the tunes on a CD (no printed book)

A dulcimer book and accompanying MP3 files on a disc - how radical!

I like the idea of publishing the book using a digital format. PDF files can be read on any computer and can easily be printed  for personal use. The recordings and tablature/text will always be together; you won’t have one in your hand while searching for the other!

The cost of manufacturing the CDs will be significantly less expensive than printing a book and far less expensive than a book/CD package. This would mean I could sell the project for a lower price.

A digital publication of the book would also save some trees!

There are two potential drawbacks I see to publishing a dulcimer book digitally:

  • Some people might not want to buy a book on a CD as they prefer books
  • The tablature, text and recordings would be easier for people to illegally copy and share.  Such actions make it difficult for artists to make a living.

So let me know your thoughts!


More Dulcimers Coming Soon!

All the dulcimers I recently had on hand have found new homes.

I have been busy building several custom-ordered dulcimers but will soon have some other dulcimers up for sale as well.

Here is a sure sign that I have been busy working in the shop:

Always a clean and tidy shop!

A place for everything and everything is everyplace!

As I have said before, my current shop is what a realtor would describe as “cozy.” I may move my shop into a larger space in the not-too-distant future but for now I work in tight quarters.

As long as there is room for me behind the bench I am happy!

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers