Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: January 2012

Music I’d Like To Hear #25


Music I'd Like To Hear #25


Music I’d Like To Hear #25

Study In 7 – A Tune For Dulcimer

I wrote this tune the other day and thought some dulcimer players might enjoy learning it.

The tuning is D-A-D and requires the 1 1/2 fret.

The time signature is 7/8; a common time signature in some parts of the world. In this tune the accent falls on the 1st, 3rd and 5th beat of the measure. An easy way to get the feel of this is to play the 7 beats per measure as “1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3” with the accent on each “1” This rhythmic pattern is very popular in Bulgarian dance music though this particular tune does not work the rhythm in a traditional Bulgarian manner.

When playing “Study In 7” I vary the melody by adding or removing the paired sixteenth notes in the tablature.  Tablature presents a skeletal structure of a tune at best.


[audio:|titles=Study In 7 by Doug Berch] “Study In 7” composed and played by Doug Berch (C) 2012


(click the  tablature for a larger image)

 Study In 7 - A tune for dulcimer by Doug Berch


Rolicking Rufus Will Dance Amusing Jigs

Plan For An Interesting Limberjack


Rollicking Rufus Will Dance Amusing Jigs - a variant design of the traditional limberjack

Rollicking Rufus is a limberjack operated a little differently than most of his limberjack pals. Most often the dancer is impaled on the end of a stick. How charming. Said impaled dancer is suspended over one end of a flexible paddle, the other end being held firmly in place by player’s posterior. By tapping the paddle the feet of the impaled dancer are struck causing wild and rhythmic gesticulation. A good time is had by all.

Rollicking Rufus is suspended from a flexible wire above a springboard. According to the article, “…this little manikin will cut amusing capers when the supporting wire is agitated.” Clearly agitating the supporting wire agitates Rollicking Rufus, but we all must suffer for our art.

Article found in “The young craftsman; descriptions of over 450 easy craft projects reprinted from past issues of Popular mechanics magazine, What-to-make,and other publications (1943)” courtesy of the always-wonderful Internet Archive.

Music I’d Like To Hear #24


Music I'd Like To Hear #24


Music I’d Like To Hear #24

The First Run Of Dulcimers For 2012 Has Begun

The holidays were fun but it feels good to be back in the shop!

I’ve started work on two baritone and two standard dulcimers. I also have two standard dulcimers to complete that I began late last year.

Dulcimers in progress, some templates and jigs hanging on the shop wall.

I’m designing some new instruments I hope to start making this year. I’ll post details as they develop.

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers

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