Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Tag: Old Books

A New Musical Grammar or The Harmonical Spectator

A New Musical Grammar; or, The Harmonical Spectator (1746)

A New Musical Grammar; or, The Harmonical Spectator

by William Tans’ur  (1746)

A New Musical Grammar; or, The Harmonical Spectator

Containing all the useful theoretical, practical, and technical parts of musick. Being a new and correct introduction. to all the rudiments, terms, and characters, and composition in all its branches. With several scales for musical instruments; and philosophical demonstrations, on the nature of sound. Laid down in so concise and easy a method, as to be understood by the meanest practitioner, whether vocal or instrumental, by way of question and answer 

 

Another wonderful and rare treasure courtesy of The Internet Archive.

 

Hammered Dulcimer For Only 16.00 Circa 1898

A Hammered Dulcimer For Only $16.00 – Circa 1898

 

Hammered Dulcimer For Only $16.00 - Circa 1898

 

A Hammered Dulcimer For Only $16.00 – Circa 1898

What a bargain! Just get in the TARDIS and pick one up today!

 

The Reed Organ – How To Give It Proper Care (1910)

The full title in all its glory: “The Reed Organ; how to give it the proper care, simple complaints and easy remedies. With full explanations of the value of the stops, and directions for their proper use.”

Reed Organ

Simple advice on basic repairs, maintenance and use of the reed organ. Put out by Sears, Roebuck and Co. to compliment the reed organs they sold. Like many things coming from Sears these organs were manufactured by other firms and the advice given  applies to most any reed organ.

You never know when you will need it, so as the cover says; “Hang this in the back of your organ where you can always find it.”

Hang this in the back of your organ where you can always find it

Available as a free download from the always wonderful Internet Archive : “The Reed Organ; how to give it the proper care, simple complaints and easy remedies. With full explanations of the value of the stops, and directions for their proper use.”

The Adirondack Spruce; A Study Of The Forest In Ne-Ha-Sa-Ne Park – (1898)

I often use Adirondack spruce soundboards on dulcimers with walnut back and sides.

Dulcimer with Adirondack spruce sounboard and walnut back and sides by Doug Berch

Adirondack spruce was used for the soundboards of many classic fretted instruments made before World War II. It was also used to build airplanes and in other applications requiring a strong, light and stiff timber.

Adirondack spruce was over-cut and for many years was not readily available. It is slowly making a comeback thanks to careful forest management.

Heavy Stand Of Nearly Pure Spruce

Average Number Of Trees Per Acre In The Adirondacks in 1898

Measuring Timber With Calipers

Like many old books the full title is somewhat long; you can get the book at the always wonderful Internet Archive:

“The Adirondack spruce; a study of the forest in Ne-Ha-Sa-Ne Park. With tables of volume and yield and a working-plan for conservative lumbering” by Gifford Pinchot (1898)

Valuable Secrets Concerning Arts And Trades (1795)

I came across this book while doing research on varnish-making:

Valuable Secrets Concerning Arts And Trades (1795)

The title alone provides a good read –

Valuable Secrets Concerning Arts and Trades: or, Approved directions, from the best artists : for the various methods of engraving on brass, copper, or steel. Of the composition of metals, and varnishes. Of mastichs and cements, sealing-wax, &c. Of colours and painting, for carriage painters. Of painting on paper. Of compositions from limners. Of transparent colours. How to dye skins or gloves. To colour or varnish copper-plate prints. Of painting on glass. Of colours of all sorts, for oil, water, and crayons. Of the art of gilding. The art of dying woods, bones, &c. The art of moulding. The art of making wines. Of the various compostions of vinegars. Of liquors and essential oils. Of the confectionary art. Of taking out all sorts of spots and stains.” (1795)

I love this stuff!

Learn methods of work from the past!  Amaze your friends!

Download your copy courtesy of The Internet Archive  –  Valuable Secrets Concerning Arts And Trades (1795)

Old Hundred

Sacred Harp and Shape-Note Singing

I had the joy and pleasure of performing and teaching at The Lone Star State Dulcimer Festival in Glen Rose, Texas last weekend. It had been about 23 years since I had been to this festival and it is just as fun and wonderful as I remembered. Thanks Dana!

On Sunday at noon a group gathered and did some shape-note singing, often referred to as Sacred Harp singing. The Sacred Harp consists of the combined voices of all the singers; that is the instrument!

I have heard Sacred Harp shape-note singing many times on recordings and several times sung by a small groups of people.  I have always found it quite powerful and moving.

This was the first time I had experienced a large group of people singing Sacred Harp.

Wow!

Old Hundred

The repertoire comes from a number of 19th century hymnals. Two popular books are “The Sacred Harp, Or, Eclectic Harmony,” which you can read and download from the always wonderful Internet Archive and “The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion” which can be read and heard online.

Mason's Sacred Harp


Wood Finishing, Comprising Staining, Varnishing, and Polishing, with Engravings and Diagrams (1906)

As I end the day my hands show traces of shellac and oil varnish. This makes me happy. The subtle fragrance of a relatively non-toxic finish drying on a cherry dulcimer fills the air.

Like many who appreciate and practice historic methods of work I read historic books on the subject.

Paul N. Hasluck was an extremely prolific writer in his day. I’ve previously posted links to his book, “Violins and Other Stringed Instruments – How To Make Them

“Wood Finishing, Comprising Staining, Varnishing, and Polishing, with Engravings and Diagrams” is the kind of book from which I always learn a few useful tricks.

Household Varnish Jar

Rubber For French Polishing

Another gem brought to you by The Internet Archive.

Download your copy here: “Wood Finishing, Comprising Staining, Varnishing, and Polishing, with Engravings and Diagrams” by Paul N. Hasluck (1906)

 


Popular Music Of The Olden Time

Popular Music Of The Olden Time (1859)

I’m always looking for new sources of old music for my repertoire. Old books and new technology offer a wealth of possibilities.

“Popular music of the olden time : a collection of ancient songs, ballads, and dance tunes, illustrative of the national music of England : with short introductions to the different reigns, and notices of the airs from writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries : also a short account of the minstrels” by William Chappell and George Alexander MacFarren was written in 1859.

A book on ancient music written 150 years ago seemed like it might be interesting and it proved to be so.

Popular Music Of The Olden Time

Another delight brought to you by The Internet Archive.



Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers