Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 17

Working With What You Have To Work With

This post isn’t about the various tools or materials I use when making dulcimers. It is about working with the body I have to work with.

I was part of a panel discussion last week about how disability affects one as an artist or artisan, and before the event, I was interviewed by a local public radio station.

You can listen to the short interview or read a transcript by following this link.


A Sharpening Stone Known By A Variety Of Names, And What I Like About It


  1. Bob Godfried

    What a nice interview! The lovely “mystery tune” you played on the dulcimer was actually a very old Hanukkah song, dating back to the 13th century, or earlier. It’s called Ma’oz Tzur (Hebrew: ?????? ????), meaning “Strong Rock” (of my Salvation) & sometimes referred to as “Rock of Ages.” It’s a Jewish liturgical poem or “piyyut,” (with mystical subtexts) sung during religious services. It’s my favorite Hanukkah song, considering the many corny ones, like “I had a little dreydel.” It was difficult finding a nice, unaffected example, since everybody nowadays has to personalize their rendition and show how jazzy/snazzy they can be. So, here’s the 5th graders of New York City’s own Public School 22 chorus doing the most straight ahead version I could find. Their pronunciation is spot on, too.

    • Doug

      Thanks, Bob! I had no idea what the tune was, but it kept popping into my head and out of my fingers, and I knew I must have heard it somewhere! Most likely, I heard it in Hebrew school while studying for my bar mitzvah! Glad you liked the interview!

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Doug Berch