Strings & Things

Auld Lang Syne

Every New Year's Eve millions of people around the world raise their voices in a chorus of Auld Lang Syne. How did a simple Scottish folk song, with words most people do not know or fully understand, become one of the world's most popular songs? The Scottish bard, Robert Burns, is the man responsible. He wrote the lyrics in 1788 but the tune we know now does not first appear with the song until after his death. In 1799, Edinburgh publisher George Thomson included the song in his Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs. Both the words and the tune appear to be based on earlier fragments which Burns "restored" but the power of the two together has become unstoppable. In fact, Auld Lang Syn

Tool Du Jour

The last article I wrote about tools I had a problem with "cyanoacrylate" glue trying to take over. So I decided to give "CA" glue some time of its own. And rightfully so, CA glue is a wonderful glue that unquestionably has a place in lutherie and wood working as well as dozens of different applications around the house. Just one thing, one must remember its limitations. CA glue has a limitation which can have disastrous effects if left unheeded. Most everyone will remember the "Krazy Glue" commercial from a few decades age with the man was suspended from a steel girder by his hard hat stuck to the girder by Krazy Glue. They were not lying. Cyanoacrylate glue is that strong. Except if one we

I Wonder As I Wander

"I Wonder as I Wander" is a beautiful Appalachian song that fits so beautifully for the Mountain Dulcimer. I would like to share the story about its origin from the article in Wikipedia. "I Wonder as I Wander" is a Christian folk hymn, typically performed as a Christmas carol, written by American folklorist and singer John Jacob Niles. The hymn has its origins in a song fragment collected by Niles on July 16, 1933. While in the town of Murphy in Appalachian North Carolina, Niles attended a fundraising meeting held by evangelicals who had been ordered out of town by the police. In his unpublished autobiography, he wrote of hearing the song: A girl had stepped out to the edge of the little pla

Christmas Music ~ From the VP's Desk

From the VP's Desk Christmas is one of my all-time favorite times of the year. It always surprises me when someone gets an attitude like Scrooge, "Bah, humbug!" Too much to do or someone always wants me to do something attitude. I always look forward with eager anticipation to the season like when I was a child with Christmas magic. The best part of Christmas is the music … the most glorious music. I would love to sing and play it all year. And yet, I wonder if it would take some of the magic away and become just a ritual. If you are playing your Christmas music because you have to, I hope and pray you will get a "gratitude attitude" to enjoy the beauty of the season's music. Look at each so

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