The Dusty Blog

Thumbnail for 50th Annual Folklife Festival
Posted by Dusty - May 27, 2021, 3:00 PM
Dusty Strings can trace our roots back to the 1977 Northwest Folklife Festival, and we'd like to congratulate Folklife on 50 years of sharing folk music, art, dance, food, and other cultural expressions with the Seattle community.
Thumbnail for QuaranTune: The Final Project
Posted by Dusty - Apr 17, 2020, 10:43 AM
A few weeks ago, we put out a call for harp and hammered dulcimer players in isolation to join us in a community music-making project, and here's the final result!
Thumbnail for Making Protective Face Shields for Hospital Workers
Posted by Dusty - Apr 9, 2020, 2:45 PM
This pandemic has created a unique set of challenges for everyone. With a stay at home order in place, we've had to put our instrument production on hold, and it has felt really important to all of us to find a way to contribute to the greater cause and to support the medical staff who are on the front lines taking care of people every day.
Thumbnail for QuaranTune: The Social Distancing Community Music Project
Posted by Dusty - Mar 17, 2020, 1:25 PM
While many of us are in isolation and can't play music together in person, we are creating a community music video in which anyone who wants to can participate. You'll send us your videos and we'll edit them all together into a compilation that will remind us that we're a community, that we're not alone, and that music has the power to bridge all sorts of divides.
Thumbnail for Love Letter from a Certified Music Practitioner
Posted by Dusty - Sep 5, 2017, 12:56 PM
After her organization received funding for a harp that will live at a local hospital for a rotating crew of therapeutic harpists to play, Nancy Hartwig wrote us to say how much she loves her Ravenna 34 and to fill us in on some of the wonderful things that are happening in the Northern California CMP community.
Thumbnail for Quiz: Which harp wood are you?
Posted by Dusty - Sep 15, 2016, 4:19 PM
Take this quiz to find out if your personality matches your harp!
Thumbnail for Stories from the Harp: Weaving Hands
Posted by Dusty - May 27, 2016, 4:17 PM
This is the first in a series of stories about the gift of music and its ability to soothe and heal.
Thumbnail for Hammered Dulcimer in Film Scores
Posted by Dusty - Apr 12, 2016, 10:55 AM
One of our favorite questions to ask new dulcimer players is what sort of music they plan to play. Many of the answers have been the same for 35 years ("hymns," "Celtic music," and "Stairway to Heaven," for example), but these days there is also a liberal sprinkling of "I'm a film composer." We've been hearing this more and more lately, and when a co-worker mentioned noticing hammered dulcimer in the Game of Thrones theme, I decided to compile some examples of the ways this fascinating instrument is used in movie and TV scores.
Thumbnail for D550 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer App for iPad
Posted by Dusty - Jan 20, 2016, 11:26 AM
This virtual dulcimer for iPad uses sound samples recorded from an actual D550 and plays just like the real thing (except with your fingers instead of hammers). It can be a learning tool, an aid for traveling musicians, and a fun addition to any impromptu jam session.
Thumbnail for Why You Really Do Deserve A Nice Instrument
Posted by Dusty - Jun 17, 2015, 1:53 PM
Have you ever come across a particularly gorgeous instrument with a wonderfully lush tone and fallen instantly in love? Maybe you were looking, or maybe you were just wandering along minding your own business when you were struck by Cupid’s arrow. There probably followed a period of bliss as you drooled over the possibilities, and then the practical part of your brain kicked in and said, “Wait, I don’t play well enough yet to deserve such a nice instrument.”