The Dusty Blog

Thumbnail for Plywood vs. Solid Wood Hammered Dulcimers
Posted by Dusty - Jul 30, 2014, 6:39 PM
Most hammered dulcimer makers offer both laminated (plywood) and solid wood instruments, and it can be difficult to know how to choose, or even how important the choice is. Here are some explanations and observations about the differences between the two materials.
Thumbnail for Sharping Levers: Camac vs. Loveland
Posted by Dusty - Jul 24, 2014, 4:08 PM
Search the web for sharping lever comparisons and you’ll find a wide range of passionate opinions on what type of lever is the best. (If you’re new to the harp, sharping levers are what allow you to raise the pitch of individual strings by a half step, which means that you can play music in different keys without re-tuning the harp.) Because our current scope of experience is mainly with Loveland and Camac levers, we aren’t going to speak to the other options that are out there, and because we firmly believe that no issue has a single solution that is objectively the best for everyone, we are not going to offer an opinion on which lever is better. What we intend to do is share our observations about the differences between Camac and Loveland levers.
Thumbnail for Harps Going to the Somerset Folk Harp Festival
Posted by Dusty - Jul 15, 2014, 3:08 PM
The Somerset Folk Harp Festival is coming right up, and you won't have a better opportunity to try lots of different harps in one location! If you're curious to know what Dusty harps we'll be bringing, read on.
Thumbnail for Harp Seattle Festival - October 2014
Posted by Dusty - Jul 8, 2014, 12:01 PM
If you have been casting around for the perfect opportunity to visit Seattle and hang out with a fun crowd of folk harpists, Harp Seattle could be just the thing! Dusty Strings’ three-day folk harp festival, which has happened in previous years under the name of “The Harp Symposium,” features local, national and international harpists presenting workshops on a variety of subjects, as well as a couple of fantastic concert lineups.
Thumbnail for Building an Orphan Harp
Posted by Dusty - Jul 1, 2014, 12:09 PM
We documented parts of the building process when we made our first orphan harp, and we thought it would be fun to show you a little of what goes into making a harp!
Thumbnail for Boulevards are Shipping!
Posted by Dusty - Jun 24, 2014, 2:06 PM
What does it take to launch a new harp model? A creative and resourceful research and development team, careful planning, a lot of testing and problem-solving, and a few measly little Very Important Details…
Thumbnail for 2014 Somerset Folk Harp Festival
Posted by Dusty - Jun 17, 2014, 4:55 PM
If you can make it to Parsippany, NJ at the end of July, we highly recommend checking out the 2014 Somerset Folk Harp Festival. (It's named that because it used to be held in Somerset.) It is a four-day conference, running from Thursday, July 31st through Sunday, August 3rd, and we’re pretty sure it's currently the largest gathering of folk harp presenters, performers and exhibitors on the east coast (and possibly even in the whole U.S.).
Thumbnail for Can I really play that on a hammered dulcimer?
Posted by Dusty - Jun 13, 2014, 12:02 PM
People often ask us what kind of music can be played on a hammered dulcimer, and the short answer is that you can play pretty much anything. The longer answer is that it does depend a lot on the range and chromatic capability of your particular instrument. So what better way to give you a taste of the grand possibilities than to show you a few videos of people playing our largest chromatic hammered dulcimer in a variety of styles!
Thumbnail for 2014 American Harp Society Conference
Posted by Dusty - Jun 5, 2014, 10:56 AM
The AHS conference is a giant celebration of harps, harpists and harp music, and it’s an infectiously fun atmosphere to be in the middle of. This is its 41st year and it’s being held in New Orleans with lots of jazzy Southern flair.
Thumbnail for Amplifying Your Harp: Preamps, D.I.s and Connecting the Dots
Posted by Dusty - May 27, 2014, 12:11 PM
This is the final post in our harp amplification series, which covers the details of connecting everything together. If you can make it through all of them, you should have a pretty complete (if basic) picture of what you’ll need to get the sound from your harp out to the ears in the back row.