Monthly Archives: October 2008

Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club November 2, 2008

Hi Friends,

I just posted Bob Magowan’s message to the members of the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club about the November meeting…which is this coming Sunday at his house from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  You may read Bob’s note at
Don’t forget that the meeting will be at the Magowans’ house rather than mine.  
I hope to see you there!
Keep strummin’
Carla Maxwell

November 2008, Dulcimer Club Meeting at Magowans’ House

[originally posted in October 2008 on , copied and reposted here on 4/11/2009]Hi fellow mountain dulcimer players,

Our next meeting will be Sunday afternoon, November 2 at 3 – 5 pm at my house. Linda and I live just off of Germantown Rd.

If you need directions feel free to email me or phone at (901) 751-8306.

Since we are close to Christmas I thought we should get ready with a few songs for the season.

My suggestions are to play:

All Through The Night (capo 3)

Carol of the Drum (Melody and Harmony)

In the Bleak Midwinter

Silent Night

Sussex Carol

What Child is This? (Greensleeves) (Capo 1)

If you’re like me, you have taken all your Christmas music out of your notebook and put it into another. So….., you might as well get it together since the season is just about on us (the stores think so). If you do not have tab for the above, don’t fret; we can make copies when you get here.

If you have any other holiday songs, like for Thanksgiving, that you would like to play bring them also. If all else fails we can always play “Boil Dem Cabbage”, Forked Deer or some other favorites.

Hope to see you on Sunday, Nov. 2 so we can make beautiful music together.


See how we conduct our strummin’ fun:

Mountain Dulcimer as a Play Prop in the Germantown Community Theater

Hi Friends,

The Germantown Community Theater called Bob Magowan to find a mountain dulcimer for use in one of the upcoming plays.  Bob referred the call to me, and I have loaned an “ebay” dulcimer for use in the play.  The dulcimer had been hanging on my office wall for a couple of years, as I didn’t particularly want to play it.  When it arrived, I realized I had gotten exactly what I had bought….a $100 dulcimer!  The tuners were not holding in place, and the instrument wasn’t very inspiring…but good enough for a wall decoration, and that’s what it became.  When the call came for the play prop, I took that dulcimer off the wall and applied some fix-it skills that I have learned from my fine luthier friend, Bob, and the instrument came to life.  It sounded pretty good, actually, as I played it with a noter to make sure the dulcimer would represent us well on stage. 

So there should be dulcimer sightings and sounds on the stage of the Germantown Community Theater next week.  The Mystery of Irma Vep begins next weekend, October 17, 2008.

Here’s a couple of samples of the noter-style playing on my “ebay” dulcimer:

Sample 1

Sample 2

Keep strummin’!

Carla Maxwell

[Edited 10-15-08 to remove duplicate of Sample 2 sound file.]

Mountain Dulcimer Moves in Meditation

Just found some sound clips of my mountain dulcimer improv-meditation-stress-agression-release dated September 22, 2008.  I don’t remember what was going through my mind…but I’m glad I took it out on my mountain dulcimer!  Here’s what I tend to do when the going gets rough:

You might want to lower the volume on your speakers…I used my Roland Micro Cube with new batteries!

Sample 1

Sample 2


Carla Maxwell

Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club Meeting Video

Hi Folks,

Here’s a peek into one of our monthly meetings.

We appreciate and thank the people who have permitted us to share in our club meetings their TAB of music arranged for the mountain dulcimer.  In this video the club enjoys playing a couple of arrangements (Old Gray Liza and Black Mountain Rag) shared by our friend/mountain dulcimer player and artist-painter, Sally Papich, and an arrangement of Forked Deer by Thomasina Levy, nationally recognized mountain dulcimer player/singer/songwriter. 

The only formality to our club meeting is the routine.  As we began in 2002, we have enjoyed meeting together once a month, normally from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month and usually in the home of one of the club’s members.  Luthier/Club President, Bob Magowan, guides the focus of the group during the meeting, by discussion. 

Often Bob or other club members will bring and distribute TAB for mountain dulcimer, during the meeting.  By permission of the TAB owner, club members receive a copy.  Uniqueness of the TAB is discussed before the music is played in unison a number of times at a slow tempo.  When new techniques are explored, the club applies the new techniques to tunes previously learned…promoting concentration on the new skills/information.  When the consensus of the group is “we’ve got the hang o’ this!”….THEN we pick up the pace….tick-up the tempo….and picks get pretty perky!! And we PLAY!  That’s the reward….for conquering the fretting fears…we have FUN playing sweet music!!

AND when we’ve spent about an hour challenging our inner child….we take a break.  Cookies and coffee frequently find a way to socialize us and settle any sounds beginning to swirl around in our brains….

After chit chatter and sometimes leaving a crummed up cookie platter…members are refreshed and back at it with a renewed and playful sense for strumming. 

There are no time clocks or announcements or parliamentary procedures for keeping us on task…we know what we know…and we know when to go.  The end of the monthly meeting seems to come by way of a graceful decrescendo, and we tend to end our musical time together by playing a piece we already know.

The friends you see in this video have been the life force of the Memphis Area Mountain Dulcimer Club.  Through each member’s own initiative and interest, we have launched into other musical directions….learning more about community; the science of sound and building instruments; playing, composing, arranging, teaching, and performing music…not only on the mountain dulcimer….as club members have learned to play some other instruments such as harp, guitar, banjo, hammered dulcimer, and fiddle; and I think all of us could say, “We have learned about ourselves.”  Also, some members have been seen and heard instigating music elsewhere…inciting others to discover the excitement of peace through music.

So that’s about all we do at the regular meetings…..pleeeeeeeeeease don’t ask about the irregular meetings….LOL!

Fond of finding friends fearlessly fretting,

Carla Maxwell