Franciscan Guitars and Other Fine Musical Crafts

Catholic News Hub continues to be a source for some interesting stories. This bit on Franciscan instruments was picked off the Syracuse Catholic Sun.

Don’t look now, reform2 homies, but this upstate NY outfit might just restock another generation of folk groups, eh?

I’d like to have been a crafter of instruments. When I asked Bernie Lehmann to make a mountain dulcimer for me back in ’83, he said I could visit to watch the building process. But he got ahead on his commissions and the week I called to ask when I could sit in and watch, he said my instrument was already done.

Bernie has a blog, but it looks like he’s been spending more time on ancient instruments like this rebec. Bet the chanters and organists in the blogosphere didn’t know that many of us folkies get into early music and stuff like that.
My dulcimer is beautifully made from walnut and pine. The walnut shades from dark to light as it reaches the soundboard. The headstock is carved like a violin and the sound holes are reminiscent of that instrument, too. I should’ve gone practical and opted for guitar-ish tuning pegs, but I wanted a classical look. It’s a little beast to tune. I wish I had more time to play it, but the piano, guitar, and its younger brother the hammer dulcimer get more action.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Franciscan Guitars and Other Fine Musical Crafts

  1. Liam says:

    I do love classical guitars, but one of the most indelible Masses I ever assisted at (in the choir) was a mass (for the first Sunday of Lent) where the sole instrumental accompaniment was a harp played from the gallery. I have never heard a congregation and choir sing prayer so indelibly.

  2. Tony says:

    Don’t look now, reform2 homies, but this upstate NY outfit might just restock another generation of folk groups, eh?

    Nah, it’ll be a nice instrument to take to the coffee house with you. :)

    BTW, that’s my neck of the woods.

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