Welcome to Linda Lowe Thompson's Harvest Time Productions. Linda is a well known and respected hammered dulcimer player and teacher.  Harvest Time Music is located in Denton Texas. Call Linda at 940-387-4001.  Within these pages you will find Free Tunes and Arrangements, Information about Dulcimer Lessons, Workshops, and Performances, Musical Merchandise to enhance your own collection, Exquisite coffees to grace your everyday existence, A wide variety of gleanings from all facets of Linda’s life including: Quotes, Quips, Recipes, Rants, Raves And More
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Rants & Raves

I’m always amused when people assume, because I’m talky and outspoken, that I say everything I think. Quite the contrary. But, about many things I DO have opinions and I make a concentrated effort not to form an opinion about anything or anyone until I’ve given observation and thought to the subject.
When I was in my late teens, I thought people’s opinions disagreed with mine only when one of 3 things occurred: 1. they weren’t very bright 2. they weren’t very well educated 3. they hadn’t thought about that subject long enough. Since then, I’ve seen and heard opinions that completely oppose mine from people who are intelligent, well-educated, and given to musing long hours on many subjects. Go figure.

I’m not prone to do my praying on street corners, but I certainly don’t mind stating my beliefs. As Alex and Ben got older and more independent, I started working harder on the music business. In the early days, I called my music business Blarney Stone Music because I favor Celtic music and thought that name had a hint of humor about it. But, when I was able to increase the amount of time and energy I could give it, I decided to re-name the music business. My very favorite quote of all time is in Ecclesiastes. For me, this would be a time to reap what I’d sowed. Hence, Harvest Time Music.

The following are the opinions of Linda Lowe Thompson.

Hammer vs hammered: It didn’t take me long to notice that people spell the specifier for this instrument both “hammer” and “hammered.” I learned that, in England, where the word “dulcimer” was coined for the trapezoidal instrument, it has no describing word. In America, at some point, the little often-hourglass-shaped cousin to guitar lost its European name in the mists of time and mountains of Appalachia and the word “dulcimer,” found in the King James Version of the Bible (although not describing either of these instruments) was coined. Hence, the need in America for specifiers to indicate each instrument. Since the word’s being used as an adjective, it seems to me the correct spelling is “hammered.” When Sam Rizzetta coined an obvious term for the other little guy, he came up with “fretted.” I think, in an instant, people would realize it shouldn’t be “fret dulcimer,” but “fretted dulcimer.” So, like my mother used to say, “say it and see which sounds right.” But, that’s only a good rule of thumb if you’ve grown up with highly grammatical people, as I did. (THAT’s the reason people believe I say everything I think!)

What should we call ourselves? Again, I think Sam Rizzetta coined an excellent word: dulcimist. A person who plays violin is a violinist. A person who plays a piano is a pianist (pee-AN-ist, for crying out loud!---why would you emphasize a different syllable for the player than for the instrument??) A person who plays a fiddle is a fiddler. Dulcimerer makes no sense. So, dulcimist it is....at least, for me.

Wesley wrote an essay about specific tuning tips that is published in Beginning Hammered Dulcimer. Further words of wisdom about dulcimer tuning: I once heard that Jerry Read Smith said the more you work with an instrument when it’s new, the less you’ll have to work with it later. If he didn’t say that, he should have. It’s, really, true.
There are only a few ways to deal with a spouse who’s anal about most things and proud of it. Remember: murder’s against the law and there would be a big mess to clean up, as well. For a few years, I was the only dulcimist and dulcimer tuner in the family. Then, Wesley started playing.....and tuning. One day, he announced that he did a better job of tuning than I........ [long pause while experienced dulcimer tuners of both the husband and wife persuasion laugh]
I’ll even admit it--he’s more exactly and particular than I. Dulcimers just love that. He uses an electronic tuner and carefully tunes each course. When an instrument is new, he does this a # of times the first week and quite a bit for a couple of months. It just settles in so nicely. A number of people in a variety of circumstances have remarked that every instrument I’ve owned is about the nicest one of that style that each of those builders has ever made. Probably so---the combination of being played a lot and carefully tuned a lot results in the best possible instrument each instrument can be.