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The Pluck Chronology Part 1: Origins

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

I'm sorry to say this didn't occur to me to include in Pluck prior to publication, but a couple of people suggested I should have included a timeline; it's a great idea, so I'm going to start one here in the Blog that includes selected vignettes from Pluck. If you'd like to have a copy, let me know and I'll send you one! I'll provide a new post for each section in order, starting with Origins.

Introduction to the Book

Introduction to the Mountain Dulcimer

Image painted on the ceiling of Rykenby Church in Funen, Denmark.
Angel playing a zither. Used with permission

1560: The Angel of Rykenby Church. (Watch for her; she reappears near the end of the book.)

1779: Fort Nashville founded.

1795: David's ancestors in Scotland on record.

1867: Jacob Schnaufer, David's great-grandfather, arrives in Texas.

1894; William Goodell Frost maps and names the mountainous region of the U.S. "Appalachia".

Cecil Sharp

1917: Songcatcher Cecil Sharp meets the Ritchie sisters in Kentucky.

1937: Future dulcimer innovator Richard Fariña is born in NYC.

1947: Alan Lomax meets Jean Ritchie in New York, thus ensuring the widespread popularity of the mountain dulcimer in NYC (the first Dulcimer Boom.) (Watch for the other Lomax appearances in the text, especially John Lomax III.)

1943/1944: David's parents marry in California./Future singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt born in Texas.

1952: Vince Farsetta born.

1953: David is born.

1957: A young Neal Hellman visits Greenwich Village and hears dulcimer players./David's father teaches him to play the jaw harp.

1958: Music scholar Charles Seeger (father of folk singer/songwriter Pete Seeger) publishes an academic paper on the fretted dulcimer, and concludes that the instrument has limited due to its origins and the nature of its construction.

Charles Seeger, musicologist

"Professor Seeger, let me tell you what's coming from both the east and west coast of the U.S. during the next decade!"

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