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  Broader and shorter in length than the usual Chromatic Bowed Psaltery, with its distinctive Gothic shape, the Diatonic Bowed Psaltery was designed to be a more Harmonious musical instrument, like an Irish harp.

The strings are arranged in a fan pattern, this was to make the bowing a little more fluid with the geometry of the human arm. Tuned to a white note scale rather like the old Irish harp, the instrument resonates sympathetically as different combinations are played. new2014 diatonic bowed psalteryAs well as being a bowed instrument, this psaltery, like its medieval ancestor, responds well to plucking and also hammering.( see playing notes ) This instrument is suitable for much folk, sacred and early music. The tuning Diatonic in the key of D is : D E F# G A B( bass side) and C# d e f# g a b c# d"  (Treble) I have made these also in the key of G, C and F.
I designed this instrument in the early 1990's, initially to play Scottish pipe music and to get a more harmonic sound like the Irish harps I had started making but soon saw the potential as a folk instrument and changed the key to D.

The instrument was recently re-scaled and improvements made to the design including the use of plain steel treble strings, Viola bass strings,  This means the D model no longer fits into a briefcase for travel but I build a case to fit and it still is a compact instrument for its pitch.

"The psaltery arrived today and is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much! It is amazingly resonant and I love the little harmonics it leaves hanging in the air at the end of a note. The curved edges really make a difference in how naturally you can move from note to note, in an arc rather than a straight line, and it's really lightweight and comfortable to hold. What a great design. It's beautifully made and the tulip wood is unusual and beautiful, with a grain/colour unlike any other instrument I've got. I'm absolutely thrilled with it, thank you!" Rebsie Fairholm UK .




psaltery diatonic end



from of psalteryside of diatonic bowed psaltery


Ordering an instrument:

Bowed Psaltery in D Diatonic Tuning
my
model-bowedpsalteryNew improved model in D With 15 notes,D-d  This diatonic model comes complete with simple pinewood case,  pairs of bows to give a variety of playing options and rosin.  handcrafted in Tulip wood, maple and Spruce, strung with wire treble and viola bass strings, this instrument costs made to order with just 4 months waiting time for this instrument from ordering
I always use Hard maple for the Tuning pin block at the bottom for problem free tuning.  easy to play and beautifully toned instrument!