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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

model-bowedpsalteryNew improved model in D With 15 notes,D-d  This diatonic model comes complete with simple pinewood case,  bow 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!

Other woods on request. 
UK £500  EU €560  USA $750/  
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Extra/replacement bows:

Bowed Psaltery Bow

standard psaltery bowMedium bow, 524mm long with 80 hairs made of beechwood, steamed to an arch, Mongolian horsehair,  choice of white or black hair.    comes with small cake of rosin.
£30    one month from order to delivery

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Bowed Psaltery Pair of bows
pair of beech bows for psalteryset of two smaller sized bows, 440mm long with 80 hairs made of beechwood, steamed to an arch, Mongolian horsehair,  choice of white or black hair.    comes with small cake of rosin. played one in each hand.
£45 for a pair    one month wait from order

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I can also build a smaller Diatonic Bowed psaltery, closer to the original size that fits neatly in a suitcase,   these are tuned to either G of F,  (normally without a rosette but the one below is a custom model)

Bowed Psaltery in G or F Diatonic Tuning
G Diatonic Bowed PsalteryWith 15 notes, this is the updated compact diatonic model in G and comes complete with bow, standard sized adapted briefcase as a case, rosin and bow.  handcrafted in Tulipwood, Maple and Spruce this instrument is made to commission but 3-4 months waiting time for this instrument from ordering

UK £400   Europe €450  USA $625

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