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Contemporary Dulcimer Music - September 1, 2023

Contemporary Dulcimer Music - September 1, 2023
Good Morning, Y'all!
A few weeks ago, we got our sawdust-encrusted hands on a new dulcimer book. Nothing unusual there, right? Folkcraft carries hundreds (268 currently) of books of music for the mountain dulcimer.
But this one is another book of contemporary dulcimer music. Modern songs!
This new book brings the dulcimer world up to three books of post 1940's repertoire. Hal Leonard (the world's largest publisher of sheet music) came out with a Beatles book years ago. They had dulcimer superstar Neal Hellman (look him up - he's awesome!) do the arrangements and this book has been a perennial best-seller for us.
Last summer, Hal Leonard (still a publisher, not a person) had Steve Eulberg (also amazing, by the way) do a book of 50 contemporary dulcimer music arrangements. Y'all must have surprised the publisher with the huge numbers of copies of that book you bought. Easily in the thousands of copies, which for ANY dulcimer book is a lot.

So this summer, Hal Leonard released a THIRD book of dulcimer repertoire, almost all of which is contemporary (post 1960's) popular music. I've never met the arranger - I'm guessing he's an employee of the publisher, and he's done a nice job. Hal Leonard went all out and came up with an amazingly creative title for the new book: "Dulcimer Songbook." But don't let that fool you - it IS a nice collection.
I suspect that many people look at dulcimer players and think that all we play is traditional/old-time/gospel music. While the mountain dulcimer is really good at those genres, it is equally good at contemporary music. 
And while older music is awesome, I suspect that a LOT of us enjoy adding variety to our practices and performances. It is nice that Hal Leonard has started to recognize the money-making potential with publishing contemporary songbooks for our instrument. They'll never make lots of money (especially compared to the new piano/vocal books of Taylor Swift songs), but I think that our dulcimer community will surprise them with a voracious appetite for new repertoire.

If you're missing any of these books, click on the covers, add to your cart, and we'll fix you right up!

What do you think? Should we petition for a book of Taylor Swift dulcimer arrangements? Or stick with classics like Miley Cyrus?

All joking aside, I think they would sell a ton of Dolly Parton songbooks!

Let me know what you think?

Richard Ash, luthier-who-used-to-own-a-really-big-sheet-music-store-before-succumbing-to-the-sound-of-the-mountain-dulcimer