HDR 2016 Workshops Titles/Descriptions; a work in progress

Below is the “master list” of the 2016 HDR workshop titles and descriptions from our “Import” Instructors, Marina Albero, Sam Herrmann, Joe Herrmann, and Ruth Smith.
From this list we’ll do the traditional shuffling and arranging to figure out how to make all this happen in our 72 hour schedule, along with a variety of workshops from our “Local Heroes”, Panel Discussions, Concerts, Jams, Meals, Raffle, and at least a few hours of sleep. Again this year, we’re hoping to feature one longer two-part workshop for each level (4 hours) along with a series of 2 hour sessions. Information on the workshops from our “Local Heroes” workshop titles is coming soon.

Marina Albero’s Workshops Program

As Marina writes: I want to share the same information and message with all groups. The basis is the same, but I develop different aspects while adapting to the level and learning interests of the group.
All players must know a little bit of the history of the instrument through its music. As they learn all the principal skills they will get to know much better the role that the hammered dulcimer has played thorough history for centuries.
We’ll work on Technique,
Tuning: What makes it? How to do it?
– Hammering: percussion rudiments adapted to practical playing, and to the melodies we can find in them. Bouncing, hand-to-hand, flam, roll…
– Melody and harmony: exploring the natural setup of the instrument, we learn how to play melodies, arpeggios, ornamentation and harmonization in a traditional tune.
-Improvisation and creation: experimenting with exercises that will lead us to variations and eventually to improvise and create melodies out of them.
The whole program aims to show how to create a balanced environment, providing tools to improve while have fun on the hammered dulcimer.

Novice and Intermediate Workshops

– Vals Andalusie (10th century, Al Andalus)
– Cantiga (13th Century, Castilla)
– Stella Splendens (14th Century)
– La Carpinese (17th Century, Italy)
– Persia (Marina Albero)
And some chord progressions as improvisation practice with different grooves.

Intermediate/Advanced and Advanced Programs

Here the focus is on rhythm. We’ll explore the richness of the popular music with uneven melodies that sound organic around Europe and the Mediterranean Coast.

– Macedonian Dance (9/8)
– Cantiga Alfonso X (7/8)
– Pasacalle (5/8)
– Bulerias negras Del Gastor (3-3-2-2-2/4)

We’ll experiment with some chord progressions as improvisation practice with different grooves.

Sam Herrman’s workshops:

Crooked Fun — Making sense of odd structure, extra beats and dropped beats. Old Time repertoire is rife with odd tunes with not-ordinary structure. Many beautiful and mysterious tunes have been passed down with dropped beats or extra beats. This class will explore some of these oddities to discover their beauty and divulge their mystery.

DWD — Driving with drones
The simplicity of adding droning to a tune provides drive and rhythmic energy. This class will explore the techniques used to drive an old time tune.

Old time music has a long and healthy heritage. This class will share tunes that have been passed along in our mountains.

OLD TIME MUSIC — Basic Old Time Repertoire
This class will use straightforward tunes to explore techniques that help the dulcimer enhance the distinct personality of old time music.

Joe Herrmann’s Workshops:

MUSIC FROM DOWN EAST: Cape Breton tunes
We have had the good fortune to travel to Cape Breton on several occasions. On our journeys there we have dear friends from whom we have picked up a number of beautiful tunes.

Keep ’em Dancin’ –
Have you played for a dance? What is it that makes people want to dance? Choosing the right tune for the right dance. Finding the best tempo. Driving the dance with old time rhythm. Putting medleys together.
Ruth Smith’s Workshops:

From Heart to Hands
Learn to play with greater expressiveness. We’ll study specific arranging tools and exercises to help accentuate the beauty in melody lines and emphasize the underlying theme of the music. Repertoire will be drawn from expressive, lyrical music. (a slow air, waltz, or lament)

Performance Lab – How to Prepare for Performance
We’ll cover helpful tips to prep for performance and we’ll perform for each other – a friendly bunch – and help get those performance jitters under control!

Taking your arranging skills to the next level. These workshops explore how to take a new tune (or one that you already know) and develop a more elaborate arrangement based on chord notes, fill/run notes, counter-melodies, and dulcimer “tricks”.

Practice Tips and Techniques 

A grab bag of ideas and exercises to help improve skills and make practice time more valuable .