Rock 'n' roll autoharps, dulcimers and zithers!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Maxbialystock, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Maxbialystock

    Maxbialystock New Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm a big fan of the sound of the autoharp.

    And the look of performers playing it in a rock band setting.

    Probably favorite usage - John Sebastian playing one on TV with the Lovin' Spoonful - performing "Do You Believe In Magic?" (I think it was that song)

    Anyone else enjoy hearing/seeing autoharps, duclimers and zithers being played in a rock context?

    Are there important distinctions between autoharps, dulcimers and zithers?
     
  2. Spadeygrove

    Spadeygrove Active Member

    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    A dulicmer usually has 4 strings (sometimes 3, sometimes 5) and 'noted' by the fingers on the neck. An autoharp has quite a few more than that, usually 36 or 37 and is chorded by pressing keys.

    Brian Jones played a dulcimer on "Lady Jane", I believe.
     
  3. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    John Sebastian's autoharp is heard on many other Lovin' Spoonful songs, among them "A Younger Girl," "Warm Baby" and "Summer in the City."

    Autoharp is used to wonderful effect on The Merry-Go-Round's "Time Will Show the Wiser."
     
  4. Maxbialystock

    Maxbialystock New Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thanks - that is good info to know.

    I guess we may be the only two in this forum who like that sound!
     
  5. Joni Mitchell, anyone?
     
  6. bhazen

    bhazen Everyone's entitled to my opinion.

    Let's not forget the swarmandel (a kind of Indian zither) on "Strawberry Fields Forever", shall we?
     
  7. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tryon, NC, USA
    Not Rock 'n' Roll, but Mother Maybelle plays one on Wildwood Flower on Will The Circle Be Unbroken. There's some dialog about how difficult they are to either string or tune, I forget which.
     
  8. XMIAudioTech

    XMIAudioTech New Member

    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    There is a dulcimer on John Lennon's 'Watching The Wheels'...

    -Aaron
     
  9. Jimbo

    Jimbo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Zero/Zero Island
    What is the instrument that Greg Lake is playing on "Take a Pebble"?
     
  10. jligon

    jligon Active Member

    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    The autoharp is currently my favorite instrument I play. I love the sound.
     
  11. jligon

    jligon Active Member

    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    Typically it was Sara on autoharp while Maybelle added her incredible guitar (Wildwood Flower). In fact, autoharp appears on the majority of their songs. Great music!
     
  12. jligon

    jligon Active Member

    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    California.
     
  13. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    The version of "Four Strong Winds" by Ian and Sylvia that used to be played on the radio in 1963-64 has a string instrument on it that sounds like a zither. When they play the song now, they have some other version that is a lot duller.
     
  14. jligon

    jligon Active Member

    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    There's always Anton Karas' (zither) music from The Third Man.
     
  15. Sput

    Sput Boilerphile

    Location:
    Not in Michigan
    Old Zither in need of T.L.C. I found this in the attic of a house I owned. I really should give it to someone that would love it.
     

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  16. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simcoe County
    Tommy Shaw is a pretty fine autoharp player. "Sing For The Day" among others.
     
  17. Capt. Cadillac

    Capt. Cadillac Active Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, Mich.
    I saw that movie in a college film class. Though it's a masterpiece in every sense, nothing from The Third Man stuck with me more than that great theme!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFz79SBnuk8
     
  18. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Brian Jones played autoharp on "You Got the Silver."
     
  19. jdmack

    jdmack Active Member

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    That's Keith Emerson playing the inside of a piano while holding down the keys of the chord.

    J. D.
     
  20. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Forum Member

    Location:
    KS
    Richard Farina, close enough to rock and roll for me.
     
  21. Ken Scott

    Ken Scott Recording Legend

    Autoharp on "My Sweet Lord" (GH) and "Five Years" (DB).

    The list grows.

    Cheers
     
  22. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    I love what she did with the mountain dulcimer on several of the cuts on Blue. It's a very distinctive sound. Inspired me to go out and buy one. It's fun to play, and fairly easy to learn (particularly if you already know guitar or another stringed instrument).

    The Incredible String Band also made excellent use of zithers, ouds, and other exotic stringed instruments.
     
  23. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    :agree: When that kicks in during the intro, followed closely by the slide guitar, it's one of my favorite instrumental moments on any Beatle-related record.
     
  24. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Location:
    Ocho Rios, Jamaica
    The Cimbalom, a type of East European dulcimer was used (I think) in several John Barry film themes including The Ipcress File and The Quiller Memorandum.
     
  25. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    In the 1980s there was a folk-y British band called Attacco Decente that used dulcimers (among other things) in some of their songs. "The Will Of One" is probably their best, and I'd put it in my favourite 20 or 30 songs of the decade.
    I'm not sure if they lasted long enough to have more than one LP, but the one I have has the interesting title The Baby Within Us Marches On.
     

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