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Biography

Alan Darveaux,
born 10-10-46 CT. Grew up on Long Island Sound. My interest in acoustic music started in high school and led to a college group known as the "Newcomers". The dulcimer caught my eyes and ears while visiting friends at Berea College in KY back in 1967. I left Berea with all the information, books and records I could find on the dulcimer. Since then I have eagerly sought as much history, lore and makers of the dulcimer as I can fit into my life. It is my bliss.

I moved from IL in 1976 seeking a simpler life style in the mountains of Appalachia and following my interest in the dulcimer. I live here because of the tradition of the mountain, Appalachian, dulcimer. My friends asked if I would support myself with my dulcimers when I moved South. I replied no. I would not turn my bliss into a have to do. My interest remains at a level of enjoyment and bliss. I hope through this site to share some of my bliss.

Mentors and Influences

Jean Ritchie along with George and Gerry Armstrong became my listening interests. Jean has always been in the mist of my dulcimer enchantment. Howie Mitchell became one of my building gurus and I cherish the letters from him. I began travelling and sought Homer Ledford in KY. He has been my biggest influence in building dulcimers. As I traveled throughout the Appalachian mountains I met many builders and was received with warm encouragement everywhere I went. I extended my travels and received more gracious help from Len at Here Inc. MN. My journey continues. More and more folks are finding the enchantment of the dulcimer. More and more builders are discovering the joy of this instrument.

My Dulcimers

I use Appalachian Butternut for the tops and Appalachian Walnut for the back, sides and fretboard. I like the quality of these woods together musically and the beauty of both. Mini Schaller or mini Grover tuners are mounted on a flat head piece. Bridge and nut are made from shed deer antler. String length is 24 1/2". The Walnut fretboard and head are capped with Ebony and an Ebony strip is centered through the head down the back and through the tail. The teardrop shape brings out a dynamic strength to the sound of the bass and treble strings.

 

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