Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

B. Ross Ashley
  • Male
  • Toronto, ON
  • Canada

B. Ross Ashley's Friends

  • Madeleine Kivell
  • Gary Major
  • Alyssa Bruijns
  • Maggie Arnold
  • James Phillips
  • Ron Calef
  • Guy Hilliard
  • Yaya
  • Lois Sprengnether Keel
  • Syd Turner
  • RavenMadd Garcia
  • Terry Wilson
  • Skip
  • Jim Cumberland
  • Andy Robinson

B. Ross Ashley's Groups

B. Ross Ashley's Discussions

Finding ball-end strings
3 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bobby Ratliff Nov 18, 2009.

Any other ocarinists around?
10 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dennis F. Lowe Jan 4, 2011.


B. Ross Ashley's Page

What everyone's up to!...

Madeleine Kivell joined B. Ross Ashley's group

North of the Lakes

for any MD players in Upper Canada (aka Ontario) and the Great West
4 hours ago
B. Ross Ashley replied to William Craig Mann's discussion 'Wild Mountain Thyme / Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go' in the group Public Domain... or Not?
"McPeake's lyrics are clearly different ... I don't recall hearing the tune to "The Braes of Balquhither", which is the song McPeake based his on; Wikipedia says the original tune by R. A. Smith is different. When my chorus…"
B. Ross Ashley replied to Mike Antioch's discussion 'A confused beginner query' in the group Beginner players
"I would say that whoever it was who tabbed this piece had made a mistake. If the open string is A, then fret 1 is B, fret 2 is C, fret 3 is D. If a C was wanted there is should have been tabbed to 2, not 3. Unless perhaps they have a 1 1/2 fret and…"
B. Ross Ashley replied to Volha's discussion 'My first MD :)' in the group Beginner players
"Congratulations! And generally, turning your melody course (the "first strings" you mention, I think) from d down to A should not be a problem. Just tune them to match the middle string and play. Once you get into noter-and-drone…"
Mar 19
B. Ross Ashley replied to Robert D. Ketterlinus's discussion 'Flatpicking location' in the group Beginner players
"Seconding all of this ... when I occasionally pick strings one course at a time I use as little of the tip of the pick as I can get away with."
Feb 26
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'Beginner players'
"Right all; "There is no wrong way to play the mountain dulcimer!""
Feb 19
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'Beginner players'
"I'd second Ken H's comments. I'm not experienced enough yet to go for a wooden tuning peg dulci. Some day maybe ... "
Feb 17
B. Ross Ashley replied to Mark Ash's discussion 'Multi Finger Fretting' in the group Beginner players
"I bypass the whole thing by playing noter-and-drone. my left-hand fingers are just about co-ordinated enough to work the front brake lever on my bicycle.   "
Jan 28
B. Ross Ashley replied to Garland Coulson's discussion 'Irish Washerwoman Tablature' in the group Beginner players
Jan 21
B. Ross Ashley replied to James Phillips's discussion 'Oh Shenandoah, February "challenge", note' in the group Call the Tune
"Great idea! I'll have to try to record myself with my Kodak digital camera, the old Flip video camera has died. First Sunday in February, then, right? That is the 1st of February as it happens."
Jan 10
B. Ross Ashley replied to Leah Crosley's discussion 'slide vs noter' in the group Beginner players
"I prefer the cut-off butt end of the quill I'm playing with ... doesn't score like wood, doesn't give a hard glassy or metallic sound either. But remember, there is no wrong way to play our instrument. "
Jan 5
B. Ross Ashley replied to Geekling's discussion 'My pregnant Hungarian citera' in the group Dulcimer Ancestors
"Nice. Sound on those two sounds a bit fuller than the older MDs, but still got the high-lonesome silvery sound too."
Dec 29, 2014
B. Ross Ashley replied to Tom's discussion 'Noter' in the group Beginner players
"Any really hard wood ... I have one turned out of South American rosewood. But lately I use the butt-ends of quills, after preparing the quill for playing. Teh butt end of the feather shaft is mor resistent to erosion by the strings than even the…"
Dec 23, 2014
B. Ross Ashley replied to John Lipinski's discussion 'Drone & Noter Tab' in the group OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players
"And my few tabs there are melody-course only ... the drones just drone."
Dec 3, 2014
B. Ross Ashley commented on Dick Glasgow {Ptarmigan}'s group 'Dulcimer Ancestors'
"great article there!"
Nov 11, 2014
B. Ross Ashley replied to john laverdure's discussion 'scheitholt' in the group Dulcimer Ancestors
"I'd agree with Ken there ..."
Nov 3, 2014

Profile Information

My interests in music and in mountain dulcimers:
Retired hospital worker, union activist, choral folk singer, ocarina player, old folkie and dulcimer newbie. Also cyclist, cook, socialist politician, and science fiction and fantasy fan.
My website (if I have one):

B. Ross Ashley's Blog

Song of the Wandering Aengus II

I finally got this song tabbed to my own satisfaction. (I really ought to get the paid version of Tabledit, but I will be switching to a Linux box in a few weeks, and I don't know whether Tabledit will run in Wine. Alternatively I'd like to get lilypond to do the job but I'm not good enough at that yet.)

Anyhow, I got Dan to put it up in the ED tab age, and thought I'd put a copy here too, but we don't have a tab page ... so here it is.…


Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

Song of the Wandering Aengus

Just uploaded another video, my own arrangement of the old Irish tune as set for the William Butler Yeats poem. As I noted in the video section, I first heard this on a Dave Van Ronk record back around 1965.

I thought it's gentle wistful melancholy would fit the MD, and it's coming out pretty well. Gotta get a better camera and rehearse myself a little better too ...

Posted on December 30, 2009 at 2:27am

My chorus

I had to move this over here because the song is still copyright. Thanks, Strumelia, I would not want to get you in trouble with the DMCA.

This is us performing "Everything Possible" in our annual concert, 6 months ago. I love this song. That's me two faces above and slightly to your right of Isabel, our conductor.…


Posted on December 1, 2009 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

Learn something new ...

I just got a look at Don Pedi's website, and discovered I had been doing something backwards. I tabbed out a version of the "Diggers' Song" from the English Civil War period, that I transcribed from Chumbawamba's English Rebel Songs CD, and put it up in the Tabs section of Everything Dulcimer a few weeks ago; I tabbed it in what I fondly thought was Dorian, DAC (1-5-4). According to Pedi, Dorian is DGC! I guess I got a reverse Dorian there. Anyhow, I just tried it in DGC and it sounds even… Continue

Posted on November 21, 2009 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Song circle etc.

Last night after the SEC game on TV (my Gators beat the Gamecocks, yay!) I went down to Riverdale to Dan W.'s place for song circle. First one I've been to this year.

About a dozen of us showed up, enough to make Clio, Dan's cat, hide under the bed. Four of us active Common Thread choristers, three who are taking a year off, the rest fans or on the waiting list. I was hoping Bob B would show up with his Tam Kearney dulcimer, but I was the only MD player there, with 4 guitarists, 2… Continue

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 11:03am — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (18 comments)

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At 10:57pm on April 14, 2014, Gordon Hardy said…

Hi Ross, thanks for the welcome. I'm not exactly north of the lakes, quite a bit more north and west but real pleased with the Canadian viewpoint.

At 8:44pm on September 16, 2013, Alyssa Bruijns said…

For sure! I've always loved all of the sounds coming out of the Franco-Canadian tradition, and I'm curious to hear some dulcimer versions.

At 8:21pm on September 16, 2013, Alyssa Bruijns said…

Hi Ross, thanks for the welcome! I'm originally from London and just moved to Montreal. It's definitely nice to see some Canadian representation in the community.

At 1:06pm on May 30, 2013, Maggie Arnold said…

I live up in the Collingwood, Ontario area.

At 11:24am on January 14, 2013, Ron Calef said…

Ross, thanks for the heads up on the on-line guide - it's great.

At 9:57pm on December 27, 2012, Guy Hilliard said…


My dulcimer was made by Hugh Hunter at "MidnightSpecial Instruments".  He runs a custom musical instrument store in Rockwood -

At 9:11am on October 15, 2012, Syd Turner said…

Fort William born and raised!

At 10:09pm on June 24, 2012, RavenMadd Garcia said…

thanks buddy

At 9:15pm on January 3, 2012, Andy Robinson said…
Excellent! Hope you like the CD. Happy New Year!     Hey, is there any way I can hear you play occarina?
At 7:08pm on October 23, 2011, Anna Vulpe said…
Thanks for the welcome 

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