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.JPG Dulcimer files

 "Starry Lullaby"
David Schnaufer &

 Herb McCullough


Chord Melody




TablEdit files

 "Starry Lullaby"
David Schnaufer &

Herb McCullough


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 "Starry Lullaby"
David Schnaufer

& Herb McCullough"




Chord Melody



 "Starry Lullaby"
David Schnaufer & Herb McCullough



Chord Melody




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This month's Free Tablature is

"Starry Lullaby "
David Schnaufer & Herb McCullough
Mountain Dulcimer Tablature 3-part arrangement by Tull Glazener




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Dear friends,

 On August 23rd of this year, we lost one of the dulcimer world's most David Schnauferincredible talents when David Schnaufer "slipped his earthly bonds" after a mercifully brief battle with cancer.  Though he was only 53 years old, his contribution to the dulcimer world is incalculable.  He was at the forefront of the "revival" of the mountain dulcimer, and rekindled interest and widespread respect for the instrument by demonstrating that it could be used to perform everything from "Bach to Rock".  His passion and dedication to the instrument were infectious, and he leaves behind legions of grateful dulcimer players who mourn his loss, and celebrate his life.

It's difficult to try and put into words just what David and his music, and more importantly, his friendship, have meant to me personally.  David is the reason I play the mountain dulcimer, pure and simple.  I heard his album "Dulcimer Deluxe" in the mid-1980's, and immediately had a new-found respect for this simple little 3-stringed box, and what it was capable of, in Uncle-Dulcimer.jpg (8579 bytes)the right hands.  I started "following him around" from festival to festival , taking as many workshops from him as possible.  The first one was at the Great Black Swamp Dulcimer Festival in Lima, Ohio.  As impressive as his music was, the thing that really got my attention was his teaching method.  All of his classes were always "filled to overflowing", but the thing I noticed was that no matter how many students were in the class, and no matter what level they were at, somehow he was always able to "touch" each one individually, and give them something that was just exactly what they needed at that point.
david2_EC_1991.jpg (19776 bytes)
He had a deep and genuine respect for music, whatever genre, and for those who made it, at whatever level, and for those who listened to it and appreciated it, at whatever venue.  At that same festival in Lima, during his set on the mainstage concert, in front of perhaps 400-500 people, in the middle of some speed-of-light fiddle tune, he suddenly stopped and told the audience that he had just made a mistake.  Though he knew that most were not even aware of the mistake, it was important to him that everyone hear the tune the way it was supposed to sound.  With everyone's indulgence, he wanted to back up, "get a running start", and try it again.  And when he got to that point the second time and "nailed it", a huge ear-to-ear grin came over his face - and the audience burst into spontaneous applause.  His great talent was matched only by his humility.  It drew us in, and inspired us.

The impact David had on the music world world in general, and the dulcimer world in particular, cannot be overstated.  But those contributions, as amazing as they are, are dwarfed by the impact he had on the lives of all those with whom he came in contact.  His was a kind and gentle spirit, with a certain grace that made all of us better human beings just by having the privilege of knowing him.  Anyone who met David even once for five minutes came away feeling as though he was one of their best friends.  And in truth, he was!

I have a vision of what some of those heavenly jam sessions must be like today.  I'm sure  David has gotten together with Hank Williams (Sr), Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and Bob Wills - and also Thelonius Monk, Mississippi John Hurt, and Jerry Garcia.  And of course BaDavid_G_chord_resized.JPG (500368 bytes)ch, Beethoven, and Mozart.  He got to meet and play music with some of these folks in this world, but even those that he did not, I can just see him going up to them, sticking out his hand, and saying "Howdy, I'm David, and I play the mountain dulcimer.  Wanna pick some?"  He's still paving the way for the rest of us for when we get there.

(To read more about David's life, check out Kerry Coates' web site where she has collected a number of articles about him:  )

Herb-McCullough.Starry-Lull.jpg (101181 bytes)David's birthday was September 28th, and so it is fitting that this month's tab is a 3-part arrangement of one of his original songs that he co-wrote with his long-time friend and music collaborator, Herb McCullough.  "Starry Lullaby" started out as a song Herb was writing for his first grandchild, Ashley, shortly after her birth.  He wrote down one verse, and then put it aside for a while.  Some time later he was introduced to David, and the two of them started writing songs together.  Herb brought "Starry Lullaby" to David's Nashville apartment one afternoon, and in a short time, the two of them completed it.

For a more detailed account of how Herb and David collaborated on this song, check out this article on Herb's website:

schnaufer_dpd_cover.jpg (8902 bytes)
David recorded this tune twice - once on the compilation CD "Dulcimer Player Deluxe" as an instrumental, and later he included it on his "Uncle Dulcimer" album, this time adding his own baritone vocals to it.


The basic melody can be played "drone style", fretting the middle string only, but strumming across all 3 strings.  I've also included chord-melody and harmony arrangements.  

I'm indebted to SFL Records (John Lomax III), and Herb McCullough for granting permission to make this tab arrangement available.

"Play on, and play well".



Starry Lullaby

 David Schnaufer & Herb McCullough 

Sun makes room for the moon to shine
As she watches oe’r the night
Mother earth puts her babes to sleep
With a kiss and a sta-a-ary lullaby.


 Twinkle star light in the night sky
Moon beams love to life
Angels dance the rings of Saturn
Sing you a sta-a-ary lullaby

Baby girl in your baby bed
No need to fear the night
The stars are out to light your dream
And bring you a sta-a-ary lullaby

Nature’s child needs to rest a while
So close those sleep-y eyes
Tomorrow waits for you to shine     
With the light of a sta-a-ary lullaby.


Words and music by David Schnaufer and Herb McCullough
Copyright © 1986,  SFL Records
All Rights Reserved    Used by permission


Tull Glazener     Indianapolis, IN

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