Remembering David ...

On August 23rd, 2006, the dulcimer world lost one of its most incredible talents when David L. 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.

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September 2018 - "When Silence Was Golden"

This month’s free tab is an arrangement of another one of David Schnaufer’s original tunes, “When Silence Was Golden”. David originally recorded this tune on his 1989 release "Dulcimer Player", initially available only in cassette tape format. A few years later, he combined that with his other cassette tape album "Dulcimer Deluxe", and released them as a double-length CD titled "Dulcimer Player Deluxe". David was joined by Nashville virtuoso Mark O'Connor on fiddle for this achingly beautiful arrangement.

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Tull Glazener
September 2017 - "Packington's Pound"

This month's tune is a 16th Century English folk tune called "Packington's Pound". David recorded this tune on his 1992 recording "Dulcimer Sessions". It has the haunting quality characteristic of many Aeolian (minor) mode tunes. The tune was thought to have been composed by the English lute player Francis Cutting, though more recent evidence suggest he may have merely arranged an older tune for his instrument.

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Tull GlazenerDavid Schnaufer
September 2016 - "Beautiful Dreamer"

In honor of the memory of legendary dulcimer virtuoso and instructor David Schnaufer, this month's tune is an arrangement of the Stephen Foster classic "Beautiful Dreamer". Published shortly after the composer's death in 1864, and thought to be one of the last songs he ever wrote. 

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September 2015 - "All The Good Times Are Past and Gone"

This month's tune is a traditional ballad called "All the Good Times Are Past and Gone". David discovered that this melody also went by the name of "Six Months Ain't That Long A Time". The exact origins of the tune are unknown, although we know that it pre-dates the Civil War. It is a mainstay in old-time music circles, and since the Monroe Brothers recorded it in the 1950's, it has also become popular at Bluegrass gatherings.

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September 2014 - "Twilight Eyes"

This month's offering is an arrangement of a song co-written by David Schnaufer and his long-time songwriting partner Herb McCullough in 1987 called “Twilight Eyes”. Years later, David met pop star Cyndi Lauper when she became one of his dulcimer students through the music program at the Blair School of music in Nashville. That turned into a long-time friendship and collaboration, as David appeared on a number of Cyndi's albums. She returned the favor by recording the vocal track to "Twilight Eyes" when David recorded the song again on his "Delcimore" CD.

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September 2012 - "Waltz of the Waters"

This month's offering is an arrangement of a song David Schnaufer co-wrote with fellow Nashville songwriter Townes Van Zandt called "Waltz of the Waters". Though both were native Texans, they first met in Nashville in the 1990's, through mutual friends and business associates such as "Cowboy" Jack Clement, and John Lomax III.

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September 2007 - "Blackberry Jam"

This month's tune is an arrangement of a song called "Blackberry Jam", which was written by a friend of David's named Rocky Alvey. Rocky is the superintendent at Vanderbilt's Dyer Observatory in Nashville. Since David was an astronomy enthusiast, he spent lots of time on the observatory grounds, an idyllic oasis-like hilltop in the middle of downtown Nashville, and quickly struck up a friendship with Rocky. David used to say you "can't swing a cat in Nashville without hitting half a dozen song writers", and as it turned out, Rocky is also a talented songwriter. One of Rocky’s original songs was “Blackberry Jam”.

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