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. In 2004, David was working on a compilation album project titled "Appalachian Picking Society", and used "When Silence Was Golden" as one of the cuts he contributed to that album.
David co-wrote the tune with his long-time Nashville song-writing partner, Herb McCullough. Those two wound up collaborating on quite a number of songs over the years, many of which David recorded, including "Starry Lullaby", "Twilight Eyes", and "Wait A Minute". When asked about the title, David would only say he was thinking about a time in his past when the best thing he could have done was to keep silent, but unfortunately, he did not.
David liked playing this out of the key of A, which he accomplished out of D-A-d tuning by capo'ing at the 4th fret. The arrangement I've posted is in the key of D, so no capo is necessary. I actually like playing this tune on a baritone dulcimer tuned A-E-a, using the same tab, which puts it back in the key of A. The arrangement is best played in a flat-picking or finger-picking style. The places where the notes are in a small font in parentheses in the tab indicate that you should hold your fingers down on the strings at the frets indicated by the numbers in parentheses while flat-picking the individual melody notes indicated by the larger font tab numbers.
Here's a link to a YouTube video of the version of this tune that was included in the 2004 compilation CD project "Appalachian Picking Society":