This left-handed Alto Rounded psaltery has 30 strings, ranging F4-Bb6. Constructed with a spruce soundboard on a body of lacewood. The single sound hole features an intricately carved Rosewood rosette. It ships with a psaltery bow, tuning tool and rosin.
The Bowed Alto Rounded Psaltery is a beautiful sounding melody instrument producing a clear and ethereal sound. The psaltery is also a very easy to play. The psaltery bow is held in the dominate hand and only one string is played at a time, being bowed between the Hitch Pins. You may choose to play your psaltery with two bows, one in each hand. With that technique, each bow plays one side of the instrument.
Playing the Alto Rounded psaltery may seem daunting until you understand the placement of the notes. Look at the psaltery and you will see the Hitch Pins along one side are evenly spaced (like white keys on a piano). On the opposite side the Hitch Pins are arranged in groups of 3 and 2 with spaces between (like the black keys on a piano). Bowing the evenly spaced strings plays the natural notes. Sharps and flats are played by reaching the bow over to the opposite side of the instrument. A Right-Handed Psaltery has the natural notes on the right side, the Left-Handed Psaltery has the natural notes are on the left side.
The Bow must be rosined before it can play the strings. To rosin up the bow, rough up the surface of the new rosin, a key or nail file works will. Rosin the ends of the hairs first, in short fast strokes, then rosin the full length from end to end. Rotate the rosin cake under the hairs as you drag the bow across. This rotation will maintain a flat surface and prevent a deeply grooved rosin which can damage bow hairs. A properly rosined bow will have rosin powder evenly distributed throughout the hair. Never handle the hair of the bow with your hands. Oils from your skin will leave permanent slick spots that will inhibit retention of the rosin powder.
Clean your bow with a soft dry cloth after each use. Occasionally, wipe the playing area of the strings. Rosin which is allowed to accumulate too heavily, especially on the undersides of the strings, will adversely affect the tone and playability of the instrument. The Microfiber Polishing Cloth is sold separately, and is perfect for cleaning the bow (item code RBSMFPI).
Broken or loose hairs are not uncommon and will not affect the playing characteristics of the bow. If a hair breaks do not to pluck it out. Carefully cut the hair, leaving a little bit at both ends.
Tuning: F4 – Bb6
Overall dimensions: 7.5″ in width by 20.5″ in length
Strings at Bridge 5.5″ width
Scale Length 17.5 inches longest string