The Standard Series dulcimer is intended to be formulated specifically for the individual musician. While each instrument in the series has its own distinctive capabilities and characteristics, it can be ordered with or without a variety of optional equipment, thus offering a wide range in the instrument's voice refinement, musical accomplishment and cost.
The Standard Teardrop is an excellent small instrument for parlor playing or the traditional strum/drone style. It is the basis for the very popular Student's Teardrop, built in Bear Meadow Novice Apprenticeships, Introductory Studio Classes, and the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium's Dulcimer Building Class.
The Standard Hourglass is a versatile, full-voiced instrument capable of performance dynamic range and projection. It is often used in concert, and is a favorite of many teachers, performers and serious students of the Appalachian dulcimer.
The members of the Concert Series are fully equipped instruments for professional musicians and serious students of the Appalachian dulcimer. Each instrument in the series is distinctive, both acoustically and in its physical presence. With a Concert Series instrument, you have a dulcimer that will go anywhere your music takes you, be it the recording studio, stage, jam session, music festival, or your own parlour.
The Concert Teardrop has a fully developed voice, comparable to the Concert Hourglass, but a little less volume. It is a concert instrument, and is sometimes built by students at the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium, and the Advanced Apprentice Program.
A fully developed voice, though not quite the depth and refinement of the Concert Series. The Concert Hourglass is often chosen by performers and serious students who want a low-cost entry into the Bear Meadow Concert Series. It is built on the same mold as the Swan and the Concert Grand, with a slightly smaller rib height.
The Swan seems to be full of feminine energy. The design originated as a gift to Lorraine Hammond, and went on to become a favoite choice of performers. It has a more robust voice and dynamic range than the Concert Hourglass, due to choice of woods and a slightly deeper rib.
The Baby Grand was originally designed as a baritone. But it turns out to have a wonderful full-range voice that performs equally well in conventional tuning. It is often used interchangeably -- baritone and conventional tuning -- with a suitable choice of strings of equal tension.
The Concert Grand was designed to embody everything I knew at the time of the art and craft of lutherie. It has the fullest, deepest voice, the greatest dynamic range, of all the Bear Meadow dulcimer line. The Concert Grand is often chosen by professional performers, teachers and serious students of the mountain dulcimer who want the best dulcimer that can be found.
And then there is the Urnes Grand, originally commissioned by a client who is an anthropologist and historian of Nordic Viking culture. She asked that a reproduction of a silver Viking brooch be interpreted into the soundhole. After much research into Viking lore I at last came to an understanding of this piece, and what it represents. Then I took up my knife and made a few studies, resulting in the Urnes Grand.