Hi, I’m Eric Meier. I build bowed psalteries, and I thought I would share some of my building experience with you. I’ve designed an online project which walks you through the entire process of building this musical instrument—from start to finish.
Why am I sharing all of this online with you? Because you’ve got to hear this wonderful instrument in person! It seems that many musical instrument plans consist of an eclectic mix of cardboard, Styrofoam, and celery (?) – but not this one! When you are done, you will have a real, enjoyable, playable, and amazing musical instrument. (And your repertoire will not be limited to the four notes of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ either…)
Let me show you what this instrument looks like:
What’s not to like about the bowed psaltery? They have the most wonderful ringing sound of any musical instrument that I’ve ever heard, with a haunting sustain that makes the music seemingly float in midair and tingle in your ears. They are easy to play, and in their most basic form are fairly simple to build. So…
…to the wonderful of bowed psalteries, that is! That little phrase in the above paragraph sums up the foundation of this online project: simple to build. As with any instrument, the bowed psaltery can be as simple or extravagant as you want to make it. While the instruments that I build for Phantasy Psalteries are a bit more involved, on this website I’ve created a plan for a simple psaltery. By changing the layout and the shape to a basic triangle, and eliminating some of the more intricate steps – along with giving in-depth and thorough directions – I hope to make bowed psalteries available for just about everyone to build.
And as an encouragement, you can even view a gallery of finished psalteries made by others using the instructions given on this website.
Everything you need to know to build a bowed psaltery can be found here!