Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tsimbl: A new blog for an old instrument

Picture of a Tsimbl"Ouff.. I actually made kind of a maniacal impulse purchase today, I'm almost ashamed to tell you what it is. I bought a Tsymbaly (laptop hammered dulcimer) :( But to be fair, it has been my lifelong dream for about 5 years to own one, but then again I never really thought about it. But suddenly today I saw one for about 1/3 the price it would cost to have one built out west where they still build them. Then again it's another one of those things that would sound annoying to hear someone learning to play it.. But on the other hand, it's about the 3rd most "klezmer" instrument after the violin and clarinet. If I could ever get good enough to play that, though."

So starts the first post of Dan Carkner's new blog "Learning Tsymbaly." Dan's off to a great start and has posted lots of links to tsimbl (cimbalom) history, current players and makers, and recordings. He's also talked about his learning process, including how he's strung and tuned his tsimbl and his take on the role of the tsimbl in various klezmer forms. I'm looking forward to learning more about the tsimbl from Dan and wish him the best for his playing and his blog.


Dan Carkner said...

Thanks for giving me a little writeup! I'm totally not used to writing things that people will be openly reading on the internet, it makes me nervous about what I can and can't write, but I'm still hoping to keep at it.

Jack said...

Hi Dan. I'm not the only one that's mentioned you. Ari from Klezmershack ( and "Hasidic Musician" from BloginDm ( have also linked to you.

I know what you mean about being nervous. I've been doing my blog since about January. I still fret about it all the time. Should I mention something that happened in my family? Should I say that I think a particular album is mediocre?

But, in general, I've gotten very positive feedback on my blog (only been yelled at a couple of times) and I'm sure you will too (have positive feedback, I mean). I find that having the blog is a good way to keep me focused on my project (learning about Jewish music). Hopefully, you'll find your blog a good way to keep you focused on learning about the tsimbl.