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Phyllis Gaskins and the Galax Dulcimer

Phyllis Gaskins, nee Williams was born in 1947 at home in the midst of a late winter blizzard at the foot of the Blue Ridge just down from the Skyline Drive. She was raised in a family steeped in the struggles and privations of mountain culture. Some of her fondest memories center around sitting on the front porch with her grandmother singing the old folk songs and hymns. She grew up with a fertile interest in music. She played piano for the choir at the little Bear Lithia Baptist Church just down the road and shared her music with family and friends.

As a master of the Galax dulcimer style and as a master dulcimer teacher she has spent more than two decades sharing her skill and passing on her knowledge of the dulcimer and traditional music to many others interested in Appalachian dulcimer around the country. She has had a colorful and illustrative journey which continues and shows no signs of abating. An important milestone on that journey is the publishing of 'Galax Dulcimer' in which she has synthesized much of her vast knowledge about the “Galax” dulcimer: its history, construction, builders, playing style, and the beautiful traditional tunes sung to life and renewed with every stroke of pick or quill. She performs on dulcimer with two bands, The Highlander String Band and Port Road String BandEmail Phyllis with any questions you might have about her dulcimer or dulcimer playing style or if you would like her to lead a dulcimer workshop.

Read a Review of 'Galax Dulcimer' at Americana Rhythm Magazine

Galax Dulcimer - Book/CD ($39.95)

A Job of Journey Work

The Galax Dulcimer book is a comprehensive, informative book dedicated to the unique playing and construction style of the Galax Dulcimer. Included are songs with playing instructions and Phyllis' own adapted notation showing the authentic playing style of the Galax Dulcimer. There is a section about the dulcimer history and construction as well as some of the artists who defined this style.  This book is a valuable resource for historians, musicians and dulcimer fans of all ability levels and interests.

Also included is an instructional Audio CD of all the tunes in the book played on Phyllis's Galax Dulcimer. Each tune is played on the dulcimer slowly and then up tempo.

Listen to and View a Preview of Galax Dulcimer

Dulcimer book with Songsheets, history and construction by Phyllis Gaskins  

Recordings by Phyllis Gaskins

Songs written by Phyllis Gaskins
performed and recorded by Brent Holl.