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Wrong Walter Martin?

Walter P. Martin

Founder

Sunhearth Folk Music

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Sunhearth Folk Music

Web References(9 Total References)


Walter Martin, Sunhearth

Walter P. Martin
Founder, Sunhearth Folk Music


Sunhearth: The History of Bear Meadow

Dwain Wilder learned it from Walter Martin, of Roaring Spring, a little town in the mountains of western Pennsylvania.
Walt is a world-famous builder of Appalachian dulcimers. He made a thousand of them before retiring at age 80. Walter founded Sunhearth Folk Instruments in 1971. Walt had built and driven race-cars, had taught high-school shop for years, and had built the family home (which he named "Sunhearth") with the help of his father in the 1930s. Now, looking for another challenge, he happened to hear a group of folk-singers at State College, PA, and fell in love with the music. He invited them all home and bet them a keg of beer they couldn't sing all night long without repeating themselves. He paid for a lot of beer that night, but also fell in love with the Appalachian Dulcimer. It turned out there was a whole world of music right on his doorstep he'd never heard. Now, Walt can't carry a tune in a bucket, but he is an excellent artisan, and he set out to research the dulcimer with an engineer's thoroughness. The design he came up with in a few months became the heart of the Sunhearth success. It was half engineering, half wit, and half luck. Over the first few years, he puzzled painfully though string physics, fret spacing, musical scales, and design refinements, but he built dulcimers that have a sweetness and clarity no one else had achieved. Most dulcimers begin to sound like thumb pianos up in the second octave, but Walt's just keep singing with that same sweetness all the way up to the strum hollow. He was soon winning notice at fairs and music festivals around Pennsylvania. Somewhere along the way, Mike and Walt met Lorraine Lee Hammond. Walt called him his "Number Two Son", and it would be like keeping the business in the family if Dwain took it up. Dwain Wilder studied formally with Walt for a few weeks to catch up on the arcane little corners of what Walt knew. After a few years of development, Bear Meadow dulcimers have greater dynamic range and are more responsive than Walter's were.


Bookmatching Top Sets

Currently, I use a home-made thickness sander that I inherited from Walt Martin, of Sunhearth.


Sunhearth: The History of Bear Meadow

At Roaring Spring, deep in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, Sunhearth Folk Instruments was founded by Walter Martin, in 1971.


Dulcimer

Sunhearth dulcimers were built by Walter Martin of Roaring Spring, a little town in the mountains of western Pennsylvania.
Walt was a world-famous builder of Appalachian dulcimers. He made a thousand of them before retiring at age 80. Walter founded Sunhearth Folk Instruments in 1971. Walt had built and driven race-cars, had taught high-school shop for years, and had built the family home (which he named "Sunhearth") with the help of his father in the 1930s. Now, looking for another challenge, he happened to hear a group of folk-singers at State College, PA, and fell in love with the music. He invited them all home and bet them a keg of beer they couldn't sing all night long without repeating themselves. He paid for a lot of beer that night, but also fell in love with the Appalachian Dulcimer. It turned out there was a whole world of music right on his doorstep he'd never heard. Now, Walt can't carry a tune in a bucket, but he is an excellent artisan, and he set out to research the dulcimer with an engineer's thoroughness. The design he came up with in a few months became the heart of the Sunhearth success. It was half engineering, half wit, and half luck. Over the first few years, he puzzled painfully though string physics, fret spacing, musical scales, and design refinements, but he build dulcimers that has a sweetness and clarity no one else had achieved. Most dulcimers begin to sound like thumb pianos up in the second octave, but Walt's just keep singing with that same sweetness all the way up to the strum hollow. He was soon winning notice at fairs and music festivals around Pennsylvania. Somewhere along the way, Mike and Walt met Lorraine Lee Hammond. Walt called him his "Number Two Son", and it would be like keeping the business in the family if Dwain took it up. Dwain Wilder studied formally with Walt for a few weeks to catch up on the arcane little corners of what Walt knew. After a few years of development, Bear Meadow dulcimers are louder and more dynamic than Walter's were. If you wish to list your Sunhearth instrument (Walter Martin also built banjos and hammered dulcimers) on our site, please contact us with the number, photo, your name and contacts.


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