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I built a simple Scandinavian Psalmodikon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:41 pm
by David Smith
A while back I built a simple Scandinavian Psalmodikon (or Psalmodicon). It is composed of a simple rectangular wooden box with raised fretboard and has a single metal string. It is usually played by bowing and was used to accompany church hymns in poor rural churches. One unusual feature is the sawtooth fretboard. Another feature is the numberboard that lays next to the fretboard, numbers on the fretboard correspond to the numbered music that was used. I was worried that the jagged (sawtooth) fretboard would be difficult to finger smoothly, but have found that it is very easy to play. Here are some photos.
I also made a video of a couple of tunes, so you can take a look and listen here: https://youtu.be/AgkWo0y5Q5c

David Smith
Dearborn, Michigan

Re: I built a simple Scandinavian Psalmodikon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:51 pm
by Karl Wicklund
How well does that fret board hold up against the string pressure? I have only held one of these once, and that was years ago. It seems like the string would dig in to those edges.

Re: I built a simple Scandinavian Psalmodikon

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:30 pm
by David Smith
Karl Wicklund wrote:How well does that fret board hold up against the string pressure? I have only held one of these once, and that was years ago. It seems like the string would dig in to those edges.


Karl, I haven't played my instrument all that much and I don't see any wear, but my gut feeling is that the metal string pressing against the wood fret edges won't show much wear even with a lot of playing. I have looked at photos of may old Psalmodikons and I haven't seen any evidence of edge wear.