CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in the Midlands & the North

Leslie Evans - playing style

Mr. Evans contributed very personal arrangements to his pieces; he made much use of arabesques, rather like those of Ted Carr, only a little less vigorous, liberal use of secondary dominant chords, one-handed tremolos - most unusual - and, perhaps the most striking feature, lots of contrast, for instance of resonance (damped and undamped), dynamics (both terraced and gradual) and texture; as example one could quote his treatment of Hundred Pipers, accompanied by a simple drone and played rather quietly, followed by Scotland the Brave with bass and much fuller chords, and played more loudly, to be contrasted in turn with Handel's aria Silent worship, and the masterly rendering of the bells.

"Mr. Biddle used to bring his up, he was on one side of the table and I was on the other, we were like a dulcimer Rawicz and Landauer, sort of effort ... I said, "Now, Mr. Biddle, you start off with what you're going to do and don't trouble what I'm going to do, I'm going to improve (35) on what you're going to do by putting some harmony in ... then I'd start up and put little runs in, you see... "

"I like to put a piece on, say Silent Worship, or, say, a song of the day what everybody's got on their mind, you see, and then improve on it, to suit the dulcimer, and that goes down well, something that people want, they don't want quickness or anything like that, they want quality."