CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in Southern Ireland

An unnamed player with the Four Seasons Ochestra, 1926

In 1926, the Four Seasons Orchestra recorded four selections in New York, on 20th September; these were released on the HMV and Victor Labels, on three 78 rpm records as shown by the label numbers (in brackets), while the matrix numbers show that the selections were recorded consecutively, and that two were 'first takes' (i.e. the first performance was used for the recording) and two were 'second takes' (i.e. recordings of the second performance, sometimes, but not always, because of a mistake in the first version):

A 36194-2 Katie Connor - medley intro Hillside/Jackets Green Victor 79008
A 36195-2 Little Stack of Barley/Sand's Hornpipe HMV B2559; Victor 79008
A 36196-1 Fairy Reel/Sheehan's Reel HMV B2559
A 36197-1 Two Irish Dances: The Seven Step/Shoe the Donkey HMV B2931

The band's line-up was fiddle, flute (doubling piccolo), banjo, piano and dulcimer, and all except the piano play the melody all the time; it is thus very difficult to isolate the sound of the dulcimer except by the resonance, the sound which in Scandinavia would be called efterklang, 'after-sound', but which cannot in this case be rendered by the normal translation of 'echo'.

One is perhaps most aware of the contrast between the presence and absence of the dulcimer in the Fairy Reel/Sheehan's Reel sequence, because it is apparent that the dulcimer stops playing in the second piece - the sound of which is more clipped and precise, without the efterklang of the dulcimer's undampened strings - joining in again in the return to the first tune.