Galax Dulcimer/Melton Family Tradition – “Galax Style” is the term given to cover a type of dulcimer and a style of playing from the southwestern area of the state of Virginia, in particular the playing of one family in and around the area of Galax – the Meltons. This dulcimer style dates back to the mid-1800s and is one of the oldest in the history of mountain dulcimers predating the dulcimer revival which started around the 1960s.
On October 30, 2018, Bridgewater resident Phyllis Gaskins shared her story of how she fell in love with the Galax Style dulcimer, and how it became her passion to preserve and share this style of music for generations to come. Phyllis brought her collection of Galax dulcimers, and presented a slide show of history, and making of the instrument.
Phyllis is the ultimate authority on Galax duclimers and their history, though that is nothing that she set out to do! So our club experienced a unique opportunity to learn first hand from the acknowledged expert!
To learn more about the Galax dulcimer, see Dulcimentary: Jacob Melton – Galax Dulcimer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k8RVC3eJt0, playing on a dulcimer from Raymond Melton. Raymond played in the first Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, 1935.
If you are interested in another traditional instrument, Tennessee Music Box, Stephen Seifert demonstrates that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeSq_LGXen0, played with a noter and a turkey quill.