Friday, 27 March 2020

Resources for 6 String Lyre 2020

Here are the links referred to in this video

Tom Crosby's Lyre tools (Lyre chord generator):

Lyre playing method: Spike Bakker's Moro Music Youtube Channel:

Facebook Lyre group:

Yahoo Anglo Saxon Lyre Forum/Newsgroup, alas now removed by yahoo, leaving just the facebook version of the Group

My old Lyre playing webpage:


etsy shop:



Friday, 20 March 2020

Runosong melodies on a 5 string kantele video by Arja Kastinen

I just had to share this is a video from Arja Kastinen on the 5 String Kantele with Bronze strings in A tuning.  Do check out her classic kantele album on the 1833 Bronze kantele on her website

She writes in her video notes:

"Four runosong melodies with variations played on a 5-string kantele. The kantele is a replica made by Rauno Nieminen. It has bronze strings. The original was made by the famous runosinger Ontrei Malinen in 1833 in Vuonninen, Viena Karelia. The kantele is tuned according to harmonics, and thus it's not in Equal Temperament.

You can find old runosongmelodies online at: - "Haku" - "tarkennettu haku" - "kokoelmat". And when you scroll down from the "kokoelmat", you can find two collections of runosongs: "Runosävelmät I" and "Runosävelmät II". The four runosong melodies that are played on this video were collected by Axel August Borenius in 1877 and in 1879 in Ilomantsi, Leppävirta and Kivijärvi (Hiitola). You can transpose the melodies and you should also variate them; only one or two basic phrases are written down."

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Free: 5 String Kantele ebook and plans Download

Free Download here:
Playlist for making and playing:

My original 2004 ebook and plan are now available to download for free, for educational use by anyone in these unprecedented times. They are meant as a springboard to start making musical instruments, an introduction to the Finnish Style kantele and its traditional playing. The ebook guides you through construction and you can either print off plans on your home computer or draw them out by hand,

This ebook was later expanded to become the kantele aking CD-ROM still available as a Download with further kantele plans.

Kindle Ebook edition which will be text-based should be available next year.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Pineapple Tenor Ukulele in Bog Oak by Michael J King

This is a rare one-off Bog Oak Tenor Pineapple Ukulele.  The first one I have made using Bog Oak for the top as well as the back and sides.  It has a 1920's vibe about it in its simplicity.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

KravikLyra: Death of Ragnar Lothbrok theme tune

Kraviklyra Tuned A C D E F G a so if the strings are numbered 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 then the main theme to start with is 5 6 5 3 4 5 6 Chords that can be played to accompany the voice include 5 and 3 played together and 2 and 4 for example. You can see and hear Einar Selvik excellent rendition on the Vikings Tv show as well as on Youtube videos like this one: Instruments to order and plans to make your own available from my various shops online: website

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Anglo Saxon Lyre: E Minor Pentatonic Tuning

E G A B D E tuning,   E minor Penatonic scale

Digital Detox Challenge with a Punkt MP01 2018

I am mobile phone Junkie, that's the truth of it, a detox has been on the cards for a while.
The main downsides of this experience are that it's not something you can easily share while you're doing it,
My plan was to Take the sim out of the iphone 6s and to do the detox from 8 to 5.30 each day and then to use my Ipad/android phone in the evening.
The first two weeks I pretty much followed this, but with travelling around and attending a funeral of a friend, I found I used my Android backup device with wifi more and more to fill the gaps, Buying a physical train ticket when visiting family again seemed anachronistic to the extreme.
Typing on the MP01 was fine for simple replies but took forever as I like to write in full sentences, reminds me why I loved going over to Blackberry back in 2010! I discovered that not too many people texts these days.
With my main Sim in the Punkt MP01 I had to turn off iMessage and facetime, That was not a big a deal as I thought. Soon found that most people on my Contacts list including customers used Facebook Messenger.
By week two I needed to change tactics, My sim returned to my iPhone and I used a second sim to forward all calls to the Punkt phone, I could then allocate time to work distraction free. My fitness band, a Xiaomi Mi band 2 was connected to facebook messenger so if there was a message could look at my phone if I needed too.
The device itself is charming and simple to use, with none of the extras found on other dumb phones, The audio sounds are really fun and the battery life as you can expect is amazing. I had no trouble fitting wither my Giffgaff/O2 or EE nano sim in an adapter in the phone at all. swapping wasn't too hard.
I think towards the end of the period I made up for the time lost by using a spare android phone I have without a Sim like an ipod to catch up on Podcasts, watch Youtube videos. managed my Facebook detox better but Still posted there via the Instagram app.
I used my Laptop so much during this month, I realise that I have transferred all my typing to customers and website use to this from the smartphone. Explains my normal battery drain by mid morning!
In future I plan to keep using the forwarding call function in the mornings when in the workshop to keep my start clear, Working from home this means leaving the Phone in the living room on charge and out of the way, The same for overnight, or if out with friends.
Will try to limit Podcasts to the afternoon or when doing repetitive tasks, Doing this demi-detox helped to break my iphone use I think, I was worried about not having imessage and the mail app but I didn't miss any messages.
so now my contract has just ended, all I have to do is decide which Android phone I want to get!
Digital detox!