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Dancing with the Kalmaks

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 @10:59:32 PM

Last weekend my wife and I attended the annual 'Folklife' festival in Washington D.C. Each year one country sponsors a main display of its music, cuisine, literature, handicrafts, industries, etc. This year's main exhibitor was Hungary (YUM!), but one of the secondary exhibits was of cultures which were in danger of having their language die out due to a dwindling number of speakers. One of those on display was Kalma, and they had a two-stringed folk instrument with a totally unpronounceable name in their booth. I discovered that it was tuned with the strings a major fourth apart. They were (pleasantly) surprised when I picked it up and started playing 'Oh Susanna' on it; they started dancing to the tune. It was a blast!

 

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