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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Play The Bowed Psaltery? Anyone! Children, families, the physically challenged, the elderly, anyone who's ever played an instrument and anyone who never thought they could. If you enjoy music, you can quickly master the bowed psaltery.

How can I learn to play? Since it's so easy to play by ear most people are playing their first tune in a matter of minutes. Our instruction book and DVD, (included with every psaltery), are thorough and easy to follow. The best advice is to start with one or two songs and practice them until you're satisfied. When they sound good you're ready to progress to other songs.

What if I don't read music? If you can hum it, you can play it. The music in our instruction book has letters for each note written on it. Start with a song you're familiar with then match the letters on the notes with those on the instrument. The letters tell you which note to play, but your familiarity with the song tells you when the notes are long or short.

What type of music can I play on the bowed psaltery? The psaltery is primarily a melody instrument and its unusually clear sound lends itself to many styles of music. Our bowed psaltery has a two-and-one-half octave, 30 note chromatic range, from F-4 to A#-6 The lowest note is F above middle C. This simply means you have the range to play any song you like, be it Folk, Mountain, Bluegrass, Celtic, Gospel, Kids, Christmas or any other style.

What comes with a Unicorn Strings bowed psaltery? Included with your psaltery is a bow, rosin, some extra strings, tuning wrench, note guides, instruction book with 20 songs, and an instruction DVD - in other words, everything you need to get started and keep going. All of it comes in an attractive corrugated carrying case.

What about tuning? Under normal conditions our psalteries need tuning only once or twice a year. You can tune it yourself using our simple instructions and tape or, if you'd prefer, a music store will usually tune it for a nominal fee.


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