Where did it go?

Thousands of years ago the Egyptians built pyramids.  There are those who are dumbfounded by the concept of such primitive people building things so great. How did they do that? Well, they simply stacked stones on top one another until it was complete. The precise method we don’t know, yet another lost technology…… These same folks glued things together with hot hide glue and finished items with shellac. We still use these products today; not lost technology.

I’m dumbfounded by individuals today who assume that people in earlier times didn’t know what we know? Technologies are lost every day. Don’t they actually know more than we?

I see every day individuals who only see things in their perspective. Judging yesterday’s folks and groups of folks by today’s standard, even going so far as to want to remove historical items because they don’t conform to today’s ideology. It has been said those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.

One of the musical methods (Diatonics) was developed in Greece 2500 years ago. The basis of the Diatonic system is still used today, and once again folks feel they must inject their modern chromatic influences; insisting it is only proper.  Diatonics is by definition lacking chromatic influence.

Dulcimore making is a folk craft started in the southern highlands of Appalachia and now practiced by a few individuals scattered across the world. So many of the methods have been lost to the ages so the best we can do is speculate. So many crafts have been lost to the ages.  My time at the Museum of Appalachia showed me many a technology in transition. Imagine my frustration with folks dating things by when a technology was introduced but when so many folks continued to do it their way for many years (some till they died!) giving the date a much larger window if you will. I see it in the transitional period of the contemporary dulcimer! It was introduced to the world by Jean Richie in the 1940’s. Remember, Jean never played contemporary dulcimer, she played traditional dulcimore. Others around her accepted the piece and changed the instrument as well as the style of play. I.D. Stamper never played contemporary dulcimer, but held on to the noter drone traditional style well into the 1970’s. Just saying…..

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