Three piccolo kanteles: Friends of the mountain dulcimer

After finishing the three sopranino kanteles, it was time to take their picture.  I always forget this step and before you know it the things I just made are gone and I don’t have a picture to show my work.

I dusted off my Appalachian dulcimer and tuned it to DAD; the sopranion kantele tuned in D major should sound good with it.  This video of mountain dulcimer and 5 string kantele (the standard size) show the possibilities.
sopranino kantele, mountain dulcimer, azaleasAs I worked outside, completing the finishing touches and ultimately using the azalea backdrop for a photoshoot, I had the delightful music of the sandhill cranes singing directly overhead.  They are not in crisp formation — which is a good sign it means they will be here for a bit. When they are always in formation, it means they are practicing and getting ready to leave.  On this day, however, I think they were just warming their undersides.

Sandhill Cranes Singing overhead

Two of the kantele soundboards are made from walnut and the third is mahogany (left below). All sound bright and surprising loud for the little instrument they are.

5 string-sopranino kantelesMichael J King,  who is very helpful and where I got the plans for the kanteles, calls these tiny instruments piccolo kanteles.  For my stringed instruments, I call them sopranino kanteles.  I have made travel ukuleles that are similar and these kanteles are right up there (so to speak). However the closed back and the fretted neck make travel ukes that much more labor intensive.