At this weekend's 7th Annual Summer Solstice Dulcimer and Traditional Music and Dance Festival at Cal State Northridge, visitors can learn how to make musical instruments out of garden hoses, listen to 86-year-old Percy Danforth playing bones, watch a musical saw contest and join in dozens of workshops.
The diverse program, with more than 27 simultaneous events, is the largest teaching festival in the U.S. Workshops for beginners include playing the fiddle, banjo, bagpipes, pennywhistle and, of course, the dulcimer. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own instruments (a check room is available) but there will also be loaners.
More workshops include cowboy songs, sea songs, children's songs, and bells. Experts from Mexico, Nova Scotia, France and many other countries are coming to teach and perform such specialties as bowing styles from Madeleine Island, Scandinavian piano accordion and Irish dance music.
Children, who can appreciate the delicate instruments, are welcome at the workshops. In addition, there'll be a storytelling area.
Both workshops and concerts will be indoors and outdoors. Visitors may bring picnic lunches or buy food at several campus sites. In addition to musical instruments and picnic baskets, families are encouraged to bring blankets, tape recorders and blank tapes.