minstrel: scheitholz

Lisa and Ken Theriot Lnktheriot at satx.rr.com
Mon Apr 14 14:33:27 PDT 2008

Rois wrote:

[I tried googling "scheitholz" and got a bunch of sites in Swedish and
such. This is an interesting topic of conversation, because I have been
wanting to find a dulcimer or harp type strummed instrument to play in
the SCA. I am a beginner to any strummed instrument (play the guitar a
little) and would love to know where to look/research period instruments
and where to find one to learn on. Also, if anyone who plays said
instrument is in Caer Galen/Caerte/Dragonsspine, I would love to meet
with you and discuss.]

The scheitholz (also spelled scheitholt) is first described in technical
terms by Michael Praetorius in his "Syntagma Musicum" published ca.
1620, which is an encyclopedic work covering all instruments he could
find out about.  I believe that he describes the scheitholz (which is
identical with the word for "firewood", so you might get some
interesting hits in Google!) as having been around for awhile. There's a
guy making them here, but $500, ouch!:


There's additional information and a "do-it-yourself" pattern here:


For those of you who love poring over medieval musical works, the SM is
in the process of being webbed here:


Also check out the langeleik, for which specimens exist from 1524:



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