“For Health and Strength” on the Dulcimer

Here’s a simple grace arranged for the dulcimer for the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. I can remember singing this song as a blessing before the meal since I was a little girl, especially at church dinners and camps. When sung “a cappella” by a group with voices ranging from soprano to baritone and bass, it is very inspiring. I arranged the song for a standard dulcimer tuned to DAD and also for a baritone dulcimer tuned to AEA and played in the Key of D.

Playing the Tune as a Round on the Dulcimer

This is a 3-part round. The second and third parts enter at the “pick-up” note at the end of the first measure. The song is very short — only four measures, so you have to be ready to chime in when playing this as a round. Although I only remember singing the entire blessing one time through at church functions, I added three slight variations for the dulcimer so a person can play the song three times. It is possible to play many songs at several places on the dulcimer. Each fret configuration gives a slightly different “feel.”

On this tune, pick the frets shown or add some strums. Picking only the notes shown allows the other parts of this harmonious song to shine through. And this song does have a beautiful harmony when played as a round.

Because the baritone notes give lower pitches, I got out my baritone dulcimer and made an arrangement for an AEA dulcimer in the Key of D with three slight variations. The lower tones add pleasing contrast. If you have a bass dulcimer, most likely it is tuned to DAD, just an octave lower. Use the tab for the standard dulcimer to play along.

Here are JPEG files as well as PDF files to download.

This Thanksgiving, we have alot to be thankful for. Let’s count our blessings.

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