The BHHA will sponsor a workshop Saturday, May 10, on how Swedish immigrants played hymns and folk songs on the psalmodikon, a pioneer musical instrument like the one on display in the Steeple Building. The workshop will be at 2 p.m. in the Dairy Building. It is free and open to the public.
Pete Ellertsen, a retired teacher and amateur musician of Springfield, will demonstrate how pastors of the 1800s used the psalmodikon to teach singing in four-part harmony to rural congregations who might not know how to read music. Ellertsen plays a replica of the instrument in the Steeple Building museum.
Workshop participants will learn how to read psalmodikon tablature, known as “siffor-noter” (number notes) and convert it to sheet music; and how to sing simple melodies and play them on the mountain dulcimer or another musical instrument. All skill levels and all instruments are welcome. This workshop is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council.