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Gallier Dulcimers – The Starsong


Effective 7-5-2011

My waiting list again has gotten way too long for comfort and I feel like I must once again suspend taking new orders for the time being.   Feel free to email me and express your interest for when I resume taking orders…which I will do…but at this time I just don’t know how to predict the wait.   I will keep track of your contact information.   When I get a  better grip on existing orders I will certainly let you know.



***New Model Update***

I have a new model…The Starsong Teardrop.   I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.   My first concern was that it would have a different sound than the hourglass.  But as it started going together I got the feeling that the resonance and mechanics of the design were the same and they were giving indicators that there wouldn’t be much difference.   And I was right, it sounds as good as any hourglass I have ever built.   That was the key for me to feel like it was worthy of adding as a permanent option to what I offer.   Because it’s a little easier for me to build…less bending of sides, trim, liner…it will be $150 less expensive than the hourglass.   I have added pictures of it on the “Galliery” page.


The Starsong – Mountain, or fretted dulcimers are in an era of evolution, with much experimentation in design and construction being the norm rather than the exception. Gallier Dulcimers are on the forefront of this innovation, not in just the way they look, but also in the fundamental physics of how they reproduce sound.

The birth of the Starsong design has been a 30 year incubation of experimentation, research, and testing, resulting in an instrument that literally stands alone in the dulcimer world. The challenge has been to create a design that maintains the silvery sweetness that enchants so many people upon hearing a mountain dulcimer, while at the same time improving fullness of tone, providing good sustain, increasing projection and eliminating unwanted nasal overtones. Constructed with the professional player in mind, The Starsong is extremely balanced across all the strings at all positions, with exacting intonation at even the highest frets on a very fast fretboard. The elegant shape was first and foremost developed to accomplish tonal benefits with its beauty being a coincidence. A fusion of time tested acoustic principles have been drawn from guitar and mandolin construction, as well as utilization of transfer tube technology from African drum construction. The unique trademark pin bridge is positioned over a specifically shaped and scalloped bracing system that is extremely efficient in how it pumps air while perpetuating sustain.

Below is a YouTube link that is an accurate representation of the sound of a Gallier Starsong. It was recorded outdoors with the camera positioned on the tailgate of my car, about 6 feet away. The sound track is straight from the built in microphone on the video camera with no other sound enhancement.

Gallier Starsong Video Link

Even with the high performance acoustic properties of a Gallier instrument, there are times when a electronic pickup system is necessary in a performance setting. The optional pickup/preamp system used in Gallier dulcimers are a result of real world concert testing over a period of nearly 20 years. The criteria for their selection was natural acoustic sound, strong signal, and excellent gain before feedback. The system consists of a specifically selected McIntyre transducer element and a tone shaping Fishman outboard preamp.

All instruments are custom built to order, with thorough discussions covering specific needs of the owner prior to beginning. This is a professional’s instrument, built and designed by Gary Gallier to meet the demanding needs of the recording artist and performer.

Current pricing:

Hourglass – $1400     Teardrop – $1250

5 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. Would like to be notified you resume taking orders on the Starsong. Thanks…JR

  2. I’ve enjoyed browsing your web site, listening to your music on YouTube, and look forward to meeting and hearing you at the Dulcimer Association of Albany’s Mountain Dulcimer Music Fest in March!

  3. Just received your CDs (On the Wing and Three Wire Choir), have played them many times and had to let you know how beautifull they are. The arrangements and accompanying instruments give me something new to listen to every time I play one of the CDs. You also introduced me to some new instruments, eg. udu, mawapu, etc. I’ll be ordering more CDs soon to use as Christmas presents for family and friends.

  4. Gary,
    I am enjoying the beautiful Starsong dulcimer that you built for me. It is quality in every sense of the word. It has already been used for an offertory and we received many comments concerning the beauty of its voice. Thank you for designing such a powerful and remarkable mountain dulcimer. Your instruments have my highest recommendation.

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