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Archive for November 3rd, 2013

Originally published in the Kent News Journal, January 28, 1976

By Wini Carter

Dave Coby, Black Diamond ex-miner and logger, relies purely on his ears to get the right tone as he plays waltz on his Swedish steel saw. Coby was entertaining at a luncheon for senior citizens Thursday in Black Diamond.

Dave Coby, Black Diamond ex-miner and logger, relies purely on his ears to get the right tone as he plays waltz on his Swedish steel saw. Coby was entertaining at a luncheon for senior citizens Thursday in Black Diamond.

Dave Coby closed his eyes, tipping his head toward his right shoulder as his arms stretched out to the left to manipulate the shining band of Swedish steel whose handle was gripped between his knees.

The sweet singing vibration of bow sliding across the smooth back edge of the saw produced a waltz melody as a recorder on the floor softly provided backup music from a tape of waltzes and melody favorites of the past.

Some 75 senior citizens eating lunch in St. Barbara’s Parish Hall in Black Diamond nodded their heads with pleasure.

Coby’s expression was dreamy and withdrawn. One might think he was averting his head far from the source of the music because he can’t stand it.

But that’s not true. Coby turns his head because the musical saw artist relies on his ears to get the proper tone.

There are no keys to press, no strings to pluck, no notes to follows in the musical saw: Just the gentle pressure of the hand, bending the saw up or down, and the movement of the bow at proper angle and proper spot on the back edge.

“It’s as simple as can be,” said Coby, who learned to play to saw 30 years ago under the tutelage of an older brother. (more…)

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