Hammered Dulcimer

Hammered Dulcimer. The Hammered Dulcimer is a fantastic instrument and a joy to play.Large trapezoidal zither with many strings in pairs, 3s or 4s stretched over long (sometimes individually moveable) bridges. Played with small wooden or cane hammers. Played in British Isles and North America. Closely related to the Hungarian cymbalom, German/Swiss hackbrett, Iraqi and Iranian santir (probably the origin of all of these), Indian santoor, Korean yangum and Chinese yang qin. The Hammer or Hammered Dulcimer is larger instrument than the mountain dulcimer it is played by hitting the strings with wooden or cane hammers. It has large trapezium shaped solid wooden frame with a wooden soundboard and back plate. It has many strings in pairs, 3s or 4s stretched over long (sometimes individually moveable) bridges.
It is played in the British Isles and North America.

The Hammered dulcimer is a diatonic instrument, and the scales available go round the circle of 5ths. The diatonic scale is played by hitting the first 4 strings on the bass side, then switching to the first 4 on the treble side for the next 4 notes of the scale. If the lowest scale is A starting with the first course, then the D scale will start on the 4th course (the 4th note of the A scale), again using the first 4 notes on the bass (right) then switching to the treble (left) side. And so on with the scale of G, C and maybe even F.

The range of the dulcimer is up to 3 octaves usually from D to D”’ on a 29 course instrument. This gives the diatonic keys of A, D, G and C. Our smallest instrument with 17 courses has a range from G to A”, limiting the player to the keys of D and G.

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