The hammered dulcimer (also hammer dulcimer and four hammer dulcimer) is a stringed musical instrument with the strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a Musical instrument that produces Sound by means of Vibrating strings In the Hornbostel-Sachs A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified for the purpose of making Music. A trapezoid (in North America or a trapezium (in Britain and elsewhere is a Quadrilateral (a closed plane shape with four linear sides that has at least one Typically, the dulcimer is set on a stand, at an angle, before the musician, who holds small mallet hammers in each hand to strike the strings (cf. A mallet is a type of hammer with a head made of softer materials than the Steel normally used in hammerheads so as to avoid damaging a delicate surface Appalachian dulcimer). The Appalachian dulcimer is a Fretted String instrument of the Zither family typically with three or four strings The word dulcimer is Graeco-Roman, meaning "sweet song", it derives from the Latin dulcis (sweet) and the Greek melos (song). The dulcimer's origin is uncertain, but tradition holds it was invented in Iran some 2000 years ago, where it is called a Santur (cf. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Santoor is an Indian hammered dulcimer similar to the Persian santur. the folkloric Kashmiri Santoor). The Santur is a Persian hammered dulcimer similar to the Indian santoor.
The instrument has been revived in the U. S. in the American folk music traditions. Folk music can have a number of different meanings including Traditional music: The original meaning of the term "folk music" was synonymous Some rock bands employ the hammered dulcimer as a primary instrument, including Macha of Athens, Ga. Macha was an experimental Post-rock band from Athens Georgia comprised of brothers Josh McKay (multi-instrumentalist & ex- Aleka's Attic , and Tulsa Drone of Richmond, Va. The dulcimer is played in Wales, East Anglia, Northumbria, Southwest Asia, China, and Thailand, and in traditional Austrian and Bavarian folk music. East Anglia is often used as a shorthand for the Kingdom of the East Angles. Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj
The hammered dulcimer comes in various sizes, identified by the number of strings that cross each of the bridges. A bridge is a device for supporting the strings on a Stringed instrument and transmitting the Vibration of those strings to some other structural component A 15/14, for example, has two bridges (treble and bass) and spans three octaves. In Music, an octave ( is the the use of which is "common in most musical systems The strings of a hammered dulcimer are usually found in pairs, two strings for each note (though some instruments have three or four strings per note). Each set of strings is tuned in unison and is called a course. In Music, a unison () is an interval, the ratio of 11 or 0 half steps and zero cents. A course is a pair or more of adjacent strings tuned to unison or an octave and usually played together as if a single string As with a piano, the purpose of using multiple strings per course is to make the instrument louder, although as the courses are rarely in perfect unison, a chorus effect usually results. The piano is a Musical instrument played by means of a keyboard that produces sound by striking steel strings with Felt covered hammers A chorus effect is A condition in the way people perceive similar sounds coming from multiple sources A hammered dulcimer, like an autoharp or harp, requires a tuning wrench for tuning. The Autoharp is a musical String instrument having a series of chord bars attached to dampers which when depressed mute all the strings other than those that form the The harp is a Stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. A tuning wrench (also called a tuning lever or tuning hammer is a specialized Socket wrench used to tune String instruments such as the Piano, Harp Unlike the strings of a guitar, the dulcimer's strings are wound around simple bolts (called tuning pins) with square heads. The guitar is a Musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles
The strings of the hammered dulcimer are often tuned diatonically, according to a circle of fifths pattern. In Music theory, a diatonic scale (from the Greek διατονικος, meaning " through tones" also known as the heptatonia prima and In Music theory, the circle of fifths (or '''circle of fourths''') shows the relationships among the twelve tones of the Chromatic scale, their corresponding Typically, the lowest note (often a G or D) is found on the lower right-hand corner of the instrument, just to the left of the right-hand (bass) bridge. As a player strikes the courses above in sequence, they ascend the diatonic scale based on the G or D. With this tuning, the scale is broken into two tetrachords, or groups of four notes. Traditionally a tetrachord is a series of four tones filling in the interval of a perfect fourth a 43 frequency proportion For example, on an instrument with D as the lowest note, the D major scale is played starting in the lower-right corner and ascending the bass bridge: D - E - F# - G. This is the lower tetrachord of the D major scale. At this point the player returns to the bottom of the instrument and shifts to the treble bridge to play the higher tetrachord: A - B - C# - D.
This shift to the adjacent bridge is required because the bass bridge's fourth string G is the start of the lower tetrachord of the G scale. If the player ascends the first eight strings of the bass bridge, they will encounter a flatted seventh (C natural in this case), because this note is drawn from the G tetrachord. This D major scale with a flatted seventh is the mixolydian mode in D. The Mixolydian mode is a Musical mode or Diatonic scale. It has the same series of tones and semitones as the Major scale, except
The pattern continues to the top of the instrument and to the left-hand side of the treble bridge. Moving from the left side of the bass bridge to the right side of the treble bridge is analogous to moving from the right side of the treble bridge to the left side of the treble bridge.
This diatonically-based tuning results in most, but not all, notes of the chromatic scale being available in each key. The chromatic scale is a Musical scale with twelve pitches each a Semitone or Half step apart To fill in the gaps, many modern dulcimer builders include extra short bridges at the top and bottom of the soundboard, where extra strings are tuned to some or all of the missing pitches. Such instruments are often called "chromatic dulcimers" as opposed to the more traditional "diatonic dulcimers".
Hammered dulcimers of non-European descent may have other tuning patterns, and builders of European-style dulcimers sometimes experiment with alternate tuning patterns.
The hammered dulcimer derives its name from the small mallets that players use to strike the strings, called hammers. A mallet is a type of hammer with a head made of softer materials than the Steel normally used in hammerheads so as to avoid damaging a delicate surface They are usually made of wood, but can be made from any material, including metal and plastic. Wood is hard fibrous lignified structural tissue produced as secondary Xylem in the stems of Woody plants notably trees but also shrubs The M acro E xpansion T emplate A ttribute L anguage complements TAL, providing macros which allow the reuse of code across Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products In the Western hemisphere, hammers are usually stiff, but in Asia, flexible hammers are often used. The head of the hammer can be left bare for a sharp attack sound, or can be covered with adhesive tape, leather, or fabric for a softer sound. Adhesive tape can be one of many varieties of backing materials coated with an Adhesive. Leather is a material created through the Tanning of hides and Skins of Animals primarily Cattlehide The Tanning process A textile is a flexible material comprised of a network of natural or artificial Fibres often referred to as thread or Yarn.
Several traditional players have used hammers that differ substantially from those in common use today. Paul Van Arsdale (b. Paul Van Arsdale (born October 19, 1920 in northwestern Pennsylvania) is a Hammered dulcimer player from North Tonawanda in upstate 1920), a player from upstate New York, uses flexible hammers made from hacksaw blades, with leather-covered wooden blocks attached to the ends (these are modeled after the hammers used by his grandfather, Jesse Martin). New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The Irish player John Rea (1915-1983) used hammers made of thick steel wire, wound with wool. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world John Rea was a Hammered dulcimer player from Glenarm in County Antrim, Ireland. He made these himself from old bicycle spokes. Billy Bennington (1900-1986), a player from Norfolk county in England, used cane hammers bound with wool. Billy Bennington was a Hammered dulcimer player from England. Norfolk (ˈnɔrfək is a low-lying county in East Anglia, England, United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland
The hammered dulcimer (as well as the mountain dulcimer), can also be bowed, though this is not a widespread practice, as a traditional bow would do little good. In order to make bowing the instrument possible, bowhammers, and more recently Jimbows, were created. Bowhammers are a unique invention used by musician Michael Masley. Jimbows consist of a wooden handle connected to a curved nylon rod, which when rosined, will produce the desired sound.
The four hammer dulcimer, although a fresh innovation premiering in the early 1990's, is by no means a new instrument. The hammered dulcimer, not to be confused with the mountain dulcimer, has been around for millennia. The Appalachian dulcimer is a Fretted String instrument of the Zither family typically with three or four strings The four hammer dulcimer is the same instrument played with special hammers and technique.
The first record of a four hammer dulcimer is Glenn McClure's variation of the Burton grip. The Burton grip is a method of holding two mallets in each hand in order to play a mallet percussion instrument such as a Marimba or a Vibraphone, using McClure's hammers are wooden dowels with teardrop-shaped heads. One hammer is held between the pad of the thumb and the midsection of the forefinger. The handle of the second hammer is a 2. 5cm square pad, which is gripped in the middle and ring fingers.
Another hammer design is two standard flat-handled hammers riveted together about 4cm from the base so they can pivot. As of yet, no technique has been developed for these hammers.
The most recent innovation in four hammer dulcimer playing is the clip-on hammer, designed by Hasso Pape (HAH-soh PAH-pee) in 2006. The clip on hammer is a wooden dowel with an elliptical spheroid head, similar to the McClure hammers. One hammer is strapped to the farthest section of each of the index and middle fingers by a 1. 5cm strip of elastic adjustable by Velcro. Velcro is a brand name of fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. It consists of two layers a "hook" side which is a piece of Fabric covered with tiny hooks Strings are struck in a finger motion similar to that of piano playing. The piano is a Musical instrument played by means of a keyboard that produces sound by striking steel strings with Felt covered hammers
Versions of the hammered dulcimer are used throughout the world. In Eastern Europe a larger descendant of the hammered dulcimer called the cimbalom is played and has been used by a number of classical composers, including Zoltán Kodály, Igor Stravinsky and Pierre Boulez, and more recently, in a different musical context, by Blue Man Group. The cimbalom (most common English spelling is a concert Hammer dulcimer. Classical music is a broad term that usually refers to mainstream music produced in or rooted in the traditions of Western liturgical and Secular music A composer (literally meaning 'one who puts together' is a person who creates Music, usually in the medium of notation, for Interpretation and Performance Zoltán Kodály ( Hungarian: Kodály Zoltán, ˈkodaːj ˈzoltaːn December 16 1882 &ndash March 6 1967 was a Hungarian Composer, Ethnomusicologist Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский) ( &ndash 6 April 1971 was a Russian born Composer, considered by many to WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Pierre Boulez (pjɛʁ buˈlɛz (b Blue Man Group ( Blue Man, BMG) is a creative organization founded by Phil Stanton Chris Wink and Matt Goldman it is centered on a trio of mute performers called The khim is a Thai hammered dulcimer. The khim (ขิม; pronounced "kim" with a rising tone, in Thai) is a Hammered dulcimer from Thailand and Cambodia The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj The Chinese yangqin is a type of hammered dulcimer that originated in Persia. The trapezoidal yangqin ( is a Chinese Hammered dulcimer originally from the Middle East ( Persia (modern-day Iran) For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Santur and Santoor are found in the Middle East and India, respectively. The Santoor is an Indian hammered dulcimer similar to the Persian santur. The Santur is a Persian hammered dulcimer similar to the Indian santoor. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country