Stephen Baird - Street Performer

Artist + Advocate + Administrator

COMMUNITY ARTS ADVOCATES, INC.

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Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer

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Instruments

 

Guitar, Hammered Dulcimer, Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer

Banjo, Mandolin, Appalachian Mountain Dulcimers (Three)

 

Hammered Dulcimer :

The hammered dulcimer has many names around the world: Santour (Iran, Iraq, Turkey), Santoor (India), Sandouri (Greece), Yang Qin (China), Yanggum (Korea), Khim (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia) Cimbalom or Cymbalum (Hungary), Cimbal (Slovakia, Romania), Tsymbaly (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), Salterio (Spain) Hackbrett (Germany, Austria) Tsimbl (Klezmer and Jewish), Qanun (Egypt) and Kanoun (Turkey). The majority are strucked with wooden mallets or hammers, but a few are plucked. Most likely it was first developed in Persia in the first century. It is mentioned in the English translations of the Bible in the Book of Daniel 3:5. The piano is essentially an automated "keyed" hammered dulcimer. Dulcimer is a Latin and Greek word for "sweet tune."

In America it was popular in the lumber camps of Maine and Michigan where it was nicknamed the "Lumberjack Piano." In the Southern states it was nicknamed the "Whamdiddle."

For detailed history and background of the instrument visit these sites

http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/hdhist.htm Smithsonian Institution --Hammer Dulcimer: History and Playing by Sam Rizzetta. Also has page on how to build a hammered dulcimer at http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/hdmake.htm Internet site on history: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Hammered_dulcimer Another site with historical information: http://www.dulcimersessions.com/dec03/history.html

http://www.santoor.com/hammereddulcimer.html Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, India Santoor web site has extensive history of the instrument with sound clips from around the world. Be sure to visit the home page http://www.santoor.com/ For a sample sound clip of the Qanun visit the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology http://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/ensembles/worldmusic/neareast/Qanun.htm National Geographic site on Thailand Khim: http://www.novica.com/itemdetail/index.cfm?pid=72511 Sound sample of khim: http://www.sriwittayapaknam.ac.th/multimedia/s_khim.html

Thailand Khim by Jeerasak Iverse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yangqin Yang quin Yangqin or Yang ch'in  See Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, for detailed page on the Chinese version of the hammered dulcimer.

http://www.rtpnet.org/~hdweb/ The hammered dulcimer web site by Jon Weinberg with history, links, recordings, teachers, etc. Be sure to visit his web site at: http://www.jonweinberg.com

For lessons in the Boston area I recommend David Neiman (Also has great recordings), 32 Essex Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 Tel: 617-938-8325 Email: dave@dulcimusic.com Web site: http://www.dulcimusic.com

The dulcimer teachers of Mel Bay publications post an internet newsletter with introductory lessons, sound clips and luthiers instrument makers profiles at: http://www.dulcimersessions.com

Andy's Front Hall, PO Box 307, Wormer Rd., Voorheesville, NY 12186 ZTel: 518-765-4193 Email: mail@andysfronthall.com Web: http://www.andysfronthall.com/ Has dulcimer, recordings, hammers, and supplies. Bill Spense was one of the people who helped revitalize interest in the hammered dulcimer.

In late April or early May each spring, since 1981, Lorraine Hammond produces a Dulcimer Festival now called the Muddy River Dulcimer Festival. Includes concerts, workshops, instrument makers vendors for both the hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer. Visit the festival web site at http://www.dulcimerfestival.org/

Boston Chinese Dulcimer Ensemble (yang gin) directed by Professor Zentian Zang at the Boston Arts Festival and New England Conservatory. web site:http://www.geocities.com/chinesedulcimer/index.html Email: bostondulcimer@yahoo.com). Photos: Stephen Baird


Two traditional tunes on Hammered Dulcimer at a Stoneham Theater children's concert. Click on image below to launch movie

 


Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer:

Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer is also know as the fretted or lap dulcimer. It was developed in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Virginia and the Carolinas. Jean Ritchie is the national folklife artist of record for traditional Appalachian music. See her web site at http://www.jeanritchie.com/

Lorraine Hammond is New England's authority and "God Mother" of Mountain Dulcimers. She teachers classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education see http://www.ccae.org/ also presents concerts and workshops throughout the world as well as published teaching books, cds and videos -- see her site for details at http://www.greatacoustics.org/ or email Lorraine at dulcimers@comcast.net

Jeremy Seeger is a fine maker of Mountain Dulcimers. PO Box 193, Rochester, VT 05767; 802-767-3790 http://www.jeremyseeger.com/

The web sites on hammered dulcimer above include information on the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer.


 

My version of Beetoven's Ode to Joy on Appalachian Mountain dulcimer. Click on image below to launch movie

 


For a PDF printable version of this information click HERE

 

Community Arts Advocates
Copyright 1999-2015 by Stephen Baird