Hammered Dulcimer, popular instrument of the 18th century

IMG_6664.jpgBalladeer Linda Russell will perform at the Old Dutch Parsonage this Saturday, January 20th at 7:30 pm.  One of the 18th century period instruments that she will perform with is the hammered dulcimer.

So what is a hammered dulcimer? It’s an instrument with strings stretched over a resonant sound board, often trapezoidal in shape.  The musician will often stand before the instrument with a small mallet hammer in each hand, striking the strings to produce sound.

The hammered dulcimer was brought into Europe by the Spanish Moors during the 12th century A.D. from its believed origins in the Middle East and North Africa. Its popularity continued throughout Europe during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  The first known written reference to the instrument in America dates to the early 1700’s.

Hammered dulcimers were often built at home or in small shops, not in factories like pianos.  This resulted in more regional variances in the instruments.  The popularity of the instrument continued into the first half of 20th century when it virtually disappeared.

To register for Saturday’s concert, call 908-725-1015 or email whouse3@verizon.net.


For more information on Linda Russell: Linda Russell

Source: Smithsonian article on hammered dulcimers

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