The hammered dulcimer is a recording studio musical instrument consisting of a trapezoid wooden box with strings stretched over bridges sitting atop the soundboard. It’s played by hitting the strings with small wooden hammers. The sound is enchanting, and seems to be the main reason folks learn to play.
There’s some debate about the recording studio hammered dulcimer’s background, but it’s believed by many to have originated in ancient Persia some 2,000 years ago. Variations can be found all over the world, but the instrument as we know it in America developed primarily in the British Isles.
Recording Studio: Playing the hammered dulcimer
The hammered dulcimer is a very accessible instrument, which is to say that it’s fairly easy for the beginner to get a good tone. And because it’s constructed around major scales, it’s pretty easy to find simple tunes. In fact, most folks learn by following patterns, even if they can read music. Of course, playing well takes dedication and practice, but the rewards are well worth it.
The only drawback is that recording studio hammered dulcimers are a little hard to find, because they’re not “mainstream” instruments made in the tens of thousands. On the plus side, nearly all hammered dulcimers are hand-crafted by skilled artisans, so you’re likely to get a quality instrument no matter who you buy from or what model you buy. Prices start around $250 for a small student model and go as high as $3,000 for larger, more complex models.
Most recently the Hammered Dulcimer became famous when American musician Ted Yoder did a “Facebook Live” that wne t viral and ended up reaching over 50 million people. Not bad for a video shot from his phone in his backyard! It just goes to show how amazing the internet is and now anyone can be discovered for their amazing talent. Here is the video of Ted playing Tears for Fears “Everybody wants to rule the world”.