Conventional Hammered Dulcimers are built using a flat, asymmetrical frame and rely on wood density to withstand the effect of several thousand pounds of string tension working to collapse the structure. As a result, these instruments are heavy and require constant tuning when they are moved or as humidity conditions change.
Tom’s unique split bridge symmetrical design arches the frame of the instrument, stretching the strings over a much stronger shape, with many benefits to the performer:
1. Easier to play, with a more logical progression of notes, scales and chords
2. String tension works for the dulcimer and not against it
3. A stronger structure results in increased tuning stability
4. Enhanced tonal balance and volume throughout the instrument
History of the Dulcimer
The name dulcimer comes from the Latin and Greek works dulce and melos, which combine to mean “sweet tune”. The meaning and the biblical connections no doubt made the word attractive to those who named the Appalachian dulcimer. All evidence seems to indicate that the Appalachian dulcimer dates back no more than 200 years and that Bibles refer to the hammered type.
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