Talk:Hammered dulcimer

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A point in time?[edit]

"The importance of the method of setting the strings in vibration by means of hammers, and its bearing on the acoustics of the instrument, were recognized only when the invention of the pianoforte had become a matter of history. It was then perceived that the psalterium in which the strings were plucked, and the dulcimer in which they were struck, when provided with keyboards, gave rise to two distinct families of instruments..."

I contend that that's nonsense. When, exactly, did the invention of the piano "become a matter of history"? Who "perceived" the giving rise to two families? (How did "psaltery" become replaced by "psalterium"?) It's as if instrument makers had no idea what they were doing! In the 20th century, the acoustics of struck and plucked strings was carefully analyzed, showing that the two methods of sounding the strings gave entirely distinct sounds, distinct also from those of bowed strings. Long before pianos were invented, there were clavichords and spinets, and nobody had any problems distinguishing them. Unfree (talk) 06:30, 30 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paul Gifford[edit]

Paul Gifford apparently didn't know that 17th century instrument makers drew their own wire. The "availability" of brass wire had nothing to do with the evolution of brass wire instruments back then. Unfree (talk) 06:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paul Gifford's assertion (he was seconding Herbert Heyde) was that the dulcimer appeared roughly at the same time as the clavichord and virginal, and that Henri Arnaut of Zwolle used the term "dulce melos" to apply to three different instruments. He felt that this was related to technological developments in the drawing of brass wire, which led to experimentation. Heyde's argument that the application of metallic wires to the "string drum" is supported by iconographic evidence. Gifford's argument is that this metal-strung string drum was the Germanic Hackbrett. In France (and England), the doulcemer appears to have been developed from the existing psaltery. But this development took place about the same time, in areas not too far apart (Lorraine/Burgundy for the French-speaking version and perhaps Switzerland for the Germanic instrument). Whether or not 17th-century instrument makers drew their own wire has nothing to do with this issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 19 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Apparently, confusion is real, rife, and documentable. At, the entry under "psaltery" has it that "scholars have tried to distinguish between psaltery and dulcimer, proposing that a 'psaltery' is plucked while a 'dulcimer' is hit, and that both belong to a generic 'zither' family (distinct from specific instruments called 'zither' by their players); but this usage is an abstraction and has no basis in the traditional use of these names: there are plenty of illustrations where psalteries are hit and traditions where dulcimers are plucked" Unfree (talk) 06:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I was directed to this page after searching for 'tiompan'. The dulcimer has been equated with the tiompan in Ireland only recently, by the late Derek Bell, after Galpin's theories. However, this stands in opposition to the research which indicates that the tiompan was a native Gaelic instrument similar to the Welsh crwth and not a hammered dulcimer. There is no mention on the Hammered Dulcimer page that the hammered dulcimer is probably not an actual tiompan. I suggest that search entries for 'tiompan' lead to a Tiompan page, rather than a highly disputable (on this point) Hammered Dulcimer page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 18 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An article needs to be written first. Once that's done, then we can redirect. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 15:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I found it impossible to create a page called 'Tiompán' as matters stood. Immediately after writing the above comment, I created a page called 'An Tiompan Gàidhealach' and placed some information on the tiompan there. Perhaps searches for 'tiompan' can be directed to the Tiompan Gàidhealach page and the page be renamed 'Tiompán'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have done the redirects, now I think that the page An Tiompan Gàidhealach should be retitled "tiompan". I dont know how to do that. StrumStrumAndBeHanged (talk) 11:48, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Santur was NOT invented 3500 years ago in Mesopotamia-Babylon era???[edit]

As an amateur santur player,this article has major flaws,in fact there are Babylonian depictions of santur and santur players as old as 1500 bc during the reign of Akkadian king Ammi-Saduqa(honest uncle in semitic)or Akkadian king Shamshu-Ditana(Given by sun to us in Semitic). Here below one of the first depictions of santur playing Akkadians.

Persians came very late to middle east and were ver few,they only imposed their language by a phenomenon of military elite dominance over the much more numerous local middle easterner townsmen and farmers,but the bulk of Iran's population ians,as proven by genetical studies,is the continuation of the local autochtonous middle easterners and the Persian genetical input was very weak indeed.

Humanbyrace (talk) 17:27, 16 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think these pictures show angle-harps, not hammered dulcimers, related to the instrument now called Çeng or Chang_(instrument), or kugo or jank. Also I think the sticks are more likely to be plectrums for strumming, rather than hammers, though this is not really conclusive from a stone carving. —Preceding unsigned comment added by StrumStrumAndBeHanged (talkcontribs) 11:54, 20 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Telephone is a Greek word but its not a Greek invention even if Santur name is persian and not a mere lately invented folk etymology (which is the most likely as Greeks and other Mesoptamians played Santur well before arrival of Iranians) it is still a middle eastern musical instrument that was perhaps named in Iranian??? (as I know in middle Persian there was not words such as san and tur which are new Persian forms) because it was the language of the minority Iranian speaking ruling class.

Humanbyrace (talk) 18:49, 13 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bring over this table from Santur?[edit]

Santur has a rather full table of terms/type of HDs from around the world. I don't think it belongs at that page since this page is the more overarching "genre" page for the larger family of instruments. Should we replicate this chart here? MatthewVanitas (talk) 12:13, 10 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]



  1. ^ "Santurs from different cultures". Wikipedia.

Wrong title, should be "Dulcimer"[edit]

The title of this article should be "Dulcimer" not "Hammered Dulcimer". "Hammered Dulcimer" makes as much sense as "plucked guitar".

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a dulcimer is played with two sticks (hammers). The Grove Dictionary of Music says "Many scholars, however, reserve the term ‘Ċdulcimer’ for an instrument played with hammers, calling it a ‘psaltery’ when the plucking technique is used."

And it goes to say that in the USA, the term ‘hammer dulcimer’ or ‘hammered dulcimer’ has been introduced to avoid confusion with the "Appalachian" or "mountain" dulcimer.

The so-called "Appalachian" or "mountain" dulcimer is not even a type of dulcimer, as it is in fact a plucked fretted zither. (talk) 21:37, 30 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is also the bowed dulcimer, of course, and a separate Wikipedia article about it. In America, at least, this form of the instrument is sufficiently well-known to have made the expression "hammered dulcimer" common enough to throw some doubt on whether WP:COMMONNAME would favour the current or the shorter title. If the title of this article were to be changed to just "Dulcimer", would it not make best sense to also merge that article into this one?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But dulcimer is a disambig page, which I think makes sense here. The word "dulcimer" is used enough in various contexts that limiting it to just the hammered version doesn't seem appropriate. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 13:19, 31 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is nothing to prevent converting a disambiguation page to an article although, as I said, this would most likely imply merging all of the articles into a much larger one. However, I agree that the present use of a disambiguation page with separate articles for Appalacian dulcimer, banjo dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and bowed dulcimer makes better sense than such a merger. There is also the possibility of changing the present article's title as suggested and changing the disambiguation-page name by adding "(disambiguation)" after "Dulcimer", but this would only be justifiable if the hammered form of the instrument was clearly the primary use of the single word "dulcimer". I don't think this is the case here, but opinions may differ.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:44, 31 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Several dictionaries (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Miriam Webster) apply the name to both the Appalachian and Hammered dulcimers. So I agree that keeping the disambiguation page is best. ★NealMcB★ (talk) 20:36, 23 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any significant differences between hammered dulcimer & cymbalum?[edit]

A comprehensive explanation of this is conspicuously lacking from both articles. I'd say it's simply regional terminology differences. These two articles could well be merged. (talk) 18:58, 24 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cymbaloms and dulcimers are closely related, but the names are not simply regional terminology differences: there are significant differences between the instruments.
Cymbaloms are large, heavy, usually ornate concert instruments with full chromatic tuning, a five octave range, dampers and a damper pedal, and are usually played with the performer seated. They stand on 3 or 4 legs and can be as heavy as a small piano.
Dulcimers tend to be smaller, lighter, simpler, portable instruments, often with diatonic or modal tuning, a typical range between 1-1/2 and 3 octaves, with no dampers or pedals, and often played with the player standing at the instrument. They often stand on a single peg, balanced by the performer, and can be carried easily by a single person. Some dulcimers can even be hung from a strap, and played while walking -- trying to hang a cymbalom from a strap would by like trying to hang a small piano around your neck.
Of course modern makers are always experimenting, and there are hybrid instruments which aren't clearly in one group or the other. But that can be said of some instruments in most instrumental groups -- think "guitaleles", "banjitars", "Irish bouzoukis", "tarogatos", "basset horns", "valve trombones", "banjolins", "harp-guitars", etc., etc.
Hammered dulcimers and cymbaloms are the two ends of a continuum. I don't support merging the articles, but I do agree that the distinctions should be mentioned in both articles. (talk) 20:58, 12 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 03:51, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]