So just how long has the H-D been in Scotland? Sept 21, 2008 19:49:03 GMT 1
Post by dulcimike on Sept 21, 2008 19:49:03 GMT 1
As to dulcimers...whenever the subject of the dulcimer's early origins comes up, I am forced to ask first "How are we defining the Dulcimer?" and second "how can we be certain about the origins of anything in a largely oral culture?" Modern musicologists and organologists seem at odds here; some considering psalteries and dulcimers in effect the same instrument, while others do not, citing the difference in how the instrument is played, plucking versus using hammers, qualifies them as two different instruments.
(For an extensive look at various dulcimer definitions, see "How others have defined dulcimers" in David Kettlewell's thesis, for which we should profusely thank him!)
Sorry, but I got in on this discussion very late.
My understanding is that the instrument called the Psaltery that was the predecessor to the dulcimer was normally plucked because without drawn wire hitting the string would either produce a low volume tone or break the string, if it was metal. So, the question of the name change and was it / is it important has to do with this. Before it was called a Psaltery and played, normally, by plucking because of the physics of plucking as opposed to striking a string. But once drawn wire was available, one could strike the string with a stick and make a reasonably good and loud tone with it - and the people who did this in France called it a dulcimer (in French, of course). The people who developed the dulcimer from the string drum (in Germany), called the instrument the Hackbrett (chopping block).
So, I'd say the naming was important since it signalled the use of drawn wire and the advent of the modern day dulcimer.
But, of course! Isn't it wonderful?
Shhhh! Don't give anyone any ideas!