The H-D - – origins and popularity in England. Jul 10, 2007 12:04:51 GMT 1
Post by Dick Glasgow on Jul 10, 2007 12:04:51 GMT 1
The Hammered Dulcimer – origins and popularity in England
1 - The hammered dulcimer was once generally thought to have been developed in the Middle East, and to have gradually moved westward.
Current theory, as argued by Paul Gifford in his work, "The Hammered Dulcimer: A History", holds that the dulcimer developed simultaneously from two different instruments: in France from the psaltery, and in Germany and the lowlands from the string-drum.
2 - The doulcemèr peaked in popularity in France in the latter half of the 15th century among the nobility, and was most often played by women of the court, or male entertainers at court.
In Germany, the Hackbrett was perceived as a folk instrument, and was played primarily by the rural population and by professional minstrels, peaking in popularity in the early 16th century.
Although the instrument retained its class-associations on the continent, in England, the instrument seems to have enjoyed popularity among the nobility, the middle class and the peasantry alike.
3 - The dulcimer was known in England as early as 1474, when an entertainment given at Coventry for Prince Edward included "the minstrelsie of harpe and dowsemeris".
English literary references from the 16th century include Stephen Hawes’s chivalric allegory The Passetyme of Pleasure (1509 and reprints until 1555), while Welsh and Scottish poetry of the same time refer to dwsmer and dulsacordis.
4 - The King James translation of the bible used the English word dulcimer to translate the Hebrew nebel. A ship’s log of 1609 records the shipment of a hammered dulcimer, along with a violin, to Jamestown, Virginia, presumably from England.
A Medley of Tunes from Playford on Hammered Dulcimer