Hammered Dulcimers
   

Hammered Dulcimer History - Scroll For More Information
The hammered dulcimer is a stringed musical instrument with the strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. Usually, the hammered dulcimer is set on a stand, at an angle, before the musician, who holds small mallet hammers in each hand to strike the strings (cf. Appalachian dulcimer). The Graeco-Roman dulcimer (sweet song) derives from the Latin dulcis (sweet) and the Greek melos (song). The dulcimer, in which the strings are beaten with small hammers, evolved from the psaltery, in which the strings are plucked.

The hammered dulcimer comes in quite a few different sizes, identified by the number of strings that cross each of the bridges. A 15/14, for example, has two bridges (treble and bass) and spans three octaves. The strings of a hammered dulcimer are most often found in pairs (though some instruments can have up to three or four strings per note). Each set of strings is tuned in unison. A hammered dulcimer requires a tuning wrench for tuning, since the dulcimer's strings are wound around tuning pins with square heads.

The diatonically-based tuning results in most, but not all, notes of the chromatic scale being available. To fill in the gaps, many modern dulcimer builders include extra short bridges at the top and bottom of the soundboard, where extra strings are tuned to some or all of the missing pitches. Such instruments are often called "chromatic dulcimers" as opposed to the more traditional "diatonic dulcimers".

In the Alps there are also chromatic dulcimers with crossed strings, which are in a whole tone distance in every row.

The hammered dulcimer derives its name from the small mallets that players use to strike the strings, called hammers. Hammers are usually made of wood (most likely hard woods such as maple, cherry, padauk, oak, walnut, or any other hard wood), but can also be made from any material, including metal and plastic. In the Western hemisphere, hammers are usually stiff, but in Asia, flexible hammers are often used.

Hammered dulcimers of non-European descent may have other tuning patterns, and builders of European-style dulcimers sometimes experiment with alternate tuning patterns. Versions of the hammered dulcimer are used throughout the world. In Eastern Europe, a larger descendant of the hammered dulcimer called the cimbalom is played and has been used by a number of classical composers, including Zoltán Kodály, Igor Stravinsky and Pierre Boulez, and more recently, in a different musical context, by Blue Man Group. The khim is the name of both the Thai and the Khmer hammered dulcimer. The Chinese yangqin is a type of hammered dulcimer that originated in Persia. The santur and santoor are found in the Middle East and India, respectively.


Meadowlark Hammered Dulcimer 13/12 Meadowlark. Entry level instrument with a little something extra - 2 chromatic notes not available on 12/11 strung beginner's instruments. FEATURES:
13 treble 12 bass courses
Solid hard-rock maple pin block
5-ply birch plywood top and back
Solid walnut end rails
Color-coded tuning pins

2 year limited warranty

SPECIFICATIONS:
Bottom Rail: 35-3/4"
Top Rail: 17-1/4"
Side Rail: 17-1/4"
Height: 14-5/8"
String Spacing: 1-1/4"
Weight: 9lbs.
Comes with hammers and tuning wrench.
Great look, sound and price! HAM060   $295.00  

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If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


13/12 Meadowlark Unassembled Hammered Dulcimer Kit, Parts Kit 35" x 15.5" x 2 5/8".
2-string courses.

About 10 hrs. to complete (the maker takes 4) Need some experience (high school shop student can do it.)

Tools necessary -- hammer, drill, yellow glue, sandpaper, sanding block, screwdriver, 12+ clamps, fine tooth saw, finishing supplies ,hand sander, drill press, 3/16 bit and 7/64 bit

Unassembled kits include -- laminated oak top and back, precut maple pin blocks, rails cut long, precut mahogany braces, tuning and hitch pins, tuning wrench, loop end strings, bridges and saddles, hammers, complete instructions.

Finish: can use shelac, lacquer, or varnish; any are ok & won't affect the sound. Have customer use what's easiest for him and he's most familiar with

String diameters:

Treble bridge:
bottom 4 strings - .022
next 4 up - .020
top 4 - .018

Bass bridge:
bottom 3 strings - .022
next 4 up - .020
top 4 - .018 KIT090   $180.00  

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If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Case for the Meadowlark & Wren Hammered Dulcimer Case that will fit the Meadowlark hammered dulcimer. Only available with dulcimer order. HAM060C   $45.00  

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If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Traveler Hammered Dulcimer Birch Ply Top An exceptionally good value. Clear, balanced, full tone at a great price with birch plywood sound board and walnut sound hole inserts.

FEATURES:
14 treble 13 bass courses
solid hard-rock maple pin block
5-ply birch plywood top and back
solid walnut end rails
color-coded tuning pins
2 year limited warranty

SPECIFICATIONS:
Bottom Rail: 35-3/4"
Top Rail: 17-1/4"
Side Rail: 17-1/4"
Height: 14-5/8"
String Spacing: 1-1/4"
Weight: 9lbs.
This instrument has full string spacing and plays just like a regular 15/14. It is missing the lowest string on the treble bridge (the G# and the F#) and the highest string on the bass bridge.(The note above the B flat) It has the keys of A, D, G, C on the treble bridge and D, G, C, F on the bass side.

Each instrument comes with a pair of single-sided hammers, "L" tuning wrench, table top playing leg and a 1/4 x 20 insert on back to fit a camera stand. An exceptionally good value. Clear, balanced, full tone at a great price with added visual appeal of walnut sound hole covers. HAM090   $350.00  

By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Songbird Phoebe Hammered Dulcimers 16/15 Natural The 16/15 Phoebe is the best sounding, most reliable, full size entry level hammered dulcimer on the market today. The top and back are of a high tech laminated material called Baltic Birch which is made in Russia. It is 7 thin plys of solid Birch with almost no voids, and is ultra durable and stiff.... perfect for the application. There are few other panels in the world that would work under the tremendous string tension of a hammered dulcimer, and most of them are unreasonably priced.

Since the material is so solid, it makes this dulcimer stay in tune better than any other instrument we have tried. For the beginner, tuning is the most daunting obstacle, not really difficult, but at first it seems so. If the dulcimer is out of tune, it is unpleasant to play, and if tuning it seems like a big project, one sometimes gives up, and just doesn't play. Our theory is that a dulcimer that is in tune gets played more, and the player makes much faster progress. Learn to play first, and tuning will become easier with time. We have proven this theory over and over having introduced many thousands of people to the dulcimer with our instruments. This is why we strongly recommend the 16/15 Phoebe to most folks interested in the hammered dulcimer, especially those that aren't already accomplished on other instruments

But the Phoebe isn't just for beginners. It is good enough to do almost anything musically a dulcimer player might want to do. Unless there is a specific reason to use a different instrument (like my Civil War dulcimer) the one I always play is one of the first Phoebes from years ago. It has been everywhere with me, playing many jobs and venues. Twice it has been in the National Championship Hammered Dulcimer contest held every September at Winfield, KS, and it has made it to the finals once. It sounds just great! I take it for all the reasons listed above. It is durable, sounds wonderful, and most of the time when I get it out of the case, it is in tune.

Designed to have a "middle of the road" sound. They are relatively low "sustain", but with enough of that brightness to sound good like a hammered dulcimer should. They work equally well playing fast fiddle tunes, or slower hymns in church. An instrument with high sustain will start to sound muddy when playing faster melodies, and the notes will muddle together until it is hard to hear clearly. However these same dulcimers can sound wonderful when playing slow melodic songs. On the other hand, a very low sustain dulcimer can work just great for fast songs, but sound dead on slower ones; there's too much space between the notes. These instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, but we firmly believe we are making the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.

So unless you decided for some reason you wanted a different dulcimer later, like you wanted a Chromatic dulcimer, or you wanted more decorations, you might never need to get another hammered dulcimer.

The Phoebe natural finish.



Sound Sample HAM074   $449.00  

By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Songbird Phoebe Hammered Dulcimers 16/15 Stained The 16/15 Phoebe is the best sounding, most reliable, full size entry level hammered dulcimer on the market today. The top and back are of a high tech laminated material called Baltic Birch which is made in Russia. It is 7 thin plys of solid Birch with almost no voids, and is ultra durable and stiff.... perfect for the application. There are few other panels in the world that would work under the tremendous string tension of a hammered dulcimer, and most of them are unreasonably priced.

Since the material is so solid, it makes this dulcimer stay in tune better than any other instrument we have tried. For the beginner, tuning is the most daunting obstacle, not really difficult, but at first it seems so. If the dulcimer is out of tune, it is unpleasant to play, and if tuning it seems like a big project, one sometimes gives up, and just doesn't play. Our theory is that a dulcimer that is in tune gets played more, and the player makes much faster progress. Learn to play first, and tuning will become easier with time. We have proven this theory over and over having introduced many thousands of people to the dulcimer with our instruments. This is why we strongly recommend the 16/15 Phoebe to most folks interested in the hammered dulcimer, especially those that aren't already accomplished on other instruments

But the Phoebe isn't just for beginners. It is good enough to do almost anything musically a dulcimer player might want to do. Unless there is a specific reason to use a different instrument (like my Civil War dulcimer) the one I always play is one of the first Phoebes from years ago. It has been everywhere with me, playing many jobs and venues. Twice it has been in the National Championship Hammered Dulcimer contest held every September at Winfield, KS, and it has made it to the finals once. It sounds just great! I take it for all the reasons listed above. It is durable, sounds wonderful, and most of the time when I get it out of the case, it is in tune.

Designed to have a "middle of the road" sound. They are relatively low "sustain", but with enough of that brightness to sound good like a hammered dulcimer should. They work equally well playing fast fiddle tunes, or slower hymns in church. An instrument with high sustain will start to sound muddy when playing faster melodies, and the notes will muddle together until it is hard to hear clearly. However these same dulcimers can sound wonderful when playing slow melodic songs. On the other hand, a very low sustain dulcimer can work just great for fast songs, but sound dead on slower ones; there's too much space between the notes. These instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, but we firmly believe we are making the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.

So unless you decided for some reason you wanted a different dulcimer later, like you wanted a Chromatic dulcimer, or you wanted more decorations, you might never need to get another hammered dulcimer.

The Phoebe stained finish.



Sound Sample HAM074S   $509.00  

By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Case for Whippoorwill & Phoebe Hammered Dulcimer Case for Whippoorwill & Phoebe Hammered Dulcimer HAM085   $75.00  

By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Phoenix Package Includes 16/15 Phoebe, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning wrench, book. Natural finish. The Phoenix Package includes the 16/15 Phoebe hammered dulcimer with natural finish, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning, wrench, and book . The Phoebe is the best sounding, most reliable, full size entry level hammered dulcimer on the market today. The top and back are of a high tech laminated material called Baltic Birch which is made in Russia. It is 7 thin plys of solid Birch with almost no voids, and is ultra durable and stiff.... perfect for the application. There are few other panels in the world that would work under the tremendous string tension of a hammered dulcimer, and most of them are unreasonably priced.

Since the material is so solid, it makes this dulcimer stay in tune better than any other instrument we have tried. For the beginner, tuning is the most daunting obstacle, not really difficult, but at first it seems so. If the dulcimer is out of tune, it is unpleasant to play, and if tuning it seems like a big project, one sometimes gives up, and just doesn't play. Our theory is that a dulcimer that is in tune gets played more, and the player makes much faster progress. Learn to play first, and tuning will become easier with time. We have proven this theory over and over having introduced many thousands of people to the dulcimer with our instruments. This is why we strongly recommend the 16/15 Phoebe to most folks interested in the hammered dulcimer, especially those that aren't already accomplished on other instruments

But the Phoebe isn't just for beginners. It is good enough to do almost anything musically a dulcimer player might want to do. Unless there is a specific reason to use a different instrument (like my Civli War dulcimer) the one I always play is one of the first Phoebes from years ago. It has been everywhere with me, playing many jobs and venues. Twice it has been in the National Championship Hammered Dulcimer contest held every September at Winfield, KS, and it has made it to the finals once. It sounds just great! I take it for all the reasons listed above. It is durable, sounds wonderful, and most of the time when I get it out of the case, it is in tune.

Designed to have a "middle of the road" sound. They are realtively low "sustain", but with enough of that brightness to sound good like a hammered dulcimer should. They work equally well playing fast fiddle tunes, or slower hymns in church. An instrument with high sustain will start to sound muddy when playing faster melodies, and the notes will muddle together until it is hard to hear clearly. However these same dulcimers can sound wonderful when playing slow melodic songs. On the other hand, a very low sustain dulcimer can work just great for fast songs, but sound dead on slower ones; there's too much space between the notes. These instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, one of the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.

As a part of this package you get to choose whether you want a stand for sitting while you play or a stand that you use while standing. If you order a standing stand we need to know how tall you are so your stand can be made to fit you.

The Phoenix package.



Sound Sample HAM074P   $574.00  

Choose Your Stand
Player's Height
By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Phoenix Package Stained Includes 16/15 Phoebe, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning wrench, book. Natural finish. The Phoenix Package includes the 16/15 Phoebe hammered dulcimer with natural finish, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning, wrench, and book . The Phoebe is the best sounding, most reliable, full size entry level hammered dulcimer on the market today. The top and back are of a high tech laminated material called Baltic Birch which is made in Russia. It is 7 thin plys of solid Birch with almost no voids, and is ultra durable and stiff.... perfect for the application. There are few other panels in the world that would work under the tremendous string tension of a hammered dulcimer, and most of them are unreasonably priced.

Since the material is so solid, it makes this dulcimer stay in tune better than any other instrument we have tried. For the beginner, tuning is the most daunting obstacle, not really difficult, but at first it seems so. If the dulcimer is out of tune, it is unpleasant to play, and if tuning it seems like a big project, one sometimes gives up, and just doesn't play. Our theory is that a dulcimer that is in tune gets played more, and the player makes much faster progress. Learn to play first, and tuning will become easier with time. We have proven this theory over and over having introduced many thousands of people to the dulcimer with our instruments. This is why we strongly recommend the 16/15 Phoebe to most folks interested in the hammered dulcimer, especially those that aren't already accomplished on other instruments

But the Phoebe isn't just for beginners. It is good enough to do almost anything musically a dulcimer player might want to do. Unless there is a specific reason to use a different instrument (like my Civli War dulcimer) the one I always play is one of the first Phoebes from years ago. It has been everywhere with me, playing many jobs and venues. Twice it has been in the National Championship Hammered Dulcimer contest held every September at Winfield, KS, and it has made it to the finals once. It sounds just great! I take it for all the reasons listed above. It is durable, sounds wonderful, and most of the time when I get it out of the case, it is in tune.

Designed to have a "middle of the road" sound. They are realtively low "sustain", but with enough of that brightness to sound good like a hammered dulcimer should. They work equally well playing fast fiddle tunes, or slower hymns in church. An instrument with high sustain will start to sound muddy when playing faster melodies, and the notes will muddle together until it is hard to hear clearly. However these same dulcimers can sound wonderful when playing slow melodic songs. On the other hand, a very low sustain dulcimer can work just great for fast songs, but sound dead on slower ones; there's too much space between the notes. These instruments are designed to work equally well in all situations. They are not a compromise, one of the best hammered dulcimers money can buy.

As a part of this package you get to choose whether you want a stand for sitting while you play or a stand that you use while standing. If you order a standing stand we need to know how tall you are so your stand can be made to fit you.

The Phoenix package.



Sound Sample HAM074PS   $634.00  

Choose Your Stand
Player's Height
By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Warbler Hammered Dulcimer 17/16/8 The Warbler has been a premier dulcimer for many years, and has been through many revisions. The model shown has a Douglas Fir top and laminated Birch back. They can also be made in all solid woods. They have a great full sound, and are fully chromatic within the standard 3 octave range. They also have an extended range down. The left bridge fills out the lower octave of the keys of G and A. There's also a low C. Please see the tuning diagram for this dulcimer.


Sound Sample HAM062   $1048.00  

By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Warbler Hammered Dulcimer 17/16/8 Package The Warbler has been a premier dulcimer for many years, and has been through many revisions. The model shown has a Douglas Fir top and laminated Birch back. They can also be made in all solid woods. They have a great full sound, and are fully chromatic within the standard 3 octave range. They also have an extended range down. The left bridge fills out the lower octave of the keys of G and A. There's also a low C. Please see the tuning diagram for this dulcimer.

The packages include:
The Instrument
Case
Stand: Choice of Ladies or Gents height stand up, or a sit down version
Chromatic electronic tuner
Hammers
Tuning wrench
Book: Mel Bay's First Lessons Hammered Dulcimer
Tuning diagram, guarantee, and chromatic tuner instructions


Sound Sample HAM062P   $1173.00  

Choose Your Stand
Player's Height
By ordering through this button I agree to Lark In The Morning's Terms for all orders.

If you are ordering more than one item you may be able to save on shipping costs by calling your order in to 707 964 5569.


Ultralight Hammered Dulcimer High quality professional hammered dulcimers.
Masterworks instruments are used by professionals all over the world for performance and recording.
* Mahogany soundboard with laminated birch back.
* Approximately 14 lbs
* Walnut Endrails
* Rosewood Bridge
* 16 treble & 15 bass courses
* Harrison Rose Inlays
* Over 3 octave range; 1 3/4 octave chromatic (16-15)
* Extra slots along the edge of the soundboard to make it more vibrant
* Extensively tapered soundboard & bracing unique to a Master Works instrument!

16/15 Ultralight In Detail

  1. Considered somewhat extended in range by the number of notes. Better for intermediate and advanced players but not a burden for beginners. Players are not as apt to grow out of this model as it will grow with you as you develop greater needs in the future (see 5-C below).
  2. Contains a complete "chromatic" 2 1/4 octaves with a retuned top bass bridge (again, commonly highly unused duplicate of the "D" on the top right treble bridge). It has 3 octaves of the diatonic scale of "G", 2 3 4 octaves of the key of "D" and "C", 1 3 4 octaves of "F", 2 1/3 octaves of "A", and 1 3 4 octaves of "E".
  3. Most commonly plays in the keys of C, G, D, A, Am, Em, Bm, and some in Dm, Gm, F and E.
  4. The extended range of this model is in the lower register giving a much bigger, lower pitched voice to the instrument. The full key of "A" and partial key of "E" is important for playing with other folk instruments. The added lower register on the bass bridge adds the important "tonic notes" of "D" and "E" for the very common keys of D major and E minor.
  5. The extra course on the treble bridge provides several important advantages.
    • Many times, when playing in a particular key, you need the 3rd of the diatonic scale above the higher tonic note of that scale. For example, in the key of D, move an octave higher from the first D, the tonic of the scale, which is, of course, again D. If you continue from that high D to E then to F#, it would be the 3rd note of the 2nd octave. F#, the higher octave 3rd proves to be needed to play many tunes in the key of D. Now, to my purpose for this explanation. C is the highest normal key on the treble bridge. On the 16/15, the tuning continues up to E on the left, which is the higher 3rd of the scale. This permits the player to utilize the key of C much, much more by simply having one extra course!
    • The lowest and highest note on a 15/14 is D three octaves apart very important as this is the most common major key used on a hammer dulcimer. (Another important reason for owning a full-sized over a 12/11 student). But the most common minor key is Em. The 16/15 gives you the highest E to complete the scale (more importantly the arpeggio of Em) to the higher E.
    • One of the most important reasons for opting up to a 16/15 "Ultralight" verses a "Full-sized" is its ability to grow! No not in range but in its chromatic capability (refer to the description of a 16/15c). At anytime you may return your 16/15 "Ultralight" to us at Master Works, and we can change it into a 16/15c (c =chromatic – refer to the terminology section). It costs $250 to add chromatics to an existing "Ultralight" verses $200 when purchasing a 16/15c to start with, but it sure beats selling and repurchasing a newer instrument, especially if you have grown very attached to it! This gives you the ability to purchase an instrument at a lower cost now and invest further towards your chromatic needs at a later time! How great is that? I don't know of another builder anywhere who offers such an option.
  6. Though larger in range, the 16/15 "Ultralight" remains very light (14 lbs.) and only slightly larger than the 15/14: 43 3/8' x 17' x4 1/4 '.
  7. Though somewhat more expensive, the 16/15 "Ultralight" is still very reasonably priced (priced any American made handcrafted guitars lately?) It is constructed of hand-picked woods, by myself, including Mordillo Rosewood, Genuine Mahogany, Finland birch, select white Hard Rock Maple, vertical grain Spruce or Fir, plus dozens of varieties of custom American and foreign exotic woods. Again, I hand pick all materials from 100,000s of board feet of wood each year. I have touched virtually every stick of wood incorporated in your instrument. More than three decades of continuous hard work and experience (11,000 plus instruments) means more than I can explain when it comes to dealing with the inconsistency of wood from countries all over the world as well as a variety of glues and finishes. I certainly don't know it all but I know a lot more than I did my first, fifth or even tenth year of building or my 1st, 100th or even 1000th hammer dulcimer! Quality and consistency comes from succeeding and failing, while discovering characteristics of wood in all phases of instrument building through many decades of experimenting, as well as production.
  8. "Ultralight" – what does that mean? Materials alone do not completely dictate the tone of an instrument. Even more important is the design-what you do, or don't do, with the woods and glues and finish and hardware. After years of building large, heavy, over-braced traditional American style "floating soundboard" dulcimers with four strings per course, I saw the light of "less is more". When there are more strings per course there is more stress to brace against. This makes the instrument more massive, which makes the instrument less vibrant which dictates even more strings! I own an antique dulcimer that has ten strings per course and it weights a ton! Yes, it sounds awful as well! Anyway, my design went from 50-60 lbs. to 18 lbs. – everyone went nuts! I often heard "I don't have to get someone to carry my hammer dulcimer for me anymore!" Continuing in that train of thought, I continued searching for a slightly leaner "thoroughbred" of a design. So, for more almost three decades I have been building the original lightweight hammer dulcimer reasonably d the "Ultralight". It now weighs in at approximately 14 lbs. There is a 4 lb. difference from the first "Ultralight" to now. This change came from a simple but extremely important concept -"tapering". From the beginning of the "Ultralight", I chose to taper the pinblocks, removing a ton of unnecessary hard maple. You now see many instruments incorporating this logical concept. But it can be integrated in many other ways as well. Braces need not be full thickness and height all the way across the instrument. The stress is mostly in the center where the back is being pushed downward by the cresting strings over the treble and bass bridge. So, we make them shorter where the pressure is less and full height where the support is needed! The soundboard not only vibrates but also supports the treble and bass bridges just like the braces. The areas not directly supporting the bridges do not need to be as thick and should be thinned. The supporting areas should be stronger and be made thicker. The edges are strengthened by being attached to the endrails and pinblocks thus the perimeter is stiffer than the central areas of the soundboard. This allows us to make it thinner around the outside and shave off a few ounces! The pinblocks have a lot of stress but are fully attached to the back, endrails and soundboard thus they are stiffened and need not be as thick and wide as you might suspect. The back is supported by the braces, endrails and pin-blocks. It does not require thickness to be stiff. The bridges create the cresting strings, of course. Since the hammer dulcimer is designed logically in a trapezoid shape, the higher-pitched shorter strings crest more sharply. We taper the bridge – a shorter height on the narrow end of the instrument – thus removing some very heavy rosewood from the bridges and relieving a bit of stress on the body by yielding a less severe crest of the strings over the bridge. The "Ultralight" utilizes a double endrail design. The first "internal" endrail is inside between the pinblocks and above the back and beneath the soundboard just like the visible endrails in the 12/11 and 15/14 design. You can see the "Ultralight" internal endrails through the back handle ports. The second endrail is the flat external visible material, which covers the internal endrail and ends of the pinblocks on both short and long sides of the hammer dulcimer. Since there are two, both the internal and external endrails are thinned to reduce weight but remain even stronger than just one thick endrail.
  9. Voice – The "Ultralight" is the instrument Master Works/Russell Cook is known for. It is rich, mellow, reasonably loud and evenly toned from top to bottom. Rosewood bridges are a part of this rich mellow voice but Maple may be chosen to brighten it slightly. Those who play a lot of faster tunes may prefer Maple bridges on their instrument. Maple bridges also affect sustain slightly. It is a little softer and less dense than Rosewood yielding slightly less sustain. Softer lighter woods, such as Walnut or Cherry, transfer energy less effectively and reduce sustain even more. But the tone becomes ‘tinny’ and ‘thin’. Sustain is far less understood than it should be in the hammer dulcimer world. Every piece of wood, hardware and all aspects of design affect the voice and sustain in various degrees. Even the arched soundboard affects sustain slightly. But, by in large, sustain is the product of bridge material and design as well as bridge cap material and design. Side bridges are included in this concept. Again, harder denser bridges yield more sustain just as harder denser bridge cap material yields more sustain. Long continuous bridge cap rods yield more sustain and sympathetic vibration (hit a 'D' and all "D's" resonate, etc.) while short little multiple bridge caps yield less sustain and sympathetic vibration. Softer bridge caps such as "delrin", a fiberglass type plastic rod, yields less sustain while metal caps yield more. Bridge design affects sustain dramatically. Extremely low sustain is evident in instruments with individual "chessman" style bridges, versus long continuous bridges of one piece of wood. Separating the top of a continuous wooden bridge is somewhere between. Side bridges are similar in affect but not as dramatic. The most dramatic variation of side bridges is the Howie Mitchell design where all strings go through the side bridges and turn up to the hitch pins. Since they are in direct contact with the wood, sustain is dramatically reduced. Some players determine they need a lower sustain than average. They might play a lot of Fiddle tunes, Jigs or reels. Some folks need it to comfortably perform jazz or ragtime tunes. Some players are just used to a low sustain voicing from previous instruments. Whatever the reason, we can accommodate you with the "Low Sustain Setup". It includes a less massive wood for bridges. Cherry fills the job well. The slots on top are much wider (taking mass from each pedestal). The bridge is then tapered from a narrow top to a wider bottom making the bridge somewhat shaped like a triangle verses our traditional round top, straight sided rectangle shape. Again, the result is less mass. Then, the bottom of the bridges are scalloped to lower mass, as mentioned before, but mainly to make the bridge less stiff – a little more like individual chessmen style bridges. Last, but not least, we drill extra small holes in the lower half of the Bass bridge, Guess why – yep, it's to lighten the bridge where sustain is commonly the most prevalent. The lower treble is typically not a problem. All together, the process dramatically lowers the sustain of the entire instrument offering players the full, mellow tone of a Master Works Hammer Dulcimer with the flexibility of adjusting for taste concerning sustain.
  10. Endrails – There are two standard choices of endrails – Walnut and Cherry. Maple is available but is rather bland in appearance so we choose to use only Curly or Birdseye Maple (which cost a little more) on these nicer instruments. It is an extra cost along with many other exotic wood choices. Endrail choices do not dramatically affect the tone of the instrument. They mostly affect appearance, which is very important as you look at it day after day!
  11. Sound-holes are not important in varying the tone or voice of a hammer dulcimer as there are so many slots and handle ports elsewhere in the instrument. In smaller instruments, such as violins, the sound-holes affect the tone a great deal. We include at no extra charge beautiful Harrison Rose sound-hole inlays in your "Ultralight" hammer dulcimer. It is based on a quilt design with a little Celtic rope styling on the side. We have a few custom design inlays available for an extra fee or you may produce your own and have us incorporate them into your ordered instrument.
  12. Stained soundboard – Red, brown or black stained soundboards are available (these enhance the players ability to see the silver strings versus the average caramel colored soundboard).
  13. The "Ultralight" model comes with receptacles in the back to accept monopod legs (for playing without a stand) or video camera tripods (to be used in the place of a typical wooden stand). Two handle ports are located in the back for ease of handling.

HAM002   $1199.00  


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Case for Ultralight Hammered Dulcimer Protect your beautiful hand crafted Hammer Dulcimer with a lightweight, portable case. High-density foam padding and Cordura water-resistant exterior provide ample protection weighing only 3 pounds or less. This attractive case has three zippered sides, a large outside zipper pocket (pocket not available on Soprano size), (internal section for objects you don't want in the "outside" top pocket) and a detachable shoulder strap. Helps keep your instrument protected when transporting it in hot, cold or inclement weather. Helps reduce tuning loss.

With instrument order only. HAM002C   $199.00  

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Dampers for Ultralight Hammered Dulcimer Typically, the only way to change the voice of your instrument is by using various hammers with various materials on the striking surface, pluck the strings with your fingers, picks held in your hands, or picks in the end of your hammers. The latter allows you to strike the strings (double sided gives you two voices) then pluck the strings without removing the hammers from your fingers! Oh yes, you can "bend" the strings sort of like a Sitar if you don't mind retuning more often!

BUT, a wonderful new option to consider adding to your new instrument-of-a-lifetime is a damper system. When activated, it dramatically reduces sustain but allows the notes to be heard briefly. The voice is similar to that of a steel drum.

Rotating small strips of wood with thick felt barely touch the strings near the end of their vibrating length when activated by the depressed pedal. The pedal is connected by way of a cable and can be located anywhere around or under the hammer dulcimer. It is comfortable and easy to use just like a piano pedal (why reinvent the wheel?). A cable runs up to the front of the instrument, snaps on and is adjustable to your preference. Detach the cables from the instrument and you're as portable as ever!

A typical complaint of other dampers is the noise they make, complexity of setup, bulky design, inaccuracy and the uncomfortable location of the pedal. Our system is smooth, quiet, small and durable. These simple to use dampers are an asset to any level of player expanding your voicing abilities wonderfully!

Available only with instrument order. HAM002D   $699.00  
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Ultralight Hammered Dulcimer Chromatic Option Chromatic option adds 7 missing notes making it fully chromatic over 3 octaves.

Chromatics are the "extra", added, in-between notes, beyond the diatonic scale, which the hammer dulcimer is known for. The white keys of the piano are the diatonic scale of "C" (diatonic simply means "do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do") (starts and ends with "C" there is a diatonic scale for each named note). The black keys are the "incidentals" or chromatics that complete the chromatic 13 note scale ("C, C#, D, D#, E, F, etc"). PLEASE don't drift away yet! It ain't that complicated!! That's what makes the hammer dulcimer so easy to learn to play, especially if you don't have a music theory background. But a little study of very basic music theory might benefit you at this point if you aren't sure what a chromatic scale verses a diatonic scale is AND you are considering adding chromatics to your instrument. Did you know there are numerous National Hammer Dulcimer Champions who didn't read music or understand the difference between diatonic or chromatic when they won? Honest!!!
But now, let's talk about your decision. You can absolutely play tons of most any genre of music without chromatics added to your straight diatonic hammer dulcimer. BUT, if you think you might need them in the future, these extra notes are not located in the middle of your normal tuning scheme but are located off in the corners of the instrument where you never play, out of the way, so you only go to them when you specifically need those chromatic notes (you can interchange between a chromatic and diatonic instrument effortlessly). You can play your chromatic instrument without concern for these extra notes forever, if you wish. But one day, after a workshop with a great teacher/performer, you discover the need for these chromatic notes to play a new wonderful tune. Since you have chromatics, "wa-lah", you finally use them and a grand new era in your dulcimer life starts to unfold!
The only negative to having chromatics is the cost, BUT it is an investment you will receive back if you ever resell your instrument.

Available only with instrument order. HAM003   $200.00  
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Great Hammered Dulcimer Stand Solid butternut, with dovetail slides and wooden adjustment knobs. Set the height and angle to suit your needs for playing from a seated or a standing position. Springloaded hinges hold the legs apart while in use, and a simple knotted cord pulls the frame closed for compact storage and transport. HAM034   $299.00  

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Great Hammered Dulcimer Stand Kit Solid butternut, with dovetail slides and wooden adjustment knobs. Set the height and angle to suit your needs for playing from a seated or a standing position. Springloaded hinges hold the legs apart while in use, and a simple knotted cord pulls the frame closed for compact storage and transport. Assembling the Adjustable Dulcimer Stand requires sanding to round over sharp corners, and then gluing and screwing the parts together carefully to make sure the frame is square and the parts are oriented exactly as illustrated. Then apply a nice clear finish.

Download assembly instructions. HAM034K   $179.00  


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EZ Carry Standing Hammered Dulcimer Stand Good solid folding stand hardwood. Dimensions: 45" x 3-1/2" x 1-3/4", 33" to 36" height, approx. 5-3/4 pounds. HAM068   $140.00  

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Fold-up Sitting Hammered Dulcimer Stand A very lightweight. stable and portable stand.
Dimensions
Long side- 36"
Short side- 29"
Fold up height- 36"
Weight 2 1/4Lb HAM088   $60.00  

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Fold-up Standing Hammered Dulcimer Stand A very lightweight. stable and portable stand.
Dimensions
Long side- 45"
Short side- 39"
Fold up height- 45"
Weight 3 Lb HAM089   $65.00  

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Hammerette This VERY small instrument provides the hammered dulcimer enthusiast with something at a very affordable price. The hammerette has 1 bridge, with 7 courses. Range: middle C to F, 1-1/2 octaves above Key of C. Soundboard made of laminated Baltic birch, body of maple. 17 1/2" wide at the front, 9 1/2" wide at the back. Includes playing hammers and tuning wrench. HAM007   $200.00  

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Featherlight Series Standard 15/15 Hammered Dulcimer (second) Range G 1-1/2 octaves below middle C up to D 2 octaves above middle C. Notes on bass bridge (right side of instrument), starting from bottom: low G, low D, E, F#, G, A, B, middle C, D, E, F, G, A, A#, C. Notes on right side of treble bridge (the bridge at the left) starting from bottom: G#, A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Notes on left side of treble bridge: D#, E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A, B, high C, high D. Slightly shop worn. Missing 1 string. doe not include hammers. Includes tuning wrench. SEC2791   $725.00  

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Hammered Dulcimer By Dulcimerseed Hammered dulcimer w/ hard case 12/11 Dulcimer Seed by Denis Murphy About 20 years old. very nice. AMD067   $600.00  

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American Dulcimer Hammers, Plain, Pair American Dulcimer Hammers, Plain, Pair. Wooden hammers for the American Hammered Dulcimer. Plain wood no leather pads DHAH   $12.51  

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Dulcimer Hammers, Hearts, Lacewood This pair of heart shaped wooden dulcimer hammers are made from lacewood with rosewood accents. There are leather pads on one side. The approximate length is 8 1/2". DHAHHL   $17.91  

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Dulcimer Hammers, Teardrop, Lacewood This pair of teardrop shaped wooden dulcimer hammers are made from lacewood with rosewood accents. There are leather pads on one side. The approximate length is 8 1/2". DHAHTL   $17.91  

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Sit Down Playing Leg for Hammered Dulcimer, Russell Cook These great little legs are the perfect solution if you like to sit while you play.... The long endrail rests on your lap and the opposite side rests on your third leg. What a great solution! HAM006   $18.00  

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Double Sided Flexible Hammers 10-1/2" long. Head of hammer is leather. HAM070   $27.00  

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Whamdiddle Double Sided Hammers Pair HAM071   $49.00  

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Whamdiddle Double Sided Hammers with Pick Pair. HAM072   $59.00  

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String Set for D35 Hammered Dulcimer, Dusty Strings Description coming soon! HAM076S   $72.00  

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Jim Bows - Hammered Dulcimer bows The JimBow is a fantastic new Hammered Dulcimer accessory that allows the HD to be bowed, creating a beautiful psaltery like sound - making the HD two instruments in one! Each pair is made from select American hardwoods, the bow is made with 1/8th inch nylon rod. These fine bows are being used in Russia, Germany, England and all over the U.S. JimBows must be rosined. Includes instructional book. HAM087   $50.00  

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Rosin Cake for Jim Bows (Hammered Dulcimer bows) Dark rosin, suitable for Violin, Viola, Cello and all other instrument bows. Packaging varies. HAM087A   $3.50  

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Introduction to Hammered Dulcimer DVD Robin Petrie shows a basic approach to understanding and playing the hammered dulcimer by ear. Robin fully explains how to tune, how to find your way around the instrument, how to hammer, how to pick out scales, chords and arpeggios.

Filmed in the 1980s. DVD056   $29.95  


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Hammered Dulcimer: Advanced Techniques and Celtic Styling DVD Elizabeth Zekley (Clark) shows you the elements of Celtic styling on the hammered dulcimer. Included are hammer techniques, rolls, triplets, grace notes, chord notes and arranging for the dulcimer.

Filmed in the 1980s. DVD166   $29.95  


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Fold-up Sitting Hammered Dulcimer Stand Nice inexpensive folding sitting hammered dulcimer stand. Made of hardwoods. Adjustable and easy to carry. HAM026   $115.00  

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All The Tunes That Ever There Were Published in 1975, this history of the hammered dulcimer in the British Isles stands as one of the earliest books and recordings of the hammered dulcimer revival. Techniques, photos, tunes, and historic field recordings with CD BOK333   $18.95  

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American Dulcimer Hammers, Leather, Pair American Dulcimer Hammers, Leather, Pair. Wooden hammers for the American Hammered Dulcimer. With leather pads. DHAHL   $12.51  

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Persian Santoor Hammers, pair Delicate hammers for Persian santoor. HAM001H   $14.31  

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Indian Santoor Hammers, Pair Wooden hammers for the santoor. SNTH   $35.91  

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Tuning Hammer For zithers, musicmakers, autoharps etc. TUN026   $12.00  

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Snark SN8 Clip on Super Tight All Instrument Chromatic Tuner An incredible electronic tuner at an amazing price.
Faster response for quick tuning
Brighter display with the EZ read face for no mistakes tuning
Tighter frequency response for the most accurate tuning yet
Clip on Chromatic tuner can be used on all instruments
Tap Tempo metronome and Pitch calibration
Batteries: 1 CR2 batteries required. (included) TUN031   $19.00  

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Pickups & Instrument Microphones Amplify your instrument.


Lark In The Morning
PO Box 1176, Mendocino, CA 95460 USA
(707) 964-5569




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