The hammer dulcimer is an instrument long-established in the folk tradition. Its distinctive and appealing sound enhances simple tunes, while its melodic and percussive qualities makes it capable of the most subtle and intricate of music.
It is deceptively easy to play, yet still presents a challenge to the more advanced player. It is portable, and suitable for both solo and ensemble playing, of music from Bach to jazz. By using hammers with different facings, you can vary the sound from a bright, clear, harpsichord-like tone to the mellow sound of a vibraphone.
Why, then, is such a versatile and attractive instrument not more popular? The main reason is that, with such a large number of strings and the consequent tension, traditionally constructed dulcimers (often made by the players themselves) were insufficiently stable and therefore extremely difficult to keep in tune.
With this in mind, we have designed a range of dulcimers that incorporate a tubular steel-reinforced frame to resist the string tension. This and other structural modifications make our instruments exceptionally stable so that they require the minimum of retuning.
We have paid careful attention to the sound qualities of the instrument. By using a ‘floating’ soundboard and specially selected materials we have been able to produce outstanding tone and volume and a good balance between bass and treble.
With several years of development behind them, we believe our hammer dulcimers to be the finest available in this country. Don’t just take our word for it, ask the professionals- better still, try one for yourself! And if you're still not sure that you and the hammer dulcimer will get on, try our rental scheme.
Recommended to first-time buyers. A plain, no-frills instrument, but possessing fine tone and volume. The tuning is the most common in use today and the layout is clear and simple to follow. 12 treble courses, 11 bass courses with a range d'' - G, so you can play in C, D, F and G and the related minor keys. You can also play in A but not in a standard pattern.
Our most popular dulcimer, the Acorn is similar in appearance and construction to the Dulcette, but with a longer string length to improve the tone and bass response, and with 12 treble courses and 12 bass courses, there is a useful bottom D.
Excellent value for money, both these models have a rock maple frame and teak/mahogany laminated soundboard and back, nickel plated wrest pins and brass hitch pins.
Tuned like the Acorn 12/12 and with the same internal structure, the Concert features an external hardwood surround that contributes to a full, rich, resonant sound and also allows a clip-on lid to be fitted. Hand-carved roses add to its looks, and you can choose a teak or birch laminated soundboard.
The construction and materials are the same as the Concert models, but the extra 4 courses in the bass greatly extend the potential of the instrument. Range e'' - A'.
Coming soon - details of our new dulcimer range: Nocturne, Sonata and Chorus.
Special offer - free 1-year membership of the Nonsuch dulcimer club when you buy an Oakwood dulcimer.
We can also supply music wire and other hammer dulcimer accessories.