Dolce Melos – the hammered dulcimer free

Tuesday, 05.02.2019 - Friday, 12.04.2019, Tertis case

The dulcimer made its first appearance in European iconography in the late middle ages; its heyday was the Renaissance and early Baroque.

The hammered dulcimer was one of a number of stringed instruments that contributed to the evolution of the piano in the early 18th century, through the addition of a keyboard to pluck or strike the strings. (Visit our Piano gallery on the second floor of the Museum to see how keyboard instruments evolved into the modern piano.)

From about 1550 onwards, keyboard instruments became more popular and the dulcimer was reduced to an accompanying folk instrument, especially in Eastern Europe. Hammered dulcimers have also survived in Britain in this way.

The books on display are from the Academy Library Special Collections and the instrument is kindly loaned by Dr Colin Huehns.