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  East Anglian Dulcimers   

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An introduction -  All the dulcimers that ever there were ..........

 

 

The players
Norfolk
Suffolk

Essex

Cambridgeshire

 

There have probably been more dulcimer players and makers in East Anglia than in any other area of England.


In East Anglia it was just called a dulcimer, not a hammered dulcimer as it is known in America in order to distinguish it from the hourglass shaped Appalachian dulcimer.

 

The makers
Norfolk
Suffolk
Essex

Cambridgeshire

 

 

Interest in the dulcimer was at its peak in East Anglia from around 1850 to 1930. The demand for instruments provided work for both skilled instrument makers and jobbing carpenters and also encouraged home made creations.

 

 

 

 

Unidentified

dulcimers
In private hands
In museums

 

Dulcimer tunings

 

 

In East Anglia the old players used cane beaters, typically wound with wool. Most instruments from the region were highly decorated and had an integral hinged stand to enable them to be played on a table.

 

 

 

Design

Decoration

Sound holes

Bridges

Stands

Beaters

Cases

Dimensions

 

 

The other distinguishing feature of the East Anglian dulcimer is that the bridges are individual not continuous as in other traditions. These, often called ‘chessman’ bridges, allowed for a more chromatic tuning as some could be moved to the left or right.

 

 

 

 

Shop

 

Links

 

Contact

 

 

This website is based on research carried out by John & Katie Howson, between 1978 and the present day. This research is ongoing, so we would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any information about East Anglian dulcimers, players or makers from the past.

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