dulcimer

/dul"seuh meuhr/, n.
1. a trapezoidal zither with metal strings that are struck with light hammers.
2. a modern folk instrument related to the guitar and plucked with the fingers.
[1560-70; alter. of ME dowcemere < MF doulcemer, dissimilated var. of doulcemele < OIt dolcimelo, dolzemele < L dulce melos sweet song. See DULCET, MELIC]

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Stringed musical instrument in which the strings are beaten with small hammers rather than plucked.

Its soundbox is flat and usually trapezoidal; each pair of strings produces a single note, and the pairs slope upward alternately left and right to facilitate rapid playing. The Hungarian cimbalom is a large dulcimer with legs and a damper pedal, much used in Roma (Gypsy) orchestras. The Appalachian dulcimer is a narrow zither with a fretted fingerboard and three to five strings, which are stopped with one hand and plucked with a plectrum held in the other.

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      stringed musical instrument, a version of the psaltery in which the strings are beaten with small hammers rather than plucked. European dulcimers—such as the Alpine hackbrett, the Hungarian cimbalom, the Romanian țambal, the Greek santouri, and the Turkish and Persian sanṭūr, as well as the Chinese yang-ch'in—have for each note two or more metal strings stretched across a flat, usually trapezoidal sound box. They pass over one and under the other of two long bridges, sloping alternately to right and left to facilitate rapid playing with the light beaters. Dulcimers probably entered central Europe from Persia about the 15th century.

      The pianoforte (piano) is a dulcimer in which a keyboard mechanism operates the beaters. One of its immediate predecessors was the pantaleon, a 5-foot (1.5-metre) or longer dulcimer fashionable in the early 18th century.

      The Appalachian, or mountain, dulcimer of the United States is a narrow folk zither with three to five metal strings running over a fretted fingerboard, which is set centrally along the dulcimer's entire length. The player's right hand strums with a small stick or quill, and the left hand stops one or more strings to provide the melody.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dulcimer — may refer to two types of musical instruments: Appalachian dulcimer, a fretted, plucked musical instrument which is also referred to as a mountain dulcimer , lap dulcimer , hog fiddle , fretted dulcimer or simply dulcimer Hammered dulcimer, a… …   Wikipedia

  • dulcimer — ● dulcimer nom masculin (anglais dulcimer, du moyen français doulcemer, de doux et latin melos, chant) Cithare médiévale à cordes métalliques frappées à l aide de battes. Cithare à cordes pincées, utilisée dans le folklore de l Amérique du Nord.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dulcimer —   [englisch, dʌlsɪmə], 1) Saiteninstrument mit zwei (auch mehreren) Melodiesaiten und einer Bordunsaite (Bordun); vom Scheitholz abstammendes, in den Appalachen beheimatetes Volksmusikinstrument, das vor allem durch Jean Ritchie (* 1922) in den… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dulcimer — Dul ci*mer, n. [It. dolcemele,r Sp. dulcemele, fr. L. dulcis sweet + melos song, melody, Gr. ?; cf. OF. doulcemele. See {Dulcet}, and {Melody}.] (Mus.) (a) An instrument, having stretched metallic wires which are beaten with two light hammers… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dulcimer — (engl., spr. döllßĭmĕr) ist der englische Name des Hackbrettes (eigentlich Dulce melos, das auch als Name ältester Klaviere vorkommt) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • dulcimer — DULCIMÉR s. n. instrument medieval cu coarde ciupite sau lovite, un fel de ţiteră, strămoşul ţambalului, astăzi în perimetrul folkului. (< engl. dolcimer) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • dulcimer — late 15c., from M.Fr. doulce mer, variant of doulcemele, perhaps from doulz de mer, said to represent L. dulce sweet + melos song, from Gk. melos melody …   Etymology dictionary

  • dulcimer — ► NOUN ▪ a musical instrument with strings of graduated length struck with hand held hammers. ORIGIN Old French doulcemer, probably from Latin dulce melos sweet melody …   English terms dictionary

  • dulcimer — [dul′səmôr΄dul′sə mər] n. [ME doucemer < OFr doulcemer < Sp dulcemele < L dulce melos < dulce, neut. of dulcis, sweet (see DULCET) + melos < Gr, a song, strain] 1. a zither having a usually trapezoidal shape and a number of metal… …   English World dictionary

  • Dulcimer — Sommaire 1 Facture 2 Jeu 3 Discographie 4 Notes et références 5 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dulcimer — Appalachian Dulcimer Der Dulcimer ([ dʌlsɪmə]), von Dulce Melos abgeleitet, (auch Appalachian dulcimer oder Mountain dulcimer) ist die amerikanische Form der Bordunzither, eng verwandt mit dem europäischen Scheitholt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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