Hammered Dulcimer
by Peter Tommerup

The hammered dulcimer differs considerably from its distant Appalachian cousin, the "mountain dulcimer." Though both are members of the zither family (along with pianos and autoharps), and have a "sweet sound" (what the word "dulcimer" means, from Latin and Greek "dulce" and "melos"), this is about where the similarities end. The hammered dulcimer is considerably larger, trapezoidal in shape, and is played with two little wooden hammers. It is the instrument from which the piano evolved.

Peter will introduce the hammered dulcimer by playing several traditional pieces (probably from several cultures) and sharing a bit about their context. People who bring their hammered dulcimers will be able to learn a tune or two. (Please tune your hammered dulcimer ahead of the workshop as best as you can, so we don't spend all our time tuning).

About Peter Tommerup:

I fell in love with the mountain and hammered dulcimers when I first heard them played by Guy Carawan in 1973 in a folklore class that Guy taught at the college I was attending. Since then, I have spent thousands of hours jamming, teaching and performing on these instruments. I also fell in love with the discipline of Folklore Studies, and completed a Ph.D. in this at UCLA. Among the topics I studied were: Celtic and American Old Time instrumental music, the dulcimers in their traditional cultural contexts, and organizational culture and folklore. I have taught hundreds of folks in the Bay Area to play dulcimer through classes, workshops, and individual lessons. I currently teach at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA, and at my home.

I also have co-founded REDWOOD DULCIMER DAY, and all day mountain dulcimer retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains. This year it takes place on Friday, August 6 (evening concert) and Saturday, August 7 (all day workshops, jams, and evening showcase concert).

For more info, contact me at: ptommerup@juno.com


SFFFF 2004: