Opus 89 - Dulcimer

Back  Next
North America

  • Opus 89
  • Opus 90
  • Opus 91
  • Opus 92
  • Opus 93
  • Opus 94
  • Opus 95
  • Opus 96
  • Opus 97
  • Opus 98
  • Opus 99
  • Opus 100
  • Opus 101
  • Opus 102
      Symbolism of
      Symbolism of
      The Publication
      The Author
      Making Musical Instruments
      Instrument Makers
      Video Excerpts
      Audio Excerpts
      Other Web Sites

    This gentle-sounding instrument is also called the dulce melos, from which the name "dulcimer" was derived. Probably of Persian origin, the dulcimer appeared in Italian paintings in the mid-fifteenth century.

      Dulcimer - CMC 74-234/S95-11171/CD95-502 Dulcimer
    By Bob Rowland
    Scarborough, Ontario
    Walnut, birch, maple, poplar, oak, steel
    Length by width: 106 x 59 cm;
    sides 11.5 cm

    The dulcimer is a pre-eminent traditional instrument. In the British Isles, it accompanies reels, jigs and hornpipes. In Hungary, a similar but larger instrument, the cimbalom, accompanies traditional dances. The dulcimer also plays a role in symphonic works.

    Opus 90 - Dulcimer

      Dulcimer - CMC 74-235/S95-11169/CD95-502
    This close-up view of the soundboard
    clearly reveals the grain of the birch wood
    By Bob Rowland
    Scarborough, Ontario
    Walnut, birch, maple, poplar, oak, steel
    Length by width: 106 x 59 cm;
    sides: 11.5 cm

    Opus 91 - Celtic Harp

    One of the world's most ancient instruments, the harp appeared in Europe around the ninth century. It is considered a noble instrument, associated with King David, who is often portrayed holding one in paintings. In Ireland and Scotland, the harp, known in Gaelic as clàrsach, enjoyed a prominent position beginning in the tenth century. It was used until the eighteenth century and became Ireland's emblem.

      Celtic Harp - CMC 74-591.1-2/S74-2581/CD94-163 Celtic Harp
    By Tim Hobrough
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Maple, cedar, nylon, steel, brass
    Height: 99cm;
    base: 29 x 20 cm

    In the early nineteenth century, during the burgeoning Celtic revival in Dublin and Edinburgh, organizations such as the Dublin Harp Society were established to restore the tradition of the harp. John Egan, a Dublin instrument maker, invented a modern clàrsach for novice musicians. Lighter in construction, this harp had gut strings and hand-operated levers to raise the pitch of the strings by a semitone. The instrument is sometimes called the Celtic or neo-Irish harp.

    Based on the modern clàrsach, the harp shown here has thirty strings, made of nylon. The soundbox, which consists of a single piece of carved cedar taken from a church organ pipe, bears a traditional magical knot motif, and the head of the pillar is decorated with a stylized bird.


    Tim Hobrough

    Tim Hobrough has been making instruments since 1972. After apprenticing for two years under Michael Dunn in Vancouver, he received a Canada Council grant in 1976 to study early harps in European collections. He settled in Scotland in 1978 and opened a workshop in the village of Beauly in 1989. He crafts a wide array of harps, including medieval, Renaissance, baroque, Irish and Celtic, and medieval instruments such as the dulcimer, psaltery and lyre.

      Tim Hobrough's label