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


Dulcimer playing around the world


Some form of dulcimer can be found in most parts of the world and early music scholars such

as Anthony Baines thought that the idea of a beaten psaltery or dulcimer, may have come from Persia.

(Musical Instruments Through the Ages' - Pelican 1961)


More recently researchers like Paul M. Gifford have argue that the dulcimer first appeared from western Europe during

the early fifteenth century, prior to the earliest Islamic evidence of a struck dulcimer and concluded that 'Therefore we must accept the evidence that the dulcimer arose in Western Europe independently.'

(The Hammered Dulcimer, A History - Scarecrow Press 2001)


In each country a struck dulcimer has its own name and below are some of them.


North America

a. b.  

U.S.A - Hammer dulcimer

Mexico - Salterio  


c. d. e.

Denmark - Hakkebaet

Norway - Hakkebrett

Sweden - Hackbrade

Western  Europe  

  f. g. h.

Switzerland - Hackbrett

Germany - Hackbrett

Austria - Hackbrett

  England - Dulcimer Ireland - Dulcimer Scotland - Dulcimer

Spain - Salterio

Portugal - Salterio

Italy - Salterio

Eastern              Europe   

i.   j.



Latvia - Cimbole

Lithuania - Cimbolai

Belarus - Cymbaly


Poland - Cymbaly

Russia (Klintsy) - Tsymbali

Ukraine (Ivano-Frankivsk)

- Tsymbaly

  Slovakia - Cimbal

Hungary - Cimbalom or Citera

Slovenia - Cimbale or Oprekelj


Croatia - Cimbal or Cimbul

Romania - Tambal

Ukraine (Crimea) - Santyr


Bulgaria - Tsimbal

Greece - Santouri


Middle East 

l. m. n.

Turkey - Santur

Armenia - Santir

Israel - Tsimbl, Cymbal, Hakbreydl


Iraq - Santour

Iran - Santour



o. p. q.

Uzbekistan - Chang

India (Jammu) - Santoor

Mongolia - Yoochin


China (Xinjiang Province) - Chang

China (Beijing) - Yangqin

Korea - Yanggeum


Taiwan - Yangqin

Burma - Don-min

Thailand - Khim or butterfly harp


Vietnam - đŕn tam thập lục

Cambodia - Khum






a. American hammered dulcimer player

b. Mexican Salterio player

c. Swedish Hackbrade played by Ted Yoder

d. A highly decorated Hackbrett from the Tyrol

e. Swiss Hackbrett player Nicolas Senn

f. Dulcimer player Bill Fell of Birmingham, England

g. Scottish dulcimer player Jimmy Cooper

h. Dulcimer player John Rae from Northern Ireland

i. A Belarus Cymbaly player

j. Hungarian Cimbalom virtuoso Viktória Herencsár

k. A Greek Santouri player

l. Juan Manuel Rubio playing a Turkish Santur

m. A Santour player from Iraq

n. Sina Bathaie playing a Persian Santour

p. Ustaad Tibetbaqal, Indian Santoor player


p. A highly decorated Uzbekistan Chang

q. Chinese Yanqin player Zhou Gege


Click on the photo thumbnails to see larger images.


 Below is a map which indicates where dulcimers are found around the world.

Click on a red dulcimer shaped pin and a description of that county's dulcimer will appear, along with links to videos of the instrument being played. N.B. the orange triangular pins relate to the mountain dulcimer family.



This map is part of a Dulcimer Education Pack produced by the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club,

and the link to that is: www.dulcimer.org.uk/schools/index.html

We would like to thank Sally Whytehead for permission to use it here.



All material on this website is copyright, not necessarily by us. For permission to use any of its contents in any way, please contact us.