CHAPTER 3: History to 1800

3.5 The Baroque, Rococo and Classical Periods 1600-1800

3.5.1 The west

1.3. The Middle Class in the 17th & 18th centuries: England and the Colonies - 2 of 7

passing references
Glasgow tuning-diagrams
Pepys' Diary
Mr. Pearson at Sadler's Wells
Grassineau's Musical Dictionary London 1740
dulcimers played & sold 1760s-1770s
instrument in York museum
four different spellings



general view

close-up of diagram

close-up of text
fig. 107: ms tunings in a copy of Playford’s Select Musical ayres, 1653:
Glasgow University Library, Euing Music Collection, R.x.49

Inside the back cover of a copy of Playford's Select musicall ayres of 1653, in the Library of Glasgow University (134), there appear two handwritten tuning-diagrams labelled, "The names of the strings of English Dulcimur". Both have a consistant fifth interval across the treble bridge, indicating a constant 2:3 ratio which could have been produced by two long unbroken bridges; and each has a little 'foot' bass bridge at the bottom on the left. The larger drawing is for an instrument with 10 treble and 10 + 1 bass courses, and if we take the angle of the bass bridge to indicate a trapezoid instrument, it is of type 12.2. The range is two octaves and a fourth g - c plus an extended bass note, and even with simple bridging it is chromatic for all its compass apart from a few notes at the top and bottom.

The smaller diagram is for a smaller instrument, having 8 + 8 + 1 courses, giving one diatonic octave, plus an eleventh which is chromatic except for one note at the top: the basic ranges of the two instruments are the same, but since one has fewer courses than the other, it must have fewer notes within that range, and the missing notes are the chromatics of the lower octave.