CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > 'British' dulcimers 1800-1945

Printed tutors

Five English tutors were discovered from the period 1885-c.1920; or rather, four tutors and a tuning diagram with a few notes on playing and a single melody annotated with the number of each note. Their references are these:

1885 - Diagram & Scale of the Dulcimer, published Ihlee & Sankey;
(none of these are themselves dated:
the dates quoted are those given by the BL)
1886 - Charles Roylance, How to Learn the Dulcimer Without a Master (diatonic);
1890 - Charles Roylance, How to Play the Chromatic Dulcimer;
1908 - Havelock Mason, Turner's Universal Tutor for the Dulcimer, (diatonic and chromatic);
c.1920 - Walter Webber, Dallas' Complete Tutor for the Dulcimer: Ordinary, Chromatic and Cords [sic];
(again undated: this copy was kindly given me by James Rodger, who thought it had been bought in the 1920s)

These five works have much material in them, and to compare them is surprisingly complex; we will consider the various characteristics first, by reference to each tutor, in chronological order, for each item, followed by an extract of some of the more interesting and significant passages from each work.