CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in the later 20th century


The new dulcimer activity in this country in the last 30 years may be considered under four headings, grouped primarily according to the kind of music played; it is sadly in the nature of our society [1976] that by and large people are involved in only one type of music, and experience very few stimuli from any other branch of the art.

That is not to say that the opposite is necessarily true, that simply because two people take up the dulcimer in, say the world of folk music, one has influenced the other, but it often seems to have happened that such groups of players have experienced a common third stimulus.

Three of the four groups are the predictable divisions between folk music, pop and art music - a jazz dulcimer was not found in this study.

The fourth group is comprised of those who are involved in dulcimers as a direct or indirect result of the activities of a single man, David Williams; the group includes examples of each kind of music, as well as some which defy classification and form a link between more than one type.

A considerable number of people own dulcimers for aesthetic reasons, without any thought of playing them; it was not considered sufficiently useful to list them here, but the information is on file.