CHAPTER 5: Dulcimers in other countries since 1800 > Eastern Europe


fig. 224: click

Since the first European description of a dulcimer came from Bohemia, one might expect to find a flourishing tradition; Leng gives a sketch (undated, but perhaps early 19thC.) of a player of a maly cimbal, the instrument suspended from the player's neck from a strap, and having long bridges, while the title page of a collection of folk songs from 1825 also shows one, although with very little detail (52).

fig. 223: click

Another maly cimbal on a neck strap is shown by Scholes, and Leng makes it clear that a standard pedal-cimbal, vel'ky cimbal, is played alongside the maly cimbal, which may have complex bridging (type 32.2) recalling that of Derek Bell's cimbalom.

Howie Mitchell writes of the Ray Baca Orchestra of Fayetteville, Texas, which dates back to 1892 and uses dulcimer, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, 'bass horn', bass, drums and piano; they play "some of the most cheerful polka and waltz music I have ever heard", and the dulcimer is tuned to an extended diatonic fifths system, with keys D to Bb (92). See also discography.