CHAPTER 7: Controversies and Misunderstandings

5 of 17 - popularity in the Netherlands

'... in the Netherlands (where it never seems to have had much success)"... "it never becomes really popular as its tone is too weak". (Denis p.41): presumably Denis means that the dulcimer was not as popular as the violin or the harpsichord; if he means no more than that then there can be no contradiction.

However, the tone of these statements seems to imply that the instrument is not worthy of much serious attention because it is not in the mainstream of popular (i.e. generally-liked) music, a conclusion which can scarcely be tenable now, even if it was when musicology was in its infancy.

As far as quantity is concerned, there was certainly enough Netherlands material for Hubert Boone to have carried out a worthwhile, if not particularly extensive, study, had he not - happily - been diverted on to fretted hommels instead.

The point about a weak tone is interesting, since no evidence in this study has pointed to this conclusion.