CHAPTER 7: Controversies and Misunderstandings
12 of 17 - Changes after 1750
we are looking at Dr. Marcuse's account of changes she says were made
from about 1750, resulting from the impact of the Pantaleon (10).
from the lack of textual evidence connecting the Pantaleon with other
dulcimers, there are no surviving dulcimers with any of the characteristic
Pantaleon features (double soundboard, gut strings, 200 strings, extraordinary
length), at least until 19th-century cimbaloms acquired the Pantaleon's
range. Dr. Marcuse mentions four aspects, none of which seems to be
typical for instruments from after 1750:
- - the enlarging
of the case
- (this is not
seen on instruments dating from earlier than the 19th century, unless
she is referring to the extension in length of 18th-century soundboards;
- - the abolition
of 'projecting tilted boards' for tuning pins and hitch pins, the
former "being inserted into the case proper"
- (this is the
reverse of Norlind's chronology, and in fact both types have continued
in use side by side from the 16th century to the present day);
- - the replacement
of large numbers of thin strings per course by thicker bichord or
at most trichord courses
- (only Marneukirchen
PatmC dçs 840, the dulcimers of American,nd smaller yang
ch'ins give grounds for this statement; elsewhere IV and V were,
and are, normal);
- - "finally,
in order to obtain the maximum string length for the basses, the
lowest strings were given the entire length of the soundboard"
- (the bass courses
have always used the entire length of the soundboard: the addition
of left-hand bass bridges increased the number of bass strings at
the longest part of the instrument, certainly, but this arrangement
was widely used before 1750 as well as after, and was shown by Mersenne
as early as 1636).
hypothesis does receive a little support from one modern author: Dr.
van der Meer mentions double-sided Hackbretts ("doppelsaitig
bezogene Hackbretter") in Germany and the Netherlands, apparently
in the 18th century (84) a cndtruction detail whichcertainly seem to
be inspired by the Pantaleon - if indeed he is not actually describing
Pantaleons (but see McKenzie patent, fig. 175).