Traditional Irish Music
The earliest known Hammered Dulcimer player in Ireland was one Archibald Williamson, who was active in Dublin back in 1738.
We also know of one Isaac Isaacs, who was active in Dublin from 1767.
However, in recent years apart from a few isolated cases, County Antrim has been the home of the Hammered Dulcimer, with well known players & recording artists like John Rea, Barry Carroll & Derek Bell flying the flag for the Hammered Dulcimer in Irish Music circles.
For more information on the history of this instrument in Ireland, visit this website:
When you consider then that many of the instruments commonly involved in the playing of Irish Music today, have a much shorter connection with this music, it is perhaps surprising that the Hammered Dulcimer is not seen more often in Irish Music circles.
Other instruments like the Harp & Uilleann Pipes were once fairly common here, but just like the Dulcimer today, they almost became extinct here & were only saved in recent years, by a small handfull of enthusiasts.
Perhaps the popularity of the Hammered Dulcimer can also be turned around.
With most Dulcimers having at least 50 strings, it may be that folks became lazy & took to more easily tuned & much more easily transported instruments like the Fiddle.
However today, with most folks going to Sessions by car & having cheap & easily used electronic tuners, there is no reason why Hammered Dulcimers shouldn't become more popular in the future.
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