It is not exactly the most popular instrument to be seen at an Irish Session, but the Hammered Dulcimer has actually been used in Ireland for many more years than many of the instruments you see in session today.

































The photo above shows the two last active Co Antrim Hammered Dulcimer players playing in a session at my Causeway Dulcimer Festival in Bushmills.

L to R the late Nat Magee & William Rea, both men were related to the famous John Rea of Glenarm & played identical Co. Antrim made Dulcimers to John.






















This historic photo shows the last three active players from Co. Antrim playing in a session together. This photo was taken at my Causeway Dulcimer Festival, which was held in Bushmills, Co.Antrim, back in 2005.

L to R Nat Magee RIP, William Rea & Barry Carroll from Lisburn, now living in Dublin.


The earliest records date back to Archibald Williamson who was active in Dublin, in the 1730s, but more recently, most folks will remember that Derek Bell played one with The Chieftains


To learn more about the history of this instrument in Ireland, check out:


The Hammered Dulcimer in Ireland 8-)


The Co. Antrim Hammered Dulcimer8-)



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Comment by Dick Glasgow on June 17, 2011 at 0:05

Hi Cathy, that sounds like Seamus Brady.

Do you remember, did he sing as well?

There is a photo, near the foot of this page, of Seamus Brady's self made Dulcimer.

Also, I used the photo of Seamus Brady's Dulcimer as the header image for my Irish Dulcimer site & if you go down this page, you'll see a couple of photos of Seamus.




Comment by Cathy desmond on June 16, 2011 at 22:26
I came across a Hammered Dulcimer player in Powers Bar in Dunmore East a few years ago , a rare treat indeed . He had built the instrument himself I think . Cathy Desmond

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