Inspired by the Chinese yangqin but designed to be simpler, the Tonic dulcimer has a range from c below middle c to d3. It is fully chromatic (except for low c#). It is 1070mm across the front and about 450mm front to back. You could call it a "whole tone dulcimer".
It has three lines of bridges: let's call them bass (on the far RHS), tenor (the middle bridge) and treble (to the left of centre). You might notice some low bridges at the top of the treble bridge. These allow the back strings to survive their long lengths. If those little bridglets weren't there, those top strings would break. Being long though, improves their tone.
A useful feature of this instrument is the tenor bridge. You can play on either side of this bridge and the interval across the bridge is one octave and a fifth. This gives a two octave interval from their adjacent bass bridge notes, so if you hit a wrong note by mistake, the chances are you will hit a harmony rather than a dissonance. Well "dulcimer" does mean sweet sounds.
There are dark and light bridges. These correspond to the black and white notes on the piano. For the interval b-f#, I've used a white bridge with a black top on it.
The instrument pictured has a western red cedar soundboard and cherry front and back frame, with rock maple wrestplanks.
Click here to see how the Tonic dulcimer is tuned.
Find out how to order a Tonic dulcimer.
Any questions? Gillian.Alcock@netspeed.com.au
To return to the top of the instrument page.
To return to my main page.