THEY have a long history and an unusual sound.
Welcome to the world of dulcimers.
Next weekend there’s a chance to hear these beautiful instruments in action and to learn more about them.
What better setting for such an instrument that one of the area’s best-loved historic houses, Oakwell Hall.
The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club will be at Oakwell next Sunday from 1pm (August 5) to give people a chance to hear dulcimers played and perhaps even to have a go themselves.
Each summer, club members from the north of England organise a visit to a public location to set up their dulcimers and play for the public.
“Apart from it being a pleasant day out, it shows people what the instruments are, how they’re played, and what they sound like,” said the club’s Eric Woulds who organises the event.
“We’re very pleased to have been invited to Oakwell Hall this year, and we’re looking forward to a great day out.
“We should be playing on the lawn to the rear of the hall, in the Elizabethan gardens, where there is no entry fee.
“Come and have a chat, listen to the music, and even better, have a go!
“We’ll have spare instruments ready and waiting for people to play, and there’ll be expert tuition on hand.
The Nonsuch Dulcimer Club is the national organisation for players of the dulcimer group of instruments, which includes the Hammered Dulcimer, Mountain (or Appalachian) Dulcimer, and the Autoharp.
These are all stringed instruments that are played either by being plucked, strummed or beaten with small, light wooden hammers.
They have a unique sound, somewhere between harps and mandolins, and have a long history.