Another "Not A Dulcimer" Build
In collaboration with a Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland professor of Musicology, I am re-creating a "lost" Celtic instrument, called a Tiompan, which was popular from around 500AD to 1500AD. None survive to copy. None found in attics or castle dungeons. Not in archaeological digs. No unidentified instruments in period paintings or rock carvings. All that exist are descriptions in passing, found in ancient Irish legal documents, family and estate record books, poetry, and stories. Professor Buckley has translated many of these old descriptions, and we have some general 'benchmarks', that we can agree upon for a general shape:
Body is "pointed" in some aspect
3 Brass or Bronze strings, not gut or steel
Plucked and/or bowed
Decorated with Silver, Brass/Bronze or Gold
Single string pin with some sort of decorative cover.
So here's what I've got so far.
24" long x 5" wide x 3/4" thick (or thin).
The wood is Black Ash, one on the sacred woods of the Druids and early Celtic Christians. The single string pin is under the center of that Celtic-decorated silver disk.
Now I'm ready to install tuning pegs (1/4 violin pegs re-shaped), and brass music wire of appropriate gauges for a c-g-g tuning. There will be a shallow nut and bridge between the string pin and the tuning pegs, giving a VSL of 18". The long straight edge will be marked for diatonic fret positions but it will be played fretless.