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Sweet Song

The light, sweet tone of the dulcimer has enthralled audiences from Biblical times to the modern day. Musicians like Bill Robinson are making sure the dulcimer won't go away any time soon.

The hammered dulcimer likely made its first appearance 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia, from where it made its way over oceans and mountains, across the millennia and through various adaptations. Though the dulcimer has occasionally been in danger of falling by the wayside, people like Robinson – who has played the dulcimer since childhood – make sure the next generation can keep the music alive.

Eschewing sheet music in favor of playing by ear, Robinson shows his apprentices how to play the dulcimer as well as how to make them – with a little help from his business partner, Ken Harris, at H and R Dulcimers in St. Charles.

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Learn the history of the dulcimer when you visit Bill Robinson's website.

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Hear the sweet sounds of the dulcimer as played by the agile hands of Bill Robinson and his students.


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Bill Robinson jams with friends.

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Dulcimer master, Bill Robinson.


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