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What note is 0 on the Hammered Dulcimer?


I have been looking at free sheet music online for my Hammered Dulcimer 10/9 and I keep seeing the music listed at 0 or a drone. Example is like this: 00011 1100001 for the first line of “When the saints come marching in” on the line where the notes are. What do the 0s mean, please? Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
Thanks so much for any info you may have on this!..Linda


Hi Linda,

That’s a great question! Unfortunately, what you’re looking at is actually tablature for a mountain dulcimer, which is a strummed instrument that has frets and just a few strings. So the 0 would indicate an open string, and the 1 would indicate to press down at the first fret, etc. Unfortunately, that notation doesn’t really apply to the hammered dulcimer.

There are people who have designed different systems of notation specifically for hammered dulcimer, and maybe someone else can chime in if they know of any examples!


Thanks so much for the quick reply and the information! Being a total newbie at the hammered dulcimer and teaching myself until my first lesson January with a real teacher I am just looking on the net for music to practice with. I have found Jingle Bells and am getting the hang of that tune and have a few more easy songs I’m playing around with. Some have the notes, some numbers but it was the first time I came across the 0 and was a little confused! Now I understand and will keep looking for music for my hammered dulcimer and will avoid those that have 0s in them!

I just love your whole site, especially your forum and you have been a GREAT help to me in loving my new found joy!

Thanks again,