string tambourine - hammered chord dulcimer with 16 chords

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History of the String Tambourine

This beautiful instrument has its origins in medieval France and was used as an accompanying instrument for singing and one-handed flute. Today, there are smaller versions of hammered chord dulcimers in Spain and France, which are played mainly in processions as accompanying drone instruments. France has declared this musical instrument a part of their cultural heritage.


The hammered chord dulcimer, or tambourin à cordes as it is called in France, is a dulcimer on which one strikes not just melody strings, but rather full chords. Thus, anyone - and we really mean anyone - can immediately make music on it because the chords are not fingered like on a guitar. The hammered chord dulcimer has a full, floating sound. The strings are struck with a small hammer, the bottom of which is traditionally covered with felt. As you hear in the video, the instrument can also be plucked.

Heres a session with Sol from Katzenjammer, Nico from Folkfriends, Alea from Saltatio Mortis and Hanne Mari Karlsen


Sol from Katzenjammer and Rob from Omnia jamming on the string tambourine


The body of our string tambourine showcases an historic wooden rosette. To facilitate orientation, the names of the chords are burned into the wood below the strings.

The string tambourine has been well established in school music lessons and in music therapy, since it has an intuitive approach to playing and allows rapid progress even for beginners. For accompanying oneself it is ideal.

The following chords are playable: C-F-G-Bb-D-A-E-B on the right side of the instrument and Am-Dm-Em-Gm-C#m-F#m-G#m-Bm on the left.


Length  66 cm
Width  38.5 cm
Cabinet depth  7 cm
Total height  9.5 cm
Weight  4.6 kg (10.14 lbs.)



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