Here is a treat thanks to the generous offerings of Canadian Library and Archives “Virtual Gramophone.”
15951.mp3 – Paul Bertrand – “Danse Carree” (1928)
Like many players of the era Mr. Bertrand’s playing has a lilt and rhythmic precision that probably comes from playing for many dances. The style is somewhat sparse but every note is played with excellence. In my opinion this sounds more musical than any flashy technique could bring to such a tune.
I can not make out what instrument is providing the accompaniment. At various times I have thought it to be a piano, harp, guitar, zither or maybe even another hammered dulcimer.
I can not tell from this photograph whether the tone bars are made of wood or metal but the layout looks very similar to that of a hammered dulcimer.
I have seen a few contemporary hybrids of xylophones and metallophones set up to play like a hammered dulcimer but this instrument clearly predates them.
Does anyone know anything about this instrument?
Ashka Wierzycka contacted me about using the title piece from my last hammered dulcimer album, “The Sadness Of Common Objects,” as the soundtrack for a short film about a company that refurbishes vintage industrial machines and equipment into furniture and art.
It is a lovely film and you can watch it here.