The Hungarian cimbalom (emphasis on the first syllable) is closely related to the
hammered dulcimer. The two
differ in their tuning and their range of octaves. It
has many strings (large ones can have 125) that are hit
with mallets. If the mallets are padded, the sound can
range from bright to soft but bare mallets produce a
sound more like that of a banjo. The picture to the left
shows a floor model which is the sort used in the LOTR
concerts. But some are smaller and hang from a strap around the neck or sit on the players lap.
dulcimer, on the other hand, was used for Shire music, especially the
Rural Setting of the
cimbalom is closely associated with the
theme. It can also be heard in some unused music written
for the 'Brace of Coneys' scene (found on the CR-TTT,
Disc 2, Track 6, The Forest of Ithilien) and as we see
Sméagol fishing in the Forbidden Pool.
interesting that the cimbalom was used for
theme, which portrays the Stinker/Gollum side of this
personality, but in the two non-thematic uses of the
instrument, we're seeing the Slinker/Sméagol side of the
personality. I think it works because of the
instrument's association with the Hobbiton music's
dulcimer which provides an association with the more
Hobbity side of the creature.
Edward Cervenka and Gregory Knowles
both played the cimbalom in TTT and ROTK.
1. Sample from Balada, The
Art of the Cimbalom, Alexander Fedoriouk
2. Sample from CR-TTT, Disc
1, Track 3, Lost in Emyn Muil, 2:13-2:21
3. Sample from CR-TTT, Disc
2, Track 14, Rock and Pool, 0:31-0:39