D550 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer App for iPad

Jan 20, 2016


Allow us to introduce the newest hammered dulcimer app for iPad! Built by our friend Michael Eskin of AppCordions.com, the D550 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer app uses sound samples recorded from an actual D550 and plays just like the real thing, except with your fingers instead of hammers. The D550 is tuned in the traditional fifth-interval configuration, with the addition of some chromatic notes at the top and a low super bass bridge on the left.

Here's a demo video that Michael created.

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The app is packed full of features, making it a versatile tool as well as a clever toy. The note names can be turned on for beginners and turned off for experienced players or those trying to test their memories. You can switch between hard and soft hammers, and the "shh" icon in the upper right corner will silence the sound completely. It even has an optional feature that allows drag rolls by sliding your finger. A traveling dulcimer player could plug in headphones and work out a new arrangement on the plane, a 4-year-old kid could be introduced to music theory and the magical sound of the dulcimer, and anyone who finds him or herself in the middle of an impromptu jam session without an instrument can pull up this app and join in the fun.



And for the true do-it-yourselfers, how about constructing your own hammers? Our longtime collaborator (and creative inventor) Sam Rizzetta sent these photos of his "quick and dirty" experimental iPad hammers, which use a touch screen stylus tip and a wire routed to the finger grip. (UPDATE: If you're interested in making your own, Sam Rizzetta has very kindly shared his notes on an improved iPad hammer design.)



The D550 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer app is now available for purchase in the app store. Give it a try and let us know what creative uses you find for it!

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Posted by Esther on
I don't have an iPad, but after hearing this, I wish I did. What is the difference between the iPad air and the iPad pro? Does that mean they are 2 different types of iPads? This would make it portable for practicing the HD without actually having to carry my big full size HD places. Thank you for the demo. It was interesting.
Posted by admin on
I'm sure there are lots of small differences between the iPad air and the iPad pro, but in my understanding, the main one is that the pro is much larger. So you'd have a bigger playing surface for the dulcimer app and also better sound quality from the speakers.
Posted by Esther on
Thank you for your reply to my last question. I want to know also, can this app be downloaded on other brands of iPads besides the iPad air and the iPad pro?
Posted by admin on
We're not experts on all the different types of iPads, but according to the listing in the app store, it should work with any iPad that's running iOS 8.1 or later.
Posted by Karen on
This is great! Looking forward to being able to sneak in more practice time when I can't have access to my dulcimer.
Posted by Karen on
Any chance an iPhone version will be in the future? Maybe using the D10 or D45 size?
Posted by John Balme on
Is there an iPad like this one for your piano dulcimer. Having a blast with mine. Some off-campus practice would be a great boon.
John Balme
Posted by admin on
There isn't an iPhone or a piano dulcimer version yet, but I'm sure Michael (the developer) would love to hear your ideas! You can contact him through his website: http://AppCordions.com
Posted by DOUGLAS HALL on
Posted by admin on
As far as we know, it's just for iPad at this point!
Posted by Molly Bauckham on
I happened to be browsing through YouTube this weekend (trying quite successfully to convince myself I really need an iPad :)) and ran across this really excellent review of the D550 app, and she's using it on an iPad mini! Jeez, on my best day I wish I could play the real dulcimer like Katie plays that tiny screen!
Posted by Connie Woolard on
really, really would like the online dulcimer application to work with Surface Pro. Pretty Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssse..... : }
Posted by Connie Woolard on
just in case my capcha failed......
Pretty please consider the Surface Pro for the online dulcimer application....... Would be SO helpful ! Apple products are not in everyone's tookkit. Thanks much. Connie, North Carolina.
Posted by admin on
Connie - I'd suggest contacting Michael Eskin, the app developer and owner, at http://AppCordions.com. We provided the photo and the sound samples for the app, but that's the extent of our involvement in it. It's not actually a Dusty Strings product, so it's up to Michael to decide what he does with it. I'm sure he'd love to know of your interest!
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