Hammered Dulcimers have been shown to have been present in the UK since 1440
Tim Manning proprietor of Music Magic has been making the instruments since 1995.
The story of Music Magic starts goes back to the early 70’s
when Tim made his first musical instrument, a Bass guitar. Fast forward to the
early 90’s and the recession of that period when Tim was working as Production
Manager at Colour Studios an exhibition graphics company.
During that time for the company there was little actual
work around and Tim used the opportunity to hone up his wood working skills
using the equipment there and started to make small instruments like Psalteries
for children. It wasn’t long before people discovered his skills and started to
request him to make instruments for them. Before long Tim discovered the unique
sound of the Dulcimer and became a Professional Luthier in 1995. In the early
period many different instruments were made such as Lyres, Tongue Drums and
Appalachian Dulcimers. After this initial period of exploration with different
musical instruments Tim started to concentrate on making Hammered Dulcimers.
From the mid 90’s to the 2000 Tim toured the summer festivals in the UK with
his Dulcimer stall and combined the individual manufacture of the instruments
with Dulcimer performances and workshops at Events such as Womad, Glastonbury
and Lamer Tree festivals among many others.
Magic instrument owners
Over the years Tim has supplied instruments to complete
novices, experienced professionals and composers of music for TV and film and
Music Magic instruments have been supplied to the Royal Academy
of Music, The Charlie Winston Band, The Anna Calvi Band, and Peter
Gabriel among many other. Instruments have been supplied mainly to the UK and European market.
Tim makes each Music Magic instrument on an individual basis
in a small workshop in Frome, Somerset. There are no computer routers or jigs
involved. Timber is a unique product the result of the wind the sun and earth
and does not always respond well to being forced to conform exactly to the
rigid constraints of mass production. Every part of the instrument has had the
individual attention of the
designer and maker.
The basis of Music Magic instruments are the range of 3
Table Top 9 Treble + 9 Bass giving 27 playable notes,
Harmony12 Treble + 12 Bass giving 48 playable notes
Maestro 15 Treble +15 Bass giving 60 playable notes
Harmony and Maestro can both be played to the right of the
These three cover the developing requirements of most
players, while also providing a progressive route for development when a player
wishes to develop further. These instrument represent all that is required to
learn, develop and for giving virtuoso performances. None of these instruments
are Budget instruments; they are all built to the same high craftsman quality.
and Sustainability issues
‘Fossil fuels are running out’ This truism was first heard
in the 70’s. Imagine the damage we could have saved to the planet, had we
heeded the warning then and made electricity from wind water and sun. Tim is
keen to produce quality instruments and also to have as low environmental
impact as possible.
The design aim of Music Magic instrument is to create a
modern instrument with attractive lines and minimal of fussiness. The most
important element though is the soundboard, which has been designed for maximum
You wont find Music Magic instruments to be the cheapest or
the most expensive Dulcimers. They are though built with thought, care,
consideration and commitment to quality.