Hammered Dulcimer Maker

Hammered Dulcimer Maker from Music Magic

By: Music Magic  13/09/2010
Keywords: Somerset

Music Magic

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.

Music Magic instrument owners


Over the years Tim has supplied instruments to complete novices, experienced professionals and composers of music for TV and film and theatre.

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.


Individually made instruments


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 sizes –

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 bass bridge.

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.


Environmental 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. 


Design and Construction


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 sympathetic resonance.




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.   


Keywords: Somerset