From: Paul g. Mulvaney
>>Oh, and the evidence for the Tiompan as an Ancient Irish Hammer Dulcimer
>probelmatic at least --- a few vague discriptions. HD's have been around
>generations in Ireland but the players were rarely integrated into the
>(or the session, until recently) with the exeption of a few Ceili Bands;
>you feel this qualifies it as a Traditonal Instrument is anyone's guess,
>you can find allies for either opinion, but there is yet no solid evidence
On the matter of the tiompan and it being directly equated with the hammer
dulcimer, this would appear to be an unfounded assumption. The instrument is
refered to in old manuscripts but is not described. There was a research
thesis into the instrument back in the late 1970s which concluded the nature
of the instrument , based on the evidence to hand, was entirely
Today's notion of the hammer dulcimer being the tiompan almost certainly
arises from its firm description as such on the Chieftain's (4th I'm almost
certain) LP where Derek Bell plays a hammer dulcimer and it is called a
tiompan. Paddy Maloney regularly introduced the instrument during concerts
at that time as a "tiompan" yet never managed to demonstrate how the hammer
dulcimer could be specifically equated with the tiompan.
On the same amount of evidence one could conclude that the tiompan was in
fact a banjo.
There comes a point where the only logical conclusion we can live with is
"We don't actually know" and unfortunately, many people cannot reconcile
themselves with such a position.
Caoimhin Mac Aoidh