Hammered Dulcimer: Giving New Life to an Ancient Instrument

When Ted Yoder’s hammered dulcimer cover of Tear For Fears went viral, his music moved people in a way that he never imagined. “What I want to do most with my music is just bring people peace,” he shares, as he plays another beautiful song on this unique instrument.

Video Transcript

Ted Yoder: Alright, so this is the hammered dulcimer. It’s really old, comes from the Middle East. I always tell people it’s like a drum set and a piano had a baby. So these are the hammers, the tuning wrench, the damper’s here. If you push the damper pedal down, it mutes it.

It’s a five-and-a-half octave instrument, and it has 126 strings.

Ted committed himself to the hammered dulcimer in 2008.

Ted: What I want to do most with my music is to just bring people peace in a very chaotic and sometimes very stressful world. What does it say in Proverbs? “The man plans his ways or steps, but the Lord brings it about or makes it happen.”

In 2016, he uploaded his version of a popular 80’s song to Facebook. It went viral.

Ted: We just kinda sat back and just laughed and cried, and laughed more and cried more.

Tears for Fears was so moved by Ted’s cover, they visited him at his house.

Ted: People sending me notes on Facebook and contacted me and said that watching the process of everything happening gave them hope when they were actually on the brink of suicide. And so they actually tell me that I kinda saved their life. That’s beyond what I can imagine or do for people.

Acorn Theater. Three Oaks, Michigan.

Announcer: So I’m going to stop talking, so I’m going to bring Ted Yoder out here. Please welcome the one and only Ted Yoder.

(Ted playing onstage)

Ted: What this instrument did for me, spoke to my heart, my spirit and gave me new life, and I honestly believe the tones and the just magical … I dunno. That’s a horrible word, magical, because you just don’t … it’s very ah … you can just kind of … maybe that’s not what I want to say.

(Ted playing)

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Ted: Hi, I’m Ted Yoder. For more interesting stories like this, please subscribe to Grotto Network, here on YouTube.

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