Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wilfried Ulrich's anatomy lesson of a hummel

Reproduced by permission

Based on the famous Rembrandt oil painting "Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" (1632). Ulrich (pictured at right) is a luthier of Norden in the German state of East Frisia, who builds and restores hummels. He is coordinating an exibition of hummels and other folk zithers from April 4 to July 7 at the Museumsdorf Cloppenburg-Niedersächsisches Freilichtmuseum in Cloppenburg, Lower Saxony. He plans to publish an English translation of the exhibit catalog titled "The Story of the Hummel" (price and other details to be announced).

Named for the buzzing sound made by its drone strings (the word means "bumblebee" in German), the hummel is a folk zither related to the Appalachian dulcimer. A fine example may be seen on the dissecting table in the picture above.

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