Answers Feb/Mar, Part VII
5/5/2009 (updated 5/5/2009)

My task is just identifying the instrument played by Mr. Thompson in two early songs with Fairport Convention: "Genesis Hall" and "Flowers Of The Forest". The sound I mean is the continuous melodic line played on a metallic string, with noticeable sliding-but-diatonic effects, over the droning open sound of another string or couple of them, similar to hurdy gurdy's and bagpipes. Although I am aware it may be a tweaked Telecaster or something alike, I have reasons to think it's more likely some kind of zither (as the one shown in the recent movie "Doubt"). But I didn't find any info about this exact type of zither in Internet, so I assume it has to have a different name. So please help me with the right name of this instrument. Any other info -links, photos...- would be extremely welcome. Thanks for your attention and best regards from Spain. Jose Aragon (musician).

The instrument is the Appalachian Dulcimer, which has usually 3 to 6 strings, including drone strings. It can be played fingerstyle, but is usually fretted with a piece of wood, which slides from position to position, giving it its distinctive sound. In Fairport, we had an acoustic and an electric. As far as I remember, Simon Nicol played it on Genesis Hall, and played the electric on Flowers of The Forest. I played dulcimer on Percy's Song.