Have You Seen This? Tears for Fears and dulcimers

Posted August 31

THE MUSIC ROOM — You may not know what a hammered dulcimer looks like, but if you watch popular TV and movies, it’s more than likely that you’ve heard one.

For example, if you’re a BBC’s “Sherlock” fan, you’ve heard the hammered dulcimer in every intense fight or chase scene; and if you’re a “Lord of the Rings” fan, you heard it in Gollum’s theme during “The Two Towers.” But those aren’t the only examples. There are dozens of movie and TV scores that include the hammered dulcimer.

What you for sure didn’t know is that you desperately needed to hear hammered dulcimer covers of pop songs. I know, I know, you’re reading this and thinking I’m a pompous windbag trying to tell you what you need, but let’s put it to the test. Please watch this video of musician Ted Yoder covering “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by the 80s emo immortals Tears for Fears then reassess your feelings. (Yes, I’m still a pompous windbag, I know.)

The haunting sounds of the hammer dulcimer and the delicate yet swift movements required to play it are mesmerizing and soothing. It’s a remarkable instrument that can sound ethereal and urgent at the same time.

If you like what you hear, you can hear more from Yoder on his YouTube channel or you can visit his website. A creepy version of “Hotel California” and a delicate version of “Dust in the Wind” are waiting for you.

Martha Ostergar is the former Video Productions Manager of She has moved on to write elsewhere, but she can't seem to break her habit of cruising the internet for amazing videos and writing about them. Follow her on Twitter at @monstergar.


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