What is it?
The Dulcitone is an English instrument designed in 1860 by Thomas Machell by making a keyboard that made sound using tuning forks.
Not to be confused with
Pronounced /ˈdəlsəˌtōn/, from the Latin word “dulcis” and “tonus” meaning “sweet tone” and called dulcitone in Spanish, French and Portuguese. A person that plays it it’s just called a dulcitone player.
The Keyboard family means that it has a row of keys, buttons, or levers that make the sound when you press them, and in another way of classifying its idiophone meaning it makes sound vibrating the instrument.
Different types of wood, anything from hard maple, oak, beech, and mahogany with specific parts that make the keys produce sound made of steel.
The types are determined by octaves:
- Style B: with 3½ octaves.
- Style R: with 4 octaves.
- Style F: 5 octaves.
Weights and sizes
The size of a style R goes around 32 x 15 x 12 In (81.28 x 38.1 x 30.48 Cm) and has a weight around 60 Lbs (27 Kgs), it may have similar size to electric organs and the weight of a desk.
The sad reality is that the dulcitone is not produced anymore, it was discontinued in the 20th century, so to get one, you need to get them second hand or order a new one from a manufacturer.
Now that you know, you can check on eBay here.
Here’s a list of a lot of them, but for this one a stopper to avoid scratching the floor, a cleaning kit with a solution for wood and a metronome to make sure you’re playing music sheets correctly will do the work.
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments and even the “song name for dulcitone to save on translations, but what you’ll usually get are acoustic piano sheets and the dulcitone will just change the tone and color when you play.
Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions, and techniques.
Remember, the Dulcitone is easy to learn and it will take you a couple of months to learn and mastering it, it’s also similar to the clavichord, clavinet, glasshord, and harpsichord, so you can combine those resources to help you learn.