dulcimer Summary and Overview
dulcimer in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Heb. sumphoniah), a musical instrument mentioned in Dan. 3:5, 15, along with other instruments there named, as sounded before the golden image. It was not a Jewish instrument. In the margin of the Revised Version it is styled the "bag-pipe." Luther translated it "lute," and Grotius the "crooked trumpet." It is probable that it was introduced into Babylon by some Greek or Western-Asiatic musician. Some Rabbinical commentators render it by "organ," the well-known instrument composed of a series of pipes, others by "lyre." The most probable interpretation is that it was a bag-pipe similar to the zampagna of Southern Europe.
dulcimer in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(Heb. sumphoniah) a musical instrument, mentioned in #Da 3:5,15| probably the bagpipe. The same instrument is still in use amongst peasants in the northwest of Asia and in southern Europe, where it is known by the similar name sampogna or zampogna.
dulcimer in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
DUL'CIMER . The instrument denoted by this word was, in the opinion of the best Bible scholars, as well as of the Rabbins, a bag-pipe like that in use at the present day among the peasants of north-western Asia and southern Europe, and called by them zampagna, which is a word of similar sound to the word here used, symphoniah. Dan 3:5, 1 Kgs 16:10, 2 Sam 20:15. It was composed of two pipes with a leathern sack, and produced a harsh, screaming sound. It has no resemblance at all to the modern dulcimer.
dulcimer in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
A Hebraized Greek name, sumfonia, in Daniel 3:5; Daniel 3:15. A bagpipe, consisting of two pipes thrust through a leather bag, emitting a plaintive sound; the modern Italian zampogna. Some Greek Ionian of western Asia probably introduced the instrument into Babylon. However, Furst makes the word Semitic ("a tube".) The old spinet resembled its tone.