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an elaborate stringed instrument of the dulcimer family used in small music ensembles by central European Roma (Gypsies). The instrument has a trapezoidal body that stands on four legs. It has a chromatic range of four octaves and, unlike other dulcimers, a pedal mechanism for damping the strings. The cimbalom has about 125 metal strings, with 3 to 5 strings per note. Some of the strings have two or three bridges along their length. The musician, who plays in a seated position, strikes the strings with two small, spoon-shaped wooden hammers, one held in each hand. The hammers are covered with either hard or soft leather, depending on the tone quality desired.