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[sim-buh-luh m] /ˈsɪm bə ləm/
a complex zither played especially in Hungary.
Also, cymbalon
[sim-buh-luh n] /ˈsɪm bə lən/ (Show IPA),
cimbalom, zimbalon.
< Hungarian cimbalom < Latin cymbalum cymbal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Encyclopedia Article for cymbalon


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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