'These ancient tunes sing out through the passage of time for a reason... they are captivating.' The hammered dulcimer is an ancient instrument. It originated in Persia and is played in many countries including Europe, the middle east, Russia, and even the Chinese symphony. It moved to Europe in the eleventh century and is a precursor to the piano. The beautiful instrument used in this recording is 4 1/2 octaves and has 96 strings. The strings are sounded by hitting them with two wooden hammers. The beautiful rich tone has wonderful sustain and can be very haunting when played slowly. The fact that the hammers recoil when they hit the strings means that the instrument can be also be played very quickly. This makes the dulcimer an incredibly versatile instrument. Originally from England, Fiona currently lives in Denver, North Carolina. She performs for wedding and festivals. She also demonstrates 10 different instruments in 'Strings and Things', an educational school program that includes the Chinese lute, Irish harp, Greek bouzouki, psalteries, dulcimers, guitar, banjo, violin and more. 'I love their different voices', says Fiona of her instruments. 'And I love the diverse cultures and musical styles behind each of them.' 'This CD is composed of songs that I found so enchanting that they continually echoed in my head until I replaced those echoes with the next song.' Said Fiona. The CD is comprised of predominantly traditional British music, reflecting her English heritage.