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Dolceola
Dolceola

Dolceolas were made from 1903 to 1907 and were sold for $25 by traveling salesman. This short-lived curiosity looks sort of like a tiny piano but is from a family of early 20th Century instruments called fretless zithers. It has a small piano-like keyboard with hammers that strike one string per note. Although the name implies a sweet tone, its brittle, honky-tonk quality is part of its charm. We recorded with stereo close mics and room mics.

Dolceola

There were as many as 5,000 Dolceolas made, but the number of playable survivors is said to be fewer than 50. The first commercial recording of the Dolceola was made in 1944 for Capitol Records' Southern Folklife Collection on which Paul Howard, a Disney songwriter, used one to accompany blues guitarist, Lead Belly. T-Bone Burnett has used one with Bonnie Raitt and Nashville musician Andy Cohen is one of the few virtuoso Dolceolists, today.

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All musical instrument manufacturer and product names used in Keyscape are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Spectrasonics. The trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied during Spectrasonics sound development. All names of musical artists and instrument inventors have been included for illustrative and educational purposes only and do not suggest any affiliation or endorsement of Keyscape by any artist or instrument inventor.