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Now In: Master Works → About Master Works

About Master Works 


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Russell Cook built his first Hammer Dulcimer in 1979 from pieces of a broken junk piano he found on the side of the road. With this instrument and subsequent ones he would build improvements into, he began his lifelong quest of not only building but mastering the playing of hammer dulcimer. After a few improvements, he built some for friends, enabling him to buy tools and build more instruments of an even higher quality. A man dedicated to music and one who whole-heartedly commits himself to something once his mind is made up, he won the National Dulcimer Championship just two years later in 1981.

Following his great success, he followed his heart and committed himself to only building and playing the hammer dulcimer. Through the 1980’s he built around 1000 instruments, selling them through a few shops and to individuals at festivals. On the road, trying to get his business off the ground, he met thousands of players of all levels and ages. From these people he learned of the great demand for a truly high quality hammer dulcimer. Russell found himself in the unique position of being a first rate player, and also a successful builder. That wasn’t enough though. Russell made a new commitment. He wanted to “build the finest hammer dulcimers in the world.”

Because of the initial success of his business, he had a loyal base of players and his pieces impressed many, and the revenue of sold instruments gave him the ability to buy new state of the art equipment. This was a major step toward reaching his goal. The other major factor was that he had now been building and examining hammer dulcimers for a very large part of his life. He had grown as a builder, and was making the finest instruments ever made. These are the Hammer Dulcimers we have in our store, and it is obvious why they are here - because they are some of the best instruments on the planet.

Masterworks is the only hammered dulcimer that has been featured as a prize instrument in the National Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kansas for the last 18 years. This stands testament to the fact that they are professional quality, and respected by the world’s greatest.

All of the instruments we have are fine pieces, they have been fully checked out and are definitely the picks of the litter. We stock a full line of Masterworks Dulcimers, from the least expensive 12/11 to customized versions of the 16/16 Russell Cook Signature model, and all of them here are of the highest quality and an excellent value. For any interested in the hammer dulcimer, the instruments we have here in our store are definitely something to see, hear and give great consideration.

Come play one- you’ll know.
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