Dulcimer Player Puts A Unique Spin On This Much-Loved ‘80s Hit

Musician Ted Yoder first began uploading videos to YouTube in 2008, showcasing his performances on an unusual instrument known as a hammered dulcimer. Described by one of Yoder’s viewers as “a piano with no keys”, the dulcimer is a percussion-stringed instrument played by striking its taut strings with special mallets called hammers. The result is a distinctive chiming sound that is both crisp and ethereal, and is arguably best suited to playing folk music or particularly melodic material.

Back in 2016, meanwhile, Yoder’s dulcimer playing went viral when he uploaded a video of himself performing the Tears For Fears track ‘Everybody Wants To Rule the World’ on the instrument. The original 1985 version of the song might be a flawlessly produced classic of synth-pop, but its complex melodies and chord progressions meant that it was perfectly suited to the dulcimer, with Yoder bringing out a delicate, melancholic side to the track that can’t be heard on the Tears For Fears version.

The public reaction to the video was also overwhelmingly positive, with many viewers praising Yoder’s beautiful interpretation of this iconic track. “It feels as if the song was originally written for this instrument,” said one fan, while another claimed that Yoder’s performance was the best version of the track they’d ever heard. Yoder himself, meanwhile, credits the video with his subsequent worldwide fame, noting on his website that it was seen by over 100 million people on Facebook alone.

And if this mind-blowing reaction from the public wasn’t enough, a few weeks later Yoder posted a video of him playing the track with Curt Smith (one half of Tears For Fears, and the man who provided the original track’s lead vocals and bassline) and Jamie Wollam (one of the group’s previous drummers). Yoder looks truly delighted to be in the company of such legendary musicians, calling the performance “really special,” while one fan noted how cool it must have been to jam with Tears For Fears.

The hammered dulcimer might be an unusual instrument, but if anything, this has helped to increase the popularity of Yoder’s online videos, with viewers noting the unique, instantly recognizable feel to his covers. It’s certainly true that after watching Yoder’s take on ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, you won’t ever listen to the original version of the song in the same way again.

To experience the unique music of Ted Yoder, follow his performances on his YouTube channel. You can also connect with him on his Facebook page.

Please be aware of people impersonating The Music Man. Click here to see our brands so you know who to trust.