The Appalachian ,Mountain, or Fretted dulcimer,
Is perhaps one of the easiest stringed instruments to learn
and offers endless potential for sophisticated playing..
Primarily a melody instrument,
it is excellent for teaching song melody lines.
and sounds great with guitar or autoharp backup.
The origins of the instrument are not clear but
John Pearse in (Teach Yourself Appalachian Dulcimer)
sayes that they are similer to the Dutch Hummel,
the German Scheitholtz ,Danish Hulme
and the Norwegian Langleik.
Most of these are also mentioned in Jean Ritchie's
The Dulcimer Book.
The main distinguishing feature is the full length stringboard.
If you always wanted to play a stringed instrument but found
the guitar or sitar too daunting a task,try the Dulcimer.
You will be surprised to find yourself a participating musician
in short order..
Dulcimers are a true folk instrument and each player
develops her/his own style..........
My first attempt at making a dulcimer in 1973
Produced this baby.
Made from Butternut (white walnut) and Sitka spruce.
Three strings with violin tuners.
It has a great sound and I play it daily
I've made Dulcimers from Rosewood,Cedar,Black Walnut and even
Mahogany plywood which sounded surprisingly good.
If you've come this far you deserve it....Corporeal punishment.