A Mountain Dulcimer


The Mountain Dulcimer is an instrument that originated in the Austrian/German alps.  It was a called a “Sheitholt” et. al. (web hyperlink: http://www.bearmeadow.com/smi/histof.htm) and was a three-to-four stringed instrument that was a “quite squarish/boxy looking” guitar-like instrument.

A Mountain Dulcimer

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When the early Germans emigrated to America in the early 17th century, they often located in the Appalachian Mountain areas of the United States.  After a period of time, those immigrants altered the design to the current design shown above.

A key feature of the Mountain Dulcimer, a three or four stringed instrument, is that you can, if you wish, play ONLY the melody string(s), and “pick” your own rendition of a tune which is familiar to you.  Further, if you wish (and ONLY if you wish) you may “strum” the other two strings (as “drones”) to provide you with an “accompaniment”.

A classical Mountain Dulcimer player does NOT do the following; but I have fun using a “standard violin bow” to play the Mountain Dulcimer with that bow.  I think you will be amazed with the “beautiful sound” that a “bow-played” Mountain Dulcimer produces.

The Mountain Dulcimer is so versatile, that you can also use a convenient “hammer”, to simulate its “cousin” - the “Hammer Dulcimer” (in my case, the “hammer” was my Jeweler Friends’ favorite “jewelers’ brush” which he offered to me when I was “auditioning” a song I had written for my wife for her birthday).  The resulting “hammer sound” is my Wife Barbara’s favorite “Mountain Dulcimer sound”.