Dulcimer | Dulcimer Music, Dulcimer for Sale, & How to Play
About the Dulcimer
Related to the zither instruments, the Dulcimer is a fretted string instrument that is commonly associated with the United States. There are various different Dulcimers that you can find but the most common varieties are the Hammered Dulcimer and the Appalachian Dulcimer. It is important to note that while they do share the name and some similar traits, both of these instruments are quite different from each other.
The Hammered Dulcimer is both a stringed instrument and a percussion instrument. The strings in this type of Dulcimer are stretched across a trapezoidal shaped sounding board. You can find a few different types of hammered Dulcimers that are played across the globe in India, Austria, Iran, Iraq, Southwest Asia, and Czech Republic just to name a few of these locations.
Dulcimer History & Construction
It is traditionally used in folk music in the United States and recently became more popular in the latter part of the 20th century. It has 2 bridges: bass bridges and a treble bridge. These hold up the strings, the bass and the treble strings. The different play styles can create different sounds that resemble more common instruments.
Also known as the “mountain Dulcimer”, the Appalachian Dulcimer is a fretted string instrument that will typically have either 3 or 4 strings. It gets its name from originated from the Appalachian area of the United States. This version of the Dulcimer is believed to have first started popping up in the 19th century in the Scotch-Irish communities of immigrants though no one really knows for sure.
This type of Dulcimer looks more like a typical stringed instrument than the Hammered Dulcimer.
Both of these types of dulcimers are played differently.
Dulcimers are really mostly associated with the folk music in the United States. In fact, it is easily one of the core instruments that are used in the American old-time music traditions. While it is generally associated with these traditional folk music, there are some very talented musicians use this for the modern music as well as recreating some of the classics in a unique manner. There are a lot of well-known musicians that use this instrument, including such names as Cyndi Lauper, Brian Jones, and Rory Gallagher.
One thing that both of these varieties have in common is how they sound. The sound of this instrument sounds like a cross between a mandolin and a banjo, which adds a lot of character to your music.
How to Play the Dulcimer
The Hammered Dulcimer is played with mallets or wooden hammers that strike the strings in order to create the stunning tones of this instrument, which is why it is also considered to be a percussion instrument. Appalachian Dulcimers are played with picks or fingers, in the same way that you would play any other stringed instrument like the guitar or the Ukulele.
How to Buy a Dulcimer
The Dulcimer is an instrument that can be quite hard to get a hold of. There aren’t a great number of shops that sell, nor are there websites. However, there are a couple of website that do sell it and some of them are listed below (This is not sponsored in any way):
Another popular website to purchase Dulcimer and Dulcimer accessories is Amazon. There aren’t many Dulcimer for sale on Amazon, but the ones that are, are often of great quality. Down below you will find some Dulcimer from Amazon, increasing in price from left to right.
(Keep in mind that the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase via those, the website gets a small portion of the sale, which will help greatly in keeping it running).