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Tuesday Trivia: The Appalachian Dulcimer

Johnson City Press • May 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM

How much do you know about the sweet sound of the Appalachian dulcimer?

• Renewed interest in folk music has awakened the interests of hobbyists and musicians in dulcimers.

• The Appalachian dulcimer or dulcimore is generally hourglass-shaped with three to five strings and frets.

• Strings are plucked with fingers, a pick, or a quill, and the player's left hand holds a stick or plectrum on the strings as a stop.

• The body of the dulcimer is usually made of harder wood like cherry, black walnut, or mahogany.

• The word dulcimer is derived from the Greek meaning sweet (dulce) and song (menos).

• While the Greeks or Persians may have invented it nearly 1,000 years ago, Europeans were likely introduced to the dulcimer during the Crusades.

• Early Scotch-Irish settlers may have adapted the scheitholt or humle played by the Pennsylvania Dutch to create instrument now known as the Appalachian dulcimer.

• The hammered dulcimer was also reportedly the favorite instrument of Henry Ford and enjoyed a mild revival thanks to his admirers.

• The Appalachian dulcimer is Kentucky’s official musical instrument.

Source: www.encyclopedia.com

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