Finished and Kit
5 string Appalachian Dulcimer
En: Appalachian Dulcimer, Mountain Dulcimer,
Kentucky Dulcimer, Lap Dulcimer
The Appalachian dulcimer is a variety of the Celtic zithers and has been
a folk instrument of the southern Appalachian mountains since the first
pioneers settled there and now enjoying a well deserved increase in
popularity. In Québec it is also named "Table Dulcimer".
The origin of this instrument is in fact a real puzzle. Its origins date
from between the XIIth and the XIIIth centuries AD. It was derived from the
family of the épinettes des Vosges or German scheithot.
The name ''dulcimer'' seems to be from the french 'doulce mel' (it
was named Doulce-de-mer (softness of the sea, in French) and then
doulcemelle, but we can found related instruments in various European
In the seventies, the dulcimer made a came on appearance in Bluegrass
music and in more recent times is gaining acceptance in the traditional
music circles of Western Europe.
There are as many shapes and styles of dulcimers as there are players and
It is an instrument which is often strummed or plucked as an
accompaniment to the human voice. In recent years it has evolved into a solo
instrument, usually using the fingers, but sometimes bowed.
Its popularity lays in its simplicity in playing and its versatility in
tuning to different modes.