everhack Stuff I've been messing with, or just thinking about.


The Mountain Dulcimer : how to make it and play it (after a fashion)

Back in the late 50's and early 60's, my dad started building and playing Appalachian (mountain) dulcimers. Being the teacher and playful maker he is, he soon wrote a pamphlet on the subject that he shared with his students and anyone who wrote to ask about it.

Here's a copy of his 1962 (second edition) pamphlet, "The Mountain Dulcimer, how to make and play it (after a fashion)", which he has generously given me permission to post here for public consumption.

This pamphlet is the basis for the 1965 Folk Legacy book & album of the same title, but there are many differences between the two.

The Mountain Dulcimer, 2nd ed.

I had a nice long chat with Caroline Paton (of Folk Legacy Records) and she has generously given permission for me to publicly share a PDF of the Folk Legacy book, "The Mountain Dulcimer - How to Make it and Play it (after a fashion).". This is a significantly revised and lengthened version of the pamphlet, with a wonderful companion recording.

The Mountain Dulcimer - Part 1

The Mountain Dulcimer - Part 2

The CD is still available from Folk Legacy's website at:

The books, CDs, and original LPs are also pretty easy to find on eBay and Amazon.

The pamphlet focuses on the 3-string dulcimer and has quite a few more specific measurements than the book. The book mostly covers the 4-string dulcimer, but discusses a number of variations.

Enjoy and share with the blessings of Howie, Ann, Caroline and myself. I just love the way he encourages experimentation and presents the topics in such a clear and light-hearted fashion, it should appeal to most anyone with a creative streak, even if you never plan to actually make, or play, your own dulcimer.

I recommend both!

And yes, I finally decided to try building one for myself. Here's what mine looks like so far 🙂

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