Please go to the bottom of the page to see videos of all my dulcimers being played.
The origin of the Appalachian Dulcimer comes from the German instrument, the schleitholt, which arrived in Appalachia in the late 18th/early 19th century. The dulcimer commonly has three of four strings, with some four stringed models have two of the strings fretted as one. The fret spacing on the fretboard represent the spacing of the white keys on a piano in the key of C. Traditionally the instrument is played by fretting only the string closest to the player, while strumming across all of the strings.
The dulcimer on the left in the photo was built by Edd Presnell of Beech Mountain, North Carolina in 1967. It is made of black walnut, and has the double melody string.
The dulcimer in the center was built by Clifford Glenn of Sugar Grove, North Carolina in 1998. It is made of black walnut, wormy chestnut, and american holly wood. It is a three stringed instrument.
The dulcimer on the right was built by Robert Mize of Blountville, Tennessee in 1991. It is made of black walnut and butternut wood. It can be played as a three string, equidistant four, or a double melody four stringer.