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What is a Mountain Dulcimer?

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Question 1.  What is a mountain dulcimer?

Answer:  A mountain dulcimer is classified as a zither, which is a music instrument with frets and the strings extend most or all the way across the sound box.  It is said to be an instrument that evolved in the USA from the zithers brought over mostly from Germany.  The German zithers are sometimes called scheitholts.  The mountain dulcimer is sometimes called a lap dulcimer and/or an Appalachian dulcimer.  The traditional mountain dulcimer had a diatonic fretboard (sometimes called a dulcimore, among other names), but many modern dulcimers are made with extra frets usually called half frets.  Some dulcimers have all of the frets and are called chromatic dulcimers.  A diatonic dulcimer just has frets to match the do re mi fa so la ti do scale and usually the scale starts at the third fret.  The mountain dulcimer has been played in all forms of music (folk, old time, country, rock and roll, classical, etc.).  Mountain dulcimers are constructed in various shapes with the hourglass shape, the teardrop shape, the elliptical shape, and the box shape being common.  Attached are pictures of an hourglass dulcimer and a teardrop dulcimer.





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