Discovering the Different Types of Dulcimers: A Guide

Types of Dulcimers

Dulcimers are stringed musical instruments that belong to the zither family. They are known for their unique and soothing sound. Here are some common types of dulcimers:

1. Appalachian Dulcimer

Also known as a mountain dulcimer or lap dulcimer, the Appalachian dulcimer is a popular type of dulcimer in the United States. It has a long, narrow, hourglass-shaped body and typically features three or four strings. The strings are typically plucked or strummed with the fingers or a pick.

2. Hammered Dulcimer

The hammered dulcimer is a larger dulcimer with a trapezoidal shape. It is played by striking the strings with small hammers, similar to a piano. The strings are arranged in groups, with each group tuned to a specific note. The hammered dulcimer is known for its rich and resonant sound.

3. Irish Bouzouki Dulcimer

The Irish bouzouki dulcimer is a variant of the dulcimer that combines elements of the traditional Appalachian dulcimer with the Greek bouzouki. It typically has four or eight strings and is played with a pick or strummed with the fingers. The Irish bouzouki dulcimer is commonly used in Celtic and folk music.

4. Electric Dulcimer

Electric dulcimers are a modern variation of the traditional dulcimer. They are designed to be plugged into an amplifier or sound system, allowing for louder performances. Electric dulcimers often feature additional controls and effects to shape the tone and sound of the instrument.

5. Chromatic Dulcimer

The chromatic dulcimer is a modified version of the Appalachian dulcimer that allows for playing in different keys and scales. It is equipped with additional frets or movable bridges, which enable the player to produce chromatic notes and play a wider range of music.

These are just a few examples of the types of dulcimers available. Each type has its own unique characteristics and is suited for different musical styles and preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, there is a dulcimer type that can suit your musical interests and needs.