978-0-8262-0376-2 / 9780826203762

A Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers





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About the book:

Recent times have seen a strong revival of interest in crafts such as the Appalachian dulcimer. However, until now, no one has attempted to document the use and prevalence of the dulcimer before the "revival". In this historical survey and photographic record, L. Allen Smith has, in the words of Jean Ritchie "taken many little pools of knowledge from around the country and assembling them into one concise and easily available source. In the process he has exploded several mythic and at the same time greatly expanded the number of factual truths about the instruments". --- By dividing the instruments into five types according to characteristics such as their shape, Smith has provided for the first time a typology of the dulcimer and a frame for future reference and research. Specific information on provenance, construction techniques, measurements, number of strings, fretting systems, and types of decoration is included for each instrument. In addition, the extensive photographs enhance the distinctions among the types of instruments by allowing visual as well as verbal comparisons. --- The result is a fascinating look at an instrument that, as Smith documents, has been a part of the American culture since as early as the late 1700s.

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