Mountain Dulcimer Kits Bring The History Of The Mountain Dulcimer Alive
The Mountain Dulcimer is one of the easiest instruments to learn to play. It has been a part of American history for about 300 years. It evolved from a German instrument brought over by immigrants who settled in the Appalachian region in the 1700’s. Not only was the sound made by this instrument reminiscent of the old country but by reducing the number of strings to three and raising the fret board it was very easy to construct and play different kinds of accompanying music. The music most suited for the Mountain Dulcimer were ballads. They were accompanied with other instruments or played alone to accompany the songs and ballads of these mountain people.
Mountain Dulcimers have no single shape, as the immigrants settled in different parts of the Appalachian mountains this instrument evolved into different shapes with varying sounds which became particular to that region. In the Shenandoah Valley it emerged as a tear shaped instrument while in Kentucky it evolved into an hour glass shape and in Tennessee it evolved into a rectangular shape and was sometimes called the music box. In West Virginia it evolved into many different shapes.
These instruments were usually individually made and not mass produced, as the settlers moved between the various regions they sometimes adapted the shapes and styles from one region with another to best suit both their ease of making them as well as the type of music they wanted to play. This instrument kept evolving right up to the time radio made its emergence in the mountains. It was during this time that dulcimers lost their popularity due to the music available on the radio as well as different mass produced instruments being available to these people. They were soon relegated to being decorations on the wall except in isolated pockets.
It wasn’t until the 1950’s and early 60’s when musicians took a renewed interest in authentic American folk music and folk instruments that the dulcimers made a revival. It was during this time that these musicians made this instrument popular outside the Appalachian mountains into urban areas. Soon this instrument was being used by a new generation of musicians who introduced it all over the country by playing all sorts of music on this instrument like blues, jazz and even classical. The Mountain Dulcimer had made a comeback and was now available along with its accessories in music stores all over the country.
Today it is possible for you to experience the Mountain Dulcimer just like the mountain people of old through Mountain Dulcimer Kits which give you not only the experience of playing one of these instruments but also building one. The Mountain Dulcimer Kits available today come with all the instructions necessary for easy assembly. You do not have to be a craftsman to build a good quality dulcimer. Not only do these kits give you the experience of making one of these instruments they are also an inexpensive way to own a finely crafted instrument from the Appalachian mountains.