By Ralph Lee Smith
This publication describes the restoration of the Appalachian dulcimer's misplaced background, tracing the dulcimer's roots in a German tool, the scheitholt; describing the early background of the scheitholt and the dulcimer in the US, and outlining the advance of specific dulcimer types in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. This absolutely revised and accelerated version presents additional info in regards to the instrument's historical past ahead of the Civil warfare and discusses traditions and kinds which are nonetheless being found and documented.
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Additional resources for Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions
3. Woodcut from Syntagma Musicum by Michael Pretorius, published in 1619. Instrument no. ” 24 Chapter 2 THE SCHEITHOLT/ZITTER IN AMERICA The scheitholt came to America with early German settlers. Or at least, a clear memory of it came, since it seems likely that an instrument that a skilled German craftsman could easily make would rarely have been carried in the crowded conditions of the crossing. The instrument was soon being made and played in the German settlements in Pennsylvania. However, the name did not come to America with the instrument, and thereby hangs one of the many naming problems in our tale.
S. Census lists Charles’s brother John as a dulcimer maker (see chapter 5). Something involving hourglass-shaped dulcimers was going on in this area, of which Smith’s E39 might have been an early part. 4. 3. , Floyd County, Virginia, 1832, that passed down in Holbrook’s family. 4. Inscription on the side of the Scales dulcimer, which reads, “Floyd County Virginia made by John Scales Jr. ” (Ken Kurtz) It passed down through the McClung family, Holbrook’s mother’s family, which migrated from Virginia to Rupert and Greenbrier County in West Virginia, then to Ashland, Kentucky.
1957, and played by the author in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s and 1960s. ered in Allan Block’s Sandal Shop on West 4th Street on Saturday afternoons. A rare photograph showing me sitting on the high work counter of the Sandal Shop in the mid-1960s, playing this instrument, appears in Greenwich Village. In 1968, I bought a Jean Ritchie dulcimer at the Folklore Center for the princely sum of $75, and the old, more primitive instrument went into relative retirement. But my curiosity was beginning to stir.
Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions by Ralph Lee Smith