Appalachian Dulcimer


This Appalachian dulcimer was made by an unknown maker in the United States, undetermined date. It is a single-bout dulcimer, with a carved out pegbox with three wooden friction pegs, 4 round sound holes, and a carved bird-like head. The absence of a nut, bridge, and frets may be the result of its having been refinished. Other details support that theory including scarred wood showing underneath a subsequent finish, elegantly carved tuning pegs that do not look grooved from the pressure of winding strings, and the lack of wear in the area where instrument would have been strummed.

Anne Grimes (1912-2004) was an American journalist, musician, and historian of American (particularly Midwestern) folklore. Grimes studied voice and piano at Ohio Wesleyan and initiated graduate studies at Ohio State University. Following her education, Grimes was a music teacher, music and dance critic, and radio host. After WWII, Grimes began collecting and documenting folk songs throughout Ohio, as well as collecting Appalachian dulcimers and zithers. She would continue this work, performing, recording, and lecturing on instruments from her collection throughout the rest of her career.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Dulcimers


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Smith, L. Allen. Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0276.12Accession Number: 1996.0276Catalog Number: 1996.0276.12Collector/Donor Number: D32

Object Name: dulcimer

Physical Description: wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 7/16 in x 4 7/8 in x 31 1/2 in; 8.73125 cm x 12.3825 cm x 80.01 cm


Record Id: nmah_608117

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