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Appalachian Dulcimer

Appalachian Dulcimer

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This Appalachian dulcimer was made by an unknown maker, possibly in Virginia, undetermined date. It is a single-bout dulcimer, with a wood nut and bridge, 15 metal frets, 2 round sound holes on body and 2 round sound holes on fretboard, carved out pegbox for 4 friction pegs with 1 extant, and a hook-shaped head. The top of the dulcimer is ornamented with carving around the edge on the top half of the instrument. There is an envelope with Anne Grimes's return address printed in the upper left corner taped to the back of the instrument. Handwritten on the envelope:

D 28 p.59
"rattle' material shaken
out of instrument-
possibly wasp-nest dried clay
& fragment of split bottom
chair cane.

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.

Currently not on view
Object Name
place made
United States
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 4 1/2 in x 6 in x 33 1/16 in; 11.43 cm x 15.24 cm x 83.97875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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