By Ralph Lee Smith
This booklet describes the restoration of the Appalachian dulcimer's misplaced heritage, tracing the dulcimer's roots in a German tool, the scheitholt; describing the early historical past of the scheitholt and the dulcimer in the United States, and outlining the advance of precise dulcimer types in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. This absolutely revised and multiplied version offers additional info in regards to the instrument's heritage prior to the Civil warfare and discusses traditions and kinds which are nonetheless being came upon and documented.
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Extra resources for Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions
The sound holes consist of three sets of round holes: two of these form squares, with a center hole having four perimeter perforations that go through the belly and four that do not; the third forms a cross, with one center perforation that goes through the belly and four that do not. All are defined by concentric scribe lines. 6. Scheitholt with decoration and inscription, made by Samuel Ache in Pennsylvania, dated 1788. 7. The instrument has six strings, of which three pass over an unusually short run of 10 frets.
Remarkably, dulcimers, at 39, were next! The earliest ones were recorded in 1818, in both Bedford and Franklin counties. Equally interesting, there were no banjos listed. Perhaps homemade banjos existed but were regarded as having too little value to include in the inventories. Three counties—Franklin, Wythe, and Grayson—together accounted for 32 of the 39 dulcimers. The crest of the Blue Ridge approximately follows today’s Blue Ridge Parkway, with Franklin County lying along the Blue Ridge’s eastern slopes, and Grayson and Wythe lying in and across the mountains.
A few days before his end, he had the Brothers asked that when his wife should give birth, the child would be baptized, which was promised him and for which he was thankful and said: my dear hour is near, and so the Good Shepherd took him in His arms. He could play prettily on the Zitter, as well as on the Spinet, and passed most of his time here with that. We are very comforted about that. The third diary mention of the scheitholt/zitter is from the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Single Sisters Diary, from entries of December 1776: [Undated] Br.