A Brief Overview of The Dulcimer

The World’s Most Mysterious String Instrument

The dulcimer is an ancient instrument. It was created in Mesopotamia, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, thousands of years ago. It’s one of the few string instruments that has survived to this day.

It’s also a rather mysterious instrument. We don’t know how it came to be or what it looked like back then, but we do know that it was first played in Iraq before spreading to other parts of the world. Dulcimers eventually popped up all over Europe, in Bulgaria and Greece, as well as China and Japan. The name “dulcimer” comes from a Latin words meaning “sweet sounding.” And while we can’t be sure where it came from or how old it is, we do know that it’s quite sweet sounding!

These are some of the oldest stringed instruments in the world, and their origins are shrouded in mystery.

So How Did We Get One?

We know that it was introduced to other parts of the world by people who migrated there, but we don’t know who they were or how they got it. Historians believe that migrants from Iraq introduced it to Bulgaria and Greece, while Chinese migrants brought it to China and Japan. It’s believed that they came up with new versions of it once they arrived in their new homes.
Historians have tried to uncover the origins of this mysterious instrument; however, no one has been able to pinpoint when or where it began.

This instrument may have been played for so long that its true origins have been lost over time. All we do know is that it’s quite old!

Where the Dulcimer Is Played Today

The dulcimer is not an instrument you hear a lot of today. It’s not one of the most popular instruments in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important! The dulcimer is played all over the world by people who enjoy it. For example, in Bulgaria and Greece, it’s played as part of their traditional music. In China and Japan, it’s used for meditation purposes. And in Appalachia, the dulcimer is often featured at festivals and other events.

In Pennsylvania Dutch culture, a dulcimer is often called a “sauerkraut harp” because people played them while making sauerkraut to keep themselves entertained and to pass the time. They were also used as sedatives during childbirth. Nowadays they’re mostly just used as decoration or during Christmas time when they’re playing carols!

What Kinds of Dulcimers Are There?

There are two types of dulcimers: hammered dulcimer and the plucked dulcimer. The hammered dulcimer, which is a more recent invention than the plucked dulcimer, consists of at least thirteen strings that are struck with hammers. This type of dulcimer is played by sitting down on a stool, so the player can reach all the strings. You can play songs using different combinations of these strings alone or in groups.

The other type of dulcimer, the plucked dulcimer, was invented thousands of years ago and is played while standing up. It has a soundboard on top and strings stretched from one end to the other. The musician picks out individual notes by pressing their fingers against the string or hitting them with another object like a pen. If you want to know more about this ancient instrument that has survived for centuries, read on!


So, you know the basics about the dulcimer, now what?

You may be wondering what to do next. You could start by playing your dulcimer. Many different types of dulcimers are made in different shapes and sizes, and you can also buy a diatonic or chromatic dulcimer.