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 USA, and outlining the improvement of special dulcimer kinds in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. This absolutely revised and multiplied version presents additional info concerning the instrument's historical past sooner than the Civil conflict and discusses traditions and kinds which are nonetheless being found and documented.
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Extra resources for Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions
He sent me a handwritten reply. C. Dec 17, 1968 Dear Mr. Smith Thank you for your letter regarding who made your old Dulcimer. After making a few phone calls I contacted Edna Shepherd now remarried who was the wife of Frank Glenn the man who made your Dulcimer. She recalled the name of Abraham as the man they Had Shipped a number of Dulcimers to. Hope this answers your questions. Whenever you are in this area Drop by to see me. Thanks Sincerely Edd R. Presnell I then contacted Edna Shepherd myself and drove down to western North Carolina to visit her.
THE ROAD WEST Soon after Pennsylvania was created in 1682, movement to the west began. Year by year and mile by mile, a road came into being during the 18th century that led from Philadelphia to the “west,” that is, toward and into the mountains, which were our first frontier. 1. It was not the only path that one could follow to the mountains, but it was the principal one, and it became the most heavily traveled road in Colonial America. Early immigrants, largely Germans, moved west from Philadelphia before 1700.
THE SCHEITHOLT In 1619, a German scholar whose Latinized name was Michael Pretorius published a descriptive catalogue of musical instruments, entitled Syntagma Musicum. 3. Instrument no. ” This instrument has been accurately observed by the artist, and its fret pattern can be made out. It is fretted to play two octaves of the major (Ionian) scale, starting at the open string. The book provides a description of the scheitholt, in old block letter printing and in Renaissance German. I am grateful to Christa Fannon of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, a student in a dulcimer workshop that I taught, for providing the following translation: Although this instrument should rightly be listed among low-class instruments: So I have nevertheless / since it is known to few / wanted to briefly describe it here.
Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions by Ralph Lee Smith