The Dulcimer is one of 2 types of stringed musical instruments known as either the Hammered Dulcimer or the Appalachian Dulcimer.
The Hammered Dulcimer, which is played with handheld hammers, include the Hackbrett, Tsymbaly, Santur, Khim and Yangqin. They are found in Europe, the USA, The Middle East, Asia, South East Asia and China.
The Appalachian Dulcimer is from the USA and includes variants such as the Banjo dulcimer, resonator, bowed and electric Dulcimer.
There are many manufacturers through out the world and a beginner can buy a Dulcimer for fairly cheap prices, such as the “Apple Creek, 6-String Dulcimer” for just over $100. If you approached a bespoke Dulcimer maker, you might expect to pay anything from $500 to $4000.
The most expensive Dulcimer ever sold was bought at auction for an incredible $37,500. This was not just any old Dulcimer, it was owned and played by USA country musical legend Dolly Parton. Sold at Christies Auctions on 29th August 2020 for the charity “Benefit ACM Lifting Lives © Covid-19 Response Fund“
The Auction listing read “Labeled APPALACHIAN/ DULCIMER/ DULCIMER BY/ JR/ 263/ 8-23-80/ 498-7753 (740), the body of walnut covered in gold paint and hand-studded with approximately 1000 applied Swarovski crystals, the fingerboard of maple, signed and inscribed in black marker pen by Dolly Parton on the back “Love Dolly Parton / Played on 50th Grand Ole Opry Anniversary Show 2019″, the dulcimer played on stage by Dolly Parton for a performance of My Tennessee Mountain Home at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on 12th October 2019 for the 50th anniversary special Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry
36 in. (91.4 cm.) long, overall
Together with a bespoke walnut stand, 40 in. (101.5 cm.)”
If you play the Dulcimer, check out these Free Dulcimer Tabs