Old Fashioned Christian Radio Music Store
Smoky Mountain Hymns -- Smoky Mountain Hits
About The Instruments used in the Smoky Mountain Hymns Series.
Mountain Dulcimer. Unique to the Appalachian (Smoky) Mountains, the mountain dulcimer is one of the oldest instruments in the United States. Although the size and shape has changed over the years, the basic concept of three or four strings stretched across the top of a narrow, hollow box has endured for centuries. To play the dulcimer, it is placed across the player's lap with the neck or scroll to the left. The left hand presses the strings along the fret board with either the fingers of a small carved wooden "noter" and the right hand plucks or sweeps the strings with fingertips, a guitar pick, or goose quill.
Autoharp. The autoharp was developed in the 1890's and became a favorite of American Folk musicians in the 1920's. It usually have thirty-six strings arranged from longest to shortest giving it a harp-like appearance. A series of chord bars, or damper bars are placed over the strings and prevent all strings but those in a particular chord from playing when that chord bar is pushed. The auroharp is usually held across the chest of the player who then strums with one hand, using fingers or a pick, while using the other hand to press the chord bars.
Hammered Dulcimer. The hammered dulcimer can be traced all of the way back to ancient Biblical times. Usually in the shape of a trapezoid, the hammered dulcimer consists of a shallow box with forty-eight strings stretched across a bridge on either side. Unlike the Mountain Dulcimer which is strummed of plucked, the Hammered Dulcimer is struck with special hand carved hammers or mallets which are topped with padded knobs of leather or felt. The unique sound of the Hammered Dulcimer is a result of he continued resonance of the strings after they are struck.